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 Unleashes Solar Flare
    by Geoff Elston on 30th May 2020 at 5:45 pm

    According to Spaceweather.com the Sun unleashed several minor solar flare on the 29th and one of these was an M-class solar flare, on the northeast limb of the Sun. The flare was the strongest seen for nearly 3 years. The post Sun Unleashes Solar Flare appeared first on Solar Section.

  • Sun Remains Spotless For Now
    by Geoff Elston on 30th May 2020 at 5:41 pm

    The Sun has been spotless for 28 days now but something might appear over the eastern limb of the Sun in the next few days. The post Sun Remains Spotless For Now appeared first on Solar Section.

  • Looking Forward to the Planets in June and July 2020
    by Alan Clitherow on 28th May 2020 at 11:41 am

    Mercury is at its greatest eastern (evening) elongation from the Sun on the 4th of June and will become visible to UK observers on a compass bearing of 300 degrees, some 10 degrees above the horizon on that date; lookRead more The post Looking Forward to the Planets in June and July 2020 appeared first on Planetary Section.

  • Farewell Comet SWAN…
    by Stuart Atkinson on 25th May 2020 at 8:36 pm

    It was perhaps inevitable that Comet SWAN F8 would let us down. After all, we put so much pressure on poor F8 after Comet ATLAS fell apart like a dropped packet of biscuits that anything less than being obvious toRead more The post Farewell Comet SWAN… appeared first on Comet Section.

  • A dying SWAN..?
    by Stuart Atkinson on 23rd May 2020 at 8:32 am

    Late posting this due to work pressures, but I finally managed to image Comet SWAN F8 late on Wednesday night / early on Thursday morning. I can’t say I saw it because I didn’t; it was far too small, andRead more The post A dying SWAN..? appeared first on Comet Section.

  • Comet SWAN F8 climbs higher…
    by Stuart Atkinson on 19th May 2020 at 9:47 am

    There’s good news and bad news. The good news: Comet SWAN F8 is now gaining height before sunrise in the northern hemisphere, and more and more people are photographing it, such as SPA member Paul Sutherland, who took the imageRead more The post Comet SWAN F8 climbs higher… appeared first on Comet Section.

  • Comet SWAN seen from the UK
    by Stuart Atkinson on 16th May 2020 at 9:41 am

    At last! Comet SWAN F8 has been photographed from the UK! That means it’s observable from mid-northern latitudes, so “northern observers” will now be heading in their droves before sunrise over the next week or so hoping to see itRead more The post Comet SWAN seen from the UK appeared first on Comet Section.

  • Comet SWAN F8 – The frustration begins…
    by Stuart Atkinson on 14th May 2020 at 10:47 am

    After delighting observers “down south” for the past month or so Comet SWAN F8 is now, technically, visible to observers in the northern hemisphere. Although it gave us a bit of a scare last week when its magnitude started toRead more The post Comet SWAN F8 – The frustration begins… appeared first on Comet Section.

  • Section Report 20.05.13
    by David Graham on 13th May 2020 at 4:24 pm

    David Finnigan is a regular contributor to the SPA Lunar Section. David stems Halesowen in the West Midlands, and uses a 305mm Schmidt Cassegrain telescope, in conjunction with a ZWO ASE 120 MMS camera. David took this excellent image ofRead more The post Section Report 20.05.13 appeared first on Lunar Section.

  • Comet SWAN – A Summer treat just under the horizon?
    by Stuart Atkinson on 29th April 2020 at 4:36 pm

      Photo: Justin Tilbrook, a composite showing how Comet SWAN changed in appearance as May began. Used with permission. (Details: Penwortham South Australia. Telescope 200mm f/4 reflector. Heq pro 5 mount . Orion mini guider. Camera Canon 60 DA, typeRead more The post Comet SWAN – A Summer treat just under the horizon? appeared first on Comet Section.