The nova in Cassiopeia that appeared on 18 March has provided another surprise – an outburst of over five times its brightness in a matter of a few days, to become bright enough to be visible with the naked eye.
The mercury might not be rising as much as we’d like in early May in the UK, but Mercury is certainly doing so. The closest planet to the Sun is in the evening sky right now, in the north-west just after sunset.
Page updated 17 April 2021
A nova has appeared in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Novae are stars that suddenly undergo an increase in brightness of typically over a thousand-fold, so what looks like a new star appears. In this case, the nova is 8th magnitude, which is visible using binoculars. But while the star was expected to fade, it has remained almost constant in brightness.
Here is a map of the sky as it will appear from the latitude of London (51° 50′) this month, at 22h UT (GMT).
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…
Whatever your interests, we’ve a section to suit you. Get expert advice and send in your own observations.
The SPA runs an annual weekend course where members can observe and learn together.
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…
The SPA usually holds regular Saturday meetings every three months in London, though these are currently being broadcast online instead due to the coronavirus.