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 New Stars for the Program
    by Matthew Barrett on 28th March 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Two new stars have been added to the observing program: R Lyrae and RY Draconis. Both of these stars are suitable for the beginner, or more experienced observer, who likes a challenge. While both stars are easy to find, bothRead more The post Two New Stars for the Program appeared first on Variable Star Section.

  • The Planets in April and May 2020
    by Alan Clitherow on 26th March 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Mercury starts this period as a morning object but is very hard to observe for the northern hemisphere, especially from the UK. It rises only 20 minutes before the Sun in early April and is drawing rapidly closer to itRead more The post The Planets in April and May 2020 appeared first on Planetary Section.

  • An Excellent Opportunity To See And Image Venus.
    by Alan Clitherow on 20th March 2020 at 11:24 am

    On the 24th of March the planet Venus will be at its greatest eastern (evening) elongation from the Sun; trailing behind the Sun as it sets by 46 degrees. This makes Venus very obvious in the western sky as twilightRead more The post An Excellent Opportunity To See And Image Venus. appeared first on Planetary Section.

  • Spotless Sun Returns
    by Geoff Elston on 14th March 2020 at 6:46 pm

    The Sun is once again spotless. The post Spotless Sun Returns appeared first on Solar Section.

  • Daylight Meteor over Croatia
    by Mark McIntyre on 29th February 2020 at 9:34 am

    At 09:31 UTC on the 28th of February, a spectacular fireball was spotted by many observers over northern Italy and Croatia. The event was seen over a wide area of Croatia, Slovenia and northern Italy, accompanied by a sonic boom.Read more The post Daylight Meteor over Croatia appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Meteor Outlook for March and April 2020
    by Mark McIntyre on 25th February 2020 at 7:00 am

    March a very quiet month for night time meteor hunters, April a bit less so. In March, the γ-Normids (GNO) and π-Puppids (PPU) are a southern hemisphere event. Most of April’s showers are daytime, such as the April Piscids (APS),Read more The post Meteor Outlook for March and April 2020 appeared first on Meteor Section.

  • Section Report; December 2019 and January 2020.
    by Alan Clitherow on 10th February 2020 at 11:44 am

    This period started with the receipt of a report of the transit of Mercury from veteran observer Alan Heath. Too late to be included in the previous section report, I am glad to include Alan’s excellent observations here as itRead more The post Section Report; December 2019 and January 2020. appeared first on Planetary Section.

  • The Planets in February and March
    by Alan Clitherow on 26th January 2020 at 11:47 am

    Mercury is an accessible planetary target in February but is best seen from as far south as possible. For northern observers it will be at low altitude in twilight. It reaches greatest eastern (evening) elongation from the Sun on theRead more The post The Planets in February and March appeared first on Planetary Section.

  • Annual Report 2019
    by Matthew Barrett on 25th January 2020 at 4:39 pm

    The Annual Report for 2019 is now available for download. Look under the Section Report heading, or click the link below:   Variable Star Reports The post Annual Report 2019 appeared first on Variable Star Section.

  • The Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 January 10th
    by David Graham on 24th January 2020 at 12:03 pm

    A penumbral lunar eclipse, the first of four visible in 2020, occurred early in the evening of January 10th, for observers in the British Isles. As this was a penumbral, and not a total or partial lunar eclipse, none ofRead more The post The Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 January 10th appeared first on Lunar Section.