Society for Popular Astronomy

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.

  • Quiet Sun Returns
    by Geoff Elston on 15th May 2018 at 5:32 pm

    The Sun is currently spotless. […]

  • Sunspot Activity On The Rise (for now!)
    by Geoff Elston on 8th May 2018 at 6:55 pm

    Active Region (AR)2708 is currently near the centre of the Sun’s disc with a new Active Region just about to pop into view on the eastern solar limb (no AR number as yet). These come after many days of solarRead mor […]

  • Planetary Section Report; February and March 2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 3rd May 2018 at 9:05 am

    As with the last reporting period, this period was not rich with easily accessible planetary targets however the section managed some excellent observations demonstrating, in particular, the very dynamic nature of the Jovian atmosphere. Having said that, I will startRead mor […]

  • Looking Forward: The Planets in April and May 2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 29th March 2018 at 8:34 am

    At the start of April Mercury is between the Earth and the Sun and thereafter emerges into the morning sky to give a very good apparition for the southern hemisphere. Greatest morning (western) elongation happens on the 29th of AprilRead mor […]

  • Section Report 2018.3.7
    by Graham Sparrow on 15th March 2018 at 3:58 pm

    The final months of 2017 and the first months of 2018 brought few submissions to the Lunar Section. No doubt this was due to the weather we experienced during the winter; certainly the few clear nights never seemed to coincide withRead mor […]

  • Latest findings at Jupiter by Juno Team
    by Alan Clitherow on 8th March 2018 at 11:52 am

      Experienced and enthusiastic observers will recall that a remarkable hexagonal storm was discovered surrounding the North Pole of Saturn by the Voyager mission in 1981 and subsequently confirmed by NASA’s Cassini probe in 2006. This extraordinary feature became slowlyRead mor […]

  • Planetary Section Report; December 2017 and January 2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 22nd February 2018 at 1:56 pm

    As with the last reporting period the outer ‘ice-giant’ planets of Uranus and Neptune were the main objects available to view during evening skies however Mars and Jupiter started to make early-morning appearances. It must be said, however, that observingRead mor […]

  • Looking Forward; The Planets in February and March 2018
    by Alan Clitherow on 28th January 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Mercury moves into superior conjunction behind the Sun on the 17th of February and is not visible again until the early evening skies at the end of the month. However for UK observers, March gives the best opportunity to seeRead mor […]

  • Remote Imaging and Telescope Hosting in Australia
    by David Finnigan on 24th January 2018 at 10:21 am

    From the end of January, Martin Pugh will be offering remote imaging, data subscription, and telescope hosting opportunities from his property in rural New South Wales, Australia. For further information go to Martin’s website: […]

  • The Annual Report for 2017 is available
    by Tracie Heywood on 23rd January 2018 at 11:21 am

    The Variable Star Section report for 2017 has now been published. It can be viewed via  this link It includes light curves for the stars on the section’s programme, based on observations submitted by section members. Here, as an example,Read mor […]