Lyrids by Moonlight

Lyrids by Moonlight

It sounds like the title of a cheesy 1940s romantic film, but the Lyrid meteors are active between 16 and 25 April. And this year, moonlight will interfere quite badly with observations – though if you are persistent, and given the current settled weather, you could strike lucky and see a few of these shooting stars. Read more

Latest news from the observing sections

As well as offering observing advice and producing reports on members’ observations, the SPA’s Observing Sections publish occasional news items about their field of astronomy. Here are the latest. You can read more on each Section’s individual area of this site.

  • Blank Sun
    by Geoff Elston on 24th May 2019 at 3:34 pm

    The Sun is once again spotless. The post Blank Sun appeared first on Solar Section. […]

  • Amazingly Bright Fireball Detected over Australia
    by markmcintyre on 22nd May 2019 at 8:45 pm

    The BBC has a report that video cameras in Australia picked up a very bright fireball on the night of Tuesday 21st May. The video can be seen here. Its pretty bright! https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-australia-48364524/meteor-captured-on-camera-over-australia   The post Amazingly Bright Fireball Detected over Australia appeared first on Meteor Section. […]

  • UK Video Meteor Detection Networks Reach Major Milestone
    by markmcintyre on 12th May 2019 at 3:17 pm

    From: Steve Bosley, Vice Chairman, Hampshire Astronomical Group at Clanfield Observatory. The UK’s meteor detection networks have now passed half a million detections!  In mid 2012 two meteor detection networks were being setup independently in the north and south ofRead more The post UK Video Meteor Detection Networks Reach Major Milestone appeared first on Meteor Section. […]

  • Three Mira Stars For May
    by Matthew Barrett on 4th May 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Three of the Mira stars on the SPA program are will be visible in binoculars during May. T Cephei, a popular circumpolar star with a typical range of 6.0 – 10.5 was recently observed at about the seventh magnitude. ItRead more The post Three Mira Stars For May appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Daylight Meteor over Russia
    by markmcintyre on 19th April 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Russia seems to get more than its fair share of fireballs, and this time a daytime meteor was picked up on multiple dashcams on 6th April over the city of Krasnoyarsk in the southeastern part of the country. The meteorRead more The post Daylight Meteor over Russia appeared first on Meteor Section. […]

  • Bright Fireball over the UK!
    by markmcintyre on 2nd April 2019 at 11:02 pm

    At 03.52 on the 30th of March 2019 a very bright fireball was detected by a number of observers around the UK. As well as visual observations, the fireball was picked up by multiple stations in the UKMON & NEMETODERead more The post Bright Fireball over the UK! appeared first on Meteor Section. […]

  • U Orionis Now Visible in Binoculars
    by Matthew Barrett on 2nd April 2019 at 8:23 pm

    If you out in the early evening you can still see the constellation of Orion low in the west; not long after sunset. Not far above Betelgeuse is U Orionis; a Mira type variable that typically varies between magnitudes sixRead more The post U Orionis Now Visible in Binoculars appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Planetary Section Report for February and March 2019
    by Alan Clitherow on 2nd April 2019 at 11:05 am

    There were really only two viable planetary targets during this reporting period and both of these could reasonably be described as “difficult”. Mars was lingering on in the evening sky, initially at a workable elevation but steadily sinking to theRead more The post Planetary Section Report for February and March 2019 appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • The Planets in April and May 2019
    by Alan Clitherow on 29th March 2019 at 10:27 am

    Mercury starts this period visible in the pre-dawn sky and is well placed for southern observers, but from UK latitudes the planet rises only 30 minutes before the Sun and will be hard to spot in the growing glare. OnRead more The post The Planets in April and May 2019 appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Cheaper Meteor Video Cameras
    by markmcintyre on 27th March 2019 at 12:00 pm

    A new type of video camera has potential to make it cheaper to get involved in video detection of meteors. Until recently, most video detection of meteors was done using relatively costly security cameras and specialist software as explained onRead more The post Cheaper Meteor Video Cameras appeared first on Meteor Section. […]