Observing

Comet Leonard on course for a good showing

29 November 2021 Mark Armstrong

Comet 2021 A1 (LEONARD) has broken out of the cometary pack to brighten up and shine close to naked-eye magnitude. All the indications look good for it at the very least to become a nice object through a pair of binoculars.

Observing

Catch the ‘Rosetta’ comet’s return

1 November 2021 Mark Armstrong

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, visited by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe, is well placed for observation now; indeed, it’s been under constant scrutiny by amateur astronomers since late spring, when it shone feebly at nineteenth-magnitude in the pre-dawn sky from the UK.

Observing

Can you spot Venus’ brilliant evening star?

28 October 2021 Mark Armstrong

Venus has been blazing brilliant as an ‘evening star’ since around late May. On 29 October Venus finally pulls out to greatest eastern elongation from the Sun, signalling a welcome gradual improvement in its visibility.

Observing

Here comes the sunspot!

24 October 2021 Mark Armstrong

A major new sunspot has just rotated into view at the south-eastern limb area of the Sun’s photosphere. Officially designated sunspot AR2887, it was first seen peeping around the Sun’s limb on 22 October.

Observing

See Mercury at its morning best

23 October 2021 Mark Armstrong

Mercury reaches greatest elongation west of the Sun on 25 October, providing an opportunity to observe the elusive innermost planet’s best showing of the year before sunrise.

Observing

Orionids marred by the Moon

21 October 2021 Mark Armstrong

The Orionid meteor shower peaks on 21/22 October. Unfortunately the shower will be severely affected by glare from a near-full Moon. Orionids often leave persistent trains, or trails, so its brightest meteors might slice through the glare.