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.

  • AR 2727 Breaks Period of Solar Quiet
    by Geoff Elston on 20th November 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Active Region (AR)2727 may be small but it is the first sunspot group for some time. It is unfortunately nearing the west solar limb and the sunspots themselves are now decaying. AR2727 lies about a degree north of the solarRead more The post AR 2727 Breaks Period of Solar Quiet appeared first on Solar Section. […]

  • Two Eclipses in November.
    by Matthew Barrett on 12th November 2018 at 1:12 pm

    For observers in the UK, the 14th of November will be an opportunity to observe two eclipsing variable stars in one night. RZ Cassiopeiae will be in mid-eclipse at approximately 22:00 UT; as will Beta Persei. The duration of RZRead more The post Two Eclipses in November. appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Three Long Period Variables Visible in Binoculars.
    by Matthew Barrett on 1st November 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Three of the long-period variables (LPV) on the sections observing program are now visible in binoculars. T UMa, S UMa and Chi Cygni (Mira) are now all visible in binoculars. All three stars are typical LPV and show a variationRead more The post Three Long Period Variables Visible in Binoculars. appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Planetary Section Report; August and September 2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 31st October 2018 at 10:43 am

    This was an interesting period for the planetary section with most of the work concentrated on Saturn and Mars. There were also some observations of Uranus, Venus and Jupiter, but in the case of these planets observations came from onlyRead more The post Planetary Section Report; August and September 2018 appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • VSS News for October 2018
    by Matthew Barrett on 8th October 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Over the last month several members have been kind enough to send in their variable star observations. I’ve received observations from Bob Steele, David Buehler, Don Matthews, Jonathan Shanklin and Tracie Heywood. All member’s observations will be published in theRead more The post VSS News for October 2018 appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Looking Forward, the Planets in October and November2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 1st October 2018 at 10:08 am

    Mercury was in superior conjunction in late September so is moving into the evening sky at the start of October but gives a very poor apparition for the Northern Hemisphere. Greatest Eastern Elongation occurs on the 6th of November withRead more The post Looking Forward, the Planets in October and November2018 appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Two Variable Stars in Hercules
    by Matthew Barrett on 15th September 2018 at 11:57 am

    As we move into autumn, the nights are rapidly getting longer and darker, which means for many, the observing season starts anew. This makes September the perfect time for adding new variable stars to your observing program. Despite the factRead more The post Two Variable Stars in Hercules appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Sky Notes – September 2018
    by Matthew Barrett on 12th September 2018 at 3:14 pm

    After spending the summer close to minimum, both Chi Cygni and Omicron Ceti (Mira) are on the rise. Both stars are expected to reach maximum brightness in early December. At their faintest, both stars are only visible in large telescopes,Read more The post Sky Notes – September 2018 appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • 21P Falls Through Auriga…
    by Stuart Atkinson on 6th September 2018 at 6:28 pm

      21P photographed from Shap, Cumbria, late on the evening of September 4th – Stuart Atkinson   Comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner is now just a couple of days away from its closest approach to Earth, but it is getting more andRead more The post 21P Falls Through Auriga… appeared first on Comet Section. […]

  • Comet 21P Passing Capella
    by Stuart Atkinson on 2nd September 2018 at 9:31 am

    Comet 21P photographed from Kendal, Cumbria on the evening of Aug 31st. The bright star at bottom is Capella.   If you’ve never seen a comet before – or if you haven’t seen one for a while – then youRead more The post Comet 21P Passing Capella appeared first on Comet Section. […]