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.

  • Amateur observations of Mercury
    by Alan Clitherow on 16th March 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Planet Mercury has always been one of the least-observed of the major planets, ranked with the outer Ice-Giants, Uranus and Neptune when it comes to lack of observations. In many ways this is understandable; Mercury’s orbit is much closer toRead more The post Amateur observations of Mercury appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Spotless Sun
    by Geoff Elston on 15th March 2019 at 5:16 pm

    The Sun is currently spotless. The post Spotless Sun appeared first on Solar Section. […]

  • March 2019 eMeteorNews available
    by markmcintyre on 13th March 2019 at 9:51 pm

    The March 2019 issue of eMeteor News is now available online, with reports on the October Ursae Majorids, some analysis of Draconid outbursts, an article on radio observations of meteors,  and CAMS and Fireball reports.  This is quite a technicalRead more The post March 2019 eMeteorNews available appeared first on Meteor Section. […]

  • U Orionis soon to be visible is binoculars?
    by Matthew Barrett on 3rd March 2019 at 2:16 pm

    U Orionis is one of our long-period variables, with a usual range of 6.3 – 12.0. It is due to reach maximum brightness in April/May, but observations by Don Matthews show U Orionis is increasing in brightness and may becomeRead more The post U Orionis soon to be visible is binoculars? appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Planetary Section Report, December 2018 and January 2019.
    by Alan Clitherow on 1st March 2019 at 9:44 am

    This was a period of rather limited observing opportunities with either distance or elevation conspiring to make detailed planetary viewing problematic, not to forget the effects of the dire winter weather conditions. Sadly this situation is likely to continue inRead more The post Planetary Section Report, December 2018 and January 2019. appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Annual Report 2018
    by Matthew Barrett on 16th February 2019 at 9:08 pm

    The section’s annual report for 2018 is now available to view at this link. The post Annual Report 2018 appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • R Leonis near Maximum
    by Matthew Barrett on 2nd February 2019 at 4:31 pm

    R Leonis, in the constellation of Leo the lion, reaches maximum this month. R Leonis, a long-period variable, easily found near the bright star Regulus will reach maximum brightness this month. Like all long period variables, R Leonis is aRead more The post R Leonis near Maximum appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • The Planets in February and March 2019
    by Alan Clitherow on 26th January 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Mercury puts on its best evening apparition of the year for Northern Hemisphere observers in late February; however the separation from the Sun at greatest eastern elongation is only 18 degrees so the best viewing window is quite narrow. MaximumRead more The post The Planets in February and March 2019 appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Two Eclipses for New Year’s Day
    by Matthew Barrett on 31st December 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Happy New Year! Weather permitting, astronomers in the UK can start the new year by observing both RZ Cassiopeiae and U Cephei on the same night. There will be two eclipses visible from the UK on the evening of JanuaryRead more The post Two Eclipses for New Year’s Day appeared first on Variable Star Section. […]

  • Get ready to see Comet Wirtanen pass the Hyades and Pleiades this coming weekend
    by Stuart Atkinson on 11th December 2018 at 9:36 am

    There’s a big weekend coming up for everyone hoping to see Comet Wirtanen drifting between the Hyades and Pleiades star clusters. If the weather co-operates we should be able to see the comet with the naked eye, but regardless ofRead more The post Get ready to see Comet Wirtanen pass the Hyades and Pleiades this coming weekend appeared first on Comet Section. […]