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.

  • Sun Spotless – For Now
    by Geoff Elston on 13th November 2019 at 7:46 pm

    The Sun is spotless but there is a new Sunspot Cycle 25 sunspot near the east limb… The post Sun Spotless – For Now appeared first on Solar Section.

  • Fireball seen over USA Monday 11th Nov
    by Mark McIntyre on 13th November 2019 at 5:00 pm

    A bright fireball was seen over eight states in the USA on Monday night. Analysis suggests it was a 300mm diameter chunk of rock weighing around 90kg and enough may have remained to cause a fall.It was too slow toRead more The post Fireball seen over USA Monday 11th Nov appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Possible Leonid Meteor Shower outburst
    by Mark McIntyre on 13th November 2019 at 9:02 am

    Reports coming in of possible enhanced Leonid meteor shower activity at 02:35 on the 16th of Nov, around two days before the normal maximum. Rates of up to 27 per hour predicted, though this would realistically translate into a rateRead more The post Possible Leonid Meteor Shower outburst appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Transit of Mercury 11 November 2019
    by Geoff Elston on 12th November 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Here are a selection of images of the rare transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun on Monday 11 November 2019. Thank you to everyone for their images.                   The post Transit of Mercury 11 November 2019 appeared first on Solar Section.

  • Possible outburst of Alpha-Monocerotids on 22nd Nov.
    by Mark McIntyre on 11th November 2019 at 9:56 am

    The IMO is predicting a possible outburst of the alpha-monocerotids on the morning of 22nd November: “A very short outburst for the alpha Monocerotids (AMO#246) is likely on 2019 November 22, at 04h50m UT at the morning sky over EuropeRead more The post Possible outburst of Alpha-Monocerotids on 22nd Nov. appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Planetary Section Report August and September 2019.
    by Alan Clitherow on 28th October 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Given the short summer nights and the low altitude of the major planetary targets from the UK I was both surprised and pleased with the number and quality of observations sent in to the section during this period. As mightRead more The post Planetary Section Report August and September 2019. appeared first on Planetary Section.

  • Meteor Outlook for November 2019
    by Mark McIntyre on 24th October 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Most of 2019’s meteor showers are cursed by bright Moons and November’s are no exception. Of course its still possible to see meteors, and here’s a summary of what you might see. At the start of the month we stillRead more The post Meteor Outlook for November 2019 appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Meteor Outlook for October 2019
    by Mark McIntyre on 6th October 2019 at 8:35 am

    We have several meteor showers coming up – though please don’t believe the press hype about massive fireballs as bright as the moon, thats not really likely. I’d be delighted if you saw one though and if you do, pleaseRead more The post Meteor Outlook for October 2019 appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Mira Brightening & R CrB Fading?
    by Matthew Barrett on 28th September 2019 at 9:08 am

    The long period variable Mira (Omicron Ceti) is now bright enough to be seen in binoculars, even from light polluted sites. From dark sky sites it may be visible with the naked eye as it approaches maximum in November. ForRead more The post Mira Brightening & R CrB Fading? appeared first on Variable Star Section.

  • The Planets in October and November Plus The Transit Of Mercury.
    by Alan Clitherow on 27th September 2019 at 11:27 am

    Undoubtedly the most unmissable planetary event in this period is the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun on November the 11th, however prior to this Mercury puts on a good show in the evening sky for equatorialRead more The post The Planets in October and November Plus The Transit Of Mercury. appeared first on Planetary Section.