Observing

Watch asteroid 2015 FP118 fly by Earth in early September

31 August 2018 Ade Ashford

Shortly after 11am BST on Monday, 3 September, an 800-metre-wide space rock with the catchy name 2015 FP118 hurtles past Earth some 12¼ times the average distance of the Moon. On subsequent nights we show you how to track it down with backyard telescopes of 10-inch (25-cm) aperture and larger.

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VISTA captures huge Carina Nebula in all its infrared glory

29 August 2018 Astronomy Now

The European Observatory’s VISTA telescope captured this remarkably detailed view of the spectacular Carina Nebula, showing the vast star-forming region in infrared light with countless suns blazing through thin clouds of gas and dust, including the gigantic Eta Carinae binary system.

Observing

See bright Comet 21P’s close brush with conspicuous Capella

27 August 2018 Ade Ashford

If you’ve never seen a comet, there’s currently a bright example visible in the late evening about to make a close approach to the 6th brightest star in the night sky on the UK night of 2–3 September. We show you how to find Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner around the time it passes within a degree of prominent star Capella.

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The Milky Way arches over La Silla Observatory

23 August 2018 Astronomy Now

The Milky Way arcs above ESO’s La Silla Observatory in this spectacular panorama demonstrating the extraordinarily clear, dark sky enjoyed by astronomers at one of the premier viewing sites in the world. This image captures the disk of the galaxy, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and Jupiter.

Observing

See the Moon meet the Red Planet on the UK night of 23 August

23 August 2018 Ade Ashford

Mars may be almost four weeks past opposition, but it’s still an imposing sight low in the southern sky around local midnight. But if you are in any doubt about identifying the Red Planet, the waxing gibbous Moon acts as a convenient celestial guide late into the UK night of Thursday, 23 August. See both the Moon and the Red Planet in the same field of view of low-power binoculars.