Rare astronomical event being recorded in Perth Wednesday night

Stock image.
Stock image.

A FOUR-minute window into events occurring about 1.2 billion kilometres from Earth has Perth stargazers in a frenzy.

Saturn’s biggest moon, Titan, is set to pass in front of a star for the first time in 15 years on Wednesday and data collected during the short event could provide answers to whether life exists beyond Earth.

The event will be recorded by UWA’s Zadko Telescope, which is located at the University’s gravitational research facility north of Perth.

The telescope usually scans the sky for potentially hazardous asteroids, but will be used for a different purpose on Wednesday night, with a NASA scientist in attendance to help capture the event.

 

“One of the deepest questions is always going to be: is there life out there in the rest of the universe?”¬†University of WA Associate Professor David Coward told Perth Now on Monday.

“In Titan, there is evidence now that there is an ocean of liquid water underneath frozen methane gas.

“If there is liquid water, there is always the possibility of life.”