Observing

Why do eclipses happen?

9 June 2021 Keith Cooper

Solar eclipses are relatively rare; they happen when the Moon moves directly and precisely in front of the Sun. Why are they so infrequent, and why do solar eclipses always come in pairs with lunar eclipses?

Observing

Don’t miss the partial eclipse of the Sun

7 June 2021 Mark Armstrong

On the morning of Thursday 10 June, there’s a partial eclipse of the Sun visible across the length and breadth of the UK. This special and spectacular event happens when the Moon appears to take a significant bite out of the Sun as it moves between us and the Sun, partially blocking the Sun’s disc from our view.

Observing

Look out for the Lyrids

21 April 2021 Mark Armstrong

Over the course of the next two nights the annual April Lyrid meteor shower is predicted to reach its 2021 peak. Lyrid meteors appear to emanate from the direction of Lyra’s brilliant star Vega, hence the name.

Observing

New nova in Cassiopeia brightens rapidly

19 March 2021 Mark Armstrong

There’s a ‘new star’ – a classical nova – on show among the stars of the far-northern constellation of Cassiopeia. Nova Cas 2021 was discovered on 18 March shining at around magnitude +9.6, but it appears to have brightened rapidly to around magnitude +7.5 on 19 March.