Observing

See ringed planet Saturn at its best

18 May 2015 Ade Ashford

Often referred to as the Jewel of the Solar System, Saturn reaches opposition on May 23rd and is currently best placed for observation during 2015. Despite the planet’s southerly declination, its glorious ring system is favourably tipped in our direction with the northern hemisphere on show.

Observing

Venus’ late night show in May

11 May 2015 Ade Ashford

Even casual observers cannot fail to notice dazzling Venus currently gracing the western horizon at dusk. Owing to a favourable set of circumstances, the brightest planet is visible long after sunset. How late can you see it set in the British Isles? For those north of the Arctic Circle, Venus is presently circumpolar and doesn’t set at all!

Observing

Mercury’s best early evening twilight show for 2015

1 May 2015 Ade Ashford

The first ten days of May offer observers in the British Isles their best opportunity to see Mercury in the early evening twilight during 2015. So, if you’ve never seen the innermost planet, let dazzling Venus be your convenient guide to this elusive little world.

Observing

Comet Lovejoy’s May rendezvous with Polaris

1 May 2015 Ade Ashford

Comet Lovejoy has been a easy to follow object since the beginning of the year. Throughout May the comet continues its trek towards the north celestial pole, culminating in a close conjunction with Polaris at the end of the month.

Observing

Venus meets the Moon in the Eye of the Bull

21 April 2015 Ade Ashford

Tuesday, April 21st provides a daylight occultation of bright star Aldebaran in Taurus for observers in the extreme north of Scotland, while the whole of the British Isles sees a close conjunction with the added bonus of dazzling Venus nearby at dusk.

Observing

Venus meets the Pleiades in the evening sky

6 April 2015 Ade Ashford

Currently unmistakable as a brilliant ‘evening star’ over to west at dusk, planet Venus treks through the constellation of Taurus starting April 7th, leading to a close encounter with the Pleiades star cluster on the 11th.

Observing

Follow Comet Lovejoy into the high north during April

1 April 2015 Ade Ashford

Comet Lovejoy continues its northerly trek through Cassiopeia, en route to a close encounter with Polaris on May 27th. A circumpolar object of the high north, the comet never sets as seen from the British Isles this month — what’s more, it’s brighter than predicted.

Observing

The Moon’s two-night encounter with Jupiter

29 March 2015 Ade Ashford

The waxing gibbous Moon passes close by the Solar System’s largest planet, Jupiter, on the nights of March 29th and 30th. Jupiter was at opposition last month, but it’s still big, bright and offers much to see in a telescope.