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.

  • 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. […]

  • Blank Sun Returns
    by Geoff Elston on 7th September 2018 at 4:37 pm

    No sunspots are currently visible. The post Blank Sun Returns appeared first on Solar 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. […]

  • A comet cruising past Cassiopeia…
    by Stuart Atkinson on 8th August 2018 at 1:54 pm

    It’s been quite a while since there was a comet bright enough for beginners to look for and enjoy, but finally we have one. Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner is currently falling slowly through the constellation of Cassiopeia. Although its magnitude of 9Read more The post A comet cruising past Cassiopeia… appeared first on Comet Section. […]

  • Section Report; June and July 2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 2nd August 2018 at 7:25 pm

    This was a fascinating period for planetary observation with much on show and the section responded with a large number of high quality observations. There is insufficient space to cover detailed observations from each observer so I will generalize themRead more The post Section Report; June and July 2018 appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Section Report 2018.8.1
    by Graham Sparrow on 1st August 2018 at 1:19 pm

    A certain law governs all astronomers’ attempts to observe events in the sky – you know the one I mean! It was certainly working against us Friday 27th of July when the much-publicised total eclipse was itself eclipsed by thickRead more The post Section Report 2018.8.1 appeared first on Lunar Section. […]

  • Looking Forward; The Planets in August and September.
    by Alan Clitherow on 29th July 2018 at 10:54 am

    Mercury is between the Earth and the Sun, inferior conjunction, on the 9th of August but then moves into the dawn sky to give its best morning apparition of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. Greatest western elongation from theRead more The post Looking Forward; The Planets in August and September. appeared first on Planetary Section. […]

  • Section Report 2018.7.12
    by Graham Sparrow on 12th July 2018 at 3:16 pm

    It’s ironic that, after an autumn and winter when clear skies were a rarity, the summer should provide so many clear nights at a time when  it hardly gets dark! Judging by the increase in the number of images sentRead more The post Section Report 2018.7.12 appeared first on Lunar Section. […]