Observing

Don’t miss Jupiter’s ‘unravelling’ Great Red Spot

6 June 2019 Ade Ashford

The Great Red Spot (GRS) is the solar system’s largest known storm, an Earth-sized anticyclone that has raged in the atmosphere of Jupiter for at least two centuries. But recent observations from Earth and space suggest that this iconic Jovian feature is undergoing huge changes that could herald its demise.

Observing

See Mercury and Mars get close at dusk on 18 June

5 June 2019 Ade Ashford

On 18 June at the end of civil twilight in the UK, planets Mars and Mercury lie slightly less than one-quarter of a degree apart in the constellation of Gemini. Observing this conjunction will be a challenge from the UK as the pair will be just 5 degrees high in the west-northwest at civil dusk in bright twilight, which is about 50 minutes after sunset for London.

News

NASA to shut down Spitzer Space Telescope early next year

1 June 2019 Stephen Clark

After a search for an outside funding source turned up empty, NASA plans to end observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope in January to conclude a 16-year mission that discovered exoplanets, studied galaxies in the ancient universe, and peered at planets and asteroids in our own Solar System.