Observing

Catch some Quadrantid meteors to kick off 2022

1 January 2022 Mark Armstrong

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the night of 3/4 January and, as one of the recognised major meteor showers of the year, there’s a great chance to see at least dozens of shooting stars each hour, especially as the Moon will not interfere this year.

Observing

The planets put on a sunset sky show

6 December 2021 Mark Armstrong

As 2021 draws to a close, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are seen together soon after sunset in the south to south-western sky. This attractive and enticing spectacle is embellished when a waxing crescent Moon comes a-calling in early December.

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.