May–June 2020


18           The second bumbling beginner’s guide                                 Karl Anthony Mercer

to looking at things in space, from Earth, with eyes

20           Starlink – the new vermin of the skies?                                 Stuart Atkinson

27           Observing Mare Orientale                                                           Dave Eagle



     Editorial                                                                                                      Robin Scagell   

4      AstroNews                                                                                                 Amber Hornsby

ExoMars lander mission delayed to 2022                                Nisha Beerjeraz-Hoyle     

Earth has a new (temporary) mini-moon                                 Thom Shutt

A distant blazar and the very first supermassive                 Gayathri Eknath

black holes

Modelling the Universe with slime mould                              Amber Loren Hornsby

The shortest “year” for a hot jupiter yet discovered          Greg Cooke


9              Citizen Science                                                                                 Alice Sheppard

DIY Radio Telescope

10           Telescope Topics                                                                             Ian Morison

Newtonians and their derivatives part 2: their mounts

12           Amateur Scene                                                                                 Peter Wade

RAS Fellows celebrate / Liverpool’s bookshelf treasures /

Bristol’s wartime origins / Hampstead’s city observatory /

Loughton List challenge / Out and about

14           How to                                                                                                 Matthew Barratt

observe variable stars

16           Book reviews

101 Facts You Didn’t Know About Space                                 Katrin Raynor-Evans     

Reflections on a Surprising Universe                                        Martin Griffiths

23           Young Stargazers                                                                             Osnat Katz

From the Chief Stargazer                                                              Lucie Green  

A day in the life of an astronomer visiting                              Nikki Zabel

the IRAM 30-meter telescope

29           Space Exploration                                                                           Nisha Beerjeraz-Hoyle 

Voyager 2 back to normal operations following power

glitch but must fend for self until January 2021 /

China prepares for launch of Long March heavy rocket /

50 years since the ‘successful failure’ of Apollo 13 /

NASA halts work on its new SLS and Orion spacecraft /

New Horizons finds evidence supporting a gentler planet

formation theory / Will the JWST launch in March 2021?

32           What’s up?                                                                                         Robin Scagell

May and June 2020

Focus on Ursa Major

35           Section Reports

Solar                                                                                                      Geoff Elston

Variable Star                                                                                      Matthew Barrett 

Planetary                                                                                             Alan Clitherow

Deep Sky profiles: Steve Norrie                                                      Steve Norrie

Meteor                                                                                                 Mark McIntyre

41           The Society Pages

Coronavirus pandemic / SPA meetings /

Heather Couper / How we can all become scientists                Robin Scagell / Keith Moseley

How Tycho changed the Universe                                                 Robin Scagell

44           Sky Diary

Moon data                                                                                          Mandy Bailey

Occultation notes / Meteor notes                                                Mell Jeffery / Mark McIntyre

Planets / Variable Star notes                                                       Alan Clitherow / Matthew Barrett

46           SPA contacts

47           Showcase