What’s Up! May 2022

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

Compiled by Steve Sawyer

Hi, hope you all had a good Easter and as we’re now approaching late Spring/Early summer.  It’s almost time to say goodbye tonight.   The last day you can experience true night is on the 11th May (a whole 53 minutes of the official night) after this it’s astronomical twilight only until the 2nd of August when true darkness starts to make a re-appearance.  But there’s still plenty to take a look at even during the summer season. Continue reading

What’s Up! March 2022

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

Compiled by Steve Sawyer

[Take the March 2022 Quiz – Comets and Meteors]

So what’s on this month?

It’s the start of meteorological spring on the 1st and the vernal spring equinox on the 20th of March.  In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the moment in time when the Sun stands directly above the equator while crossing from the south to the north and is called the vernal equinox (also known as the spring equinox, March equinox or northward equinox). It is the moment winter ends and spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere (where nearly 90% of the world’s population live).

 

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What’s Up! February 2022

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

Compiled by Steve Sawyer and John Rowland

Hi, welcome to February’s what’s up.  Hopefully, you’ve all survived the January blues and are looking forward to some late winter stargazing.

[Take the February 2022 Quiz – Stars and Stellar Systems]

 

So what’s on this month?

Snow! Well, it depends, but February is the month that has the most snowfall in the Northern Hemisphere. You never know you might be able to dust off the sledge! But that’s enough about the weather, so on to astronomy! Continue reading

What’s Up! January 2022

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

Compiled by Steve Sawyer and John Rowland

Happy New Year! Here’s looking forward to an excellent year of astronomy with (hopefully) lots of clear skies!

[Take the January 2022 Quiz – Telescopes & Observing]

 

So what’s on this month?

Well, some of you may be aware, the James Webb telescope had a successful launch on Christmas day (25/12/2021). If you missed the launch (it was around lunchtime) and you may have been busy with other things (food and booze perhaps) you can catch up with the live feeds below:

Useful links: [Where is the Webb Telescope?] [Webb vs Hubble Comparison]

Best media comment: Heard on BBC Television on Christmas Day, asked by the main newsreader, “So, how far beyond the universe will this telescope be able to see?” Continue reading

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

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.

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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.

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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