What’s Up! December 2021

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth 

Compiled by Steve Sawyer and John Rowland

 

Yay, it’s nearly Christmas, time for mince pies, mulled wine and dodgy jumpers!

Plus it also gets dark nice and early and {hopefully with good weather)  they’ll be time over the Christmas break to get a bit of stargazing in.  Assuming everyone isn’t drinking the sherry!

 

So what’s on this month?

Well, we have comets, meteors, seven planets in a line and some good deep-sky objects (DSOs).  Not forgetting Santa of course as he whizzes around the globe on the 24th, hopeful not spoiling too many long exposures!  Continue reading

Galaxies of Brass Concert 2021

Report by Freda Rockliffe

On Saturday 23 October 2021, the York Astronomical Society (YAS) organised an exciting concert of music and astronomy inspired by the wonders of the night sky, in collaboration with the York Railway Institute Brass Band (YRIB).

The music ranged from extracts from the classics; Holst Planet Suite Mars and Jupiter to Bowie’s Life on Mars. Movie soundtracks included; Star Wars and ET themes. Dr David Lancaster composed a moving piece about the transit of Venus accompanied by breathtaking images of the transit. Traditional pieces included Moonlight Serenade and Fly me to the moon.  Continue reading

What’s Up! November 2021

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth

Compiled by Steve Sawyer and John Rowland

Well, it’s November already, darker evenings are coming as the days get shorter.

The Sky at night is on BBC 4, 14th November at 10 pm. As the James Webb Telescope nears its launch date. The show looks back at other famous telescopes that have enhanced our understanding of the cosmos.

Continue reading

What’s Up! October 2021

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth 

Compiled by Steve Sawyer

A slightly later bulletin this month. I’m standing in for John Rowland, hopefully doing a decent job!

There are some interesting events taking place this month.  The primary events are Jupiter’s moon transits, 2 meteor showers and the appearance of Nessie on the moon!

The Sky at night on BBC 4 10th October 10 PM covers the forgotten solar system.  Neptune and Uranus have only ever been visited once by Voyager 2 but there are opportunities for further missions.

Continue reading

First In-Person Meeting after Lockdown

Report by Martin Dawson

On the evening of 3 September 2021, The York Astronomical Society (YAS) had its first public lecture after some 18 months.

We all know why and so I won’t go into it here. YAS member, David Armeson gave an excellent presentation on the latest (and I mean latest) results from the Mars rover ‘Perseverance’ and its little helicopter ‘Ingenuity’. Continue reading

What’s Up! September 2021

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth 

Compiled by John Rowland

Well, here we are again at the start of another astronomical season. Autumn can offer quite pleasant observing opportunities as the ground still retains some of the residual heat built up over the summer and the evening temperatures don’t drop too low. In addition, September and October are two of the most atmospherically stable months, with less rain, less cloud and a higher proportion of nights with good seeing. Continue reading

What’s Up! August 2021

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth 

Compiled by John Rowland

For most people, the realisation that the days are getting shorter comes as July rolls into August. That last walk with the dog, when suddenly, some stars appear that you didn’t notice the night before, or you realise you’re turning the lights on the inside before your favourite TV program ends instead of after it. All signs that “the season” is just around the corner. And what’s nice about August is that it’s often reasonably warm when it’s dark. What bliss. Continue reading

What’s Up! July 2021

A monthly look at astronomical events in the sky and on Earth 

Compiled by John Rowland

Anyone who has read these articles of mine before will know that I never try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If something isn’t worth getting excited about, I say so. Hyping things only disappoints. So I will be frank: for the rest of the summer and well into the autumn, apart from the ever-reliable Moon, solar system objects are going to be very disappointing. And July is of course the second lightest month in the year, starting as it does only 10 days after the summer solstice, so deep sky object observing is very limited as well. Consequently, this What’s Up will be a bit downbeat. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is. We must be content to look forward to August and beyond when observing opportunities improve dramatically. Continue reading