Exclusive to members – Popular Astronomy
The January–February 2023 issue of our bimonthly magazine is out now. It is packed with interesting articles, but you won’t find it in the shops! That’s because Popular Astronomy is available exclusively to members.
To get your own copy, plus all the other benefits of belonging to Britain’s brightest astronomical society, click here now to become a member of the SPA!
There’s a new comet in the sky which is already creating a flurry of interest among amateur astronomers, visible at the end of January and early February 2023. Don’t get your hopes up too high, but just be pleasantly surprised if you manage to spot it with binoculars and glimpse its tail.But don’t expect to see it looking green as the media hype says!
The end of 2022 gives astronomers the chance to see all the planets, plus the Moon, in the evening sky at once. The last time this was possible from the UK was in October 1997 and it won’t be seen again until February 2025. The line-up will only be visible from the whole of the UK for a short time after sunset each evening and will require a clear view of the sky towards the south-west in particular. Uranus and Neptune are in the sky but will only be spotted after twilight.
There are two really bright stars in the evening sky in the run-up to Christmas. But neither are actually stars – they are the planets Mars and Jupiter. And this December, Mars is making a close approach to Earth, and won’t be as close again until 2031.
Here is a map of the sky as it will appear from the latitude of London (51° 50′) this month, at 20h UT (GMT).
The SPA runs an annual weekend course where members can observe and learn together.
If you’re interested in astronomy, it stands to reason that you need a telescope, and the bigger the better. But for most of us, there’s a lot of research to do before you can make the plunge. There is a bewildering range of instruments available, but the good news is…
Whatever your interests, we’ve a section to suit you. Get expert advice and send in your own observations.
Learning the sky might seem tricky at first. There are so many stars, and unlike visiting a new town or city, the stars keep on moving around! But don’t give up! With a few tips and tricks, you’ll soon start to tell your Aries from your Aldebaran. The first step is to look at…
The SPA usually holds regular Saturday meetings every three months in London.