Observing

Supermoon of 14 November is the closest Moon to Earth since 1948

10 November 2016 Astronomy Now

When a full Moon makes its closest pass to Earth in its orbit it appears up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than average, making it a supermoon. This month’s full Moon on Monday 14 November is the closest Moon to Earth since 26 January 1948. The Moon won’t be this super again until 25 November 2034!

Picture This

South by Phil Hart

13 September 2016 Astronomy Now

The Southern Cross constellation of the Milky Way, visible in the southern sky creates a guiding light along Bucklands Lane in Central Goldfields Shire, Victoria, Australia.

Observing

Jupiter and Venus get extra close in the evening sky

27 August 2016 Ade Ashford

On Saturday 27 August at 22:32 UT (11:32pm BST), a spectacularly close conjunction occurs between Jupiter and Venus just 22 degrees west of the Sun in the constellation of Virgo, when the planetary pair are just 4 arcminutes, or one-fifteenth of a degree, apart. Here is our guide to the best locations and times to view this rare event.

Observing

See the Moon meet Mars and Saturn

10 July 2016 Ade Ashford

In the bright evening twilight of 14, 15 and 16 July, observers in the British Isles and Western Europe can see the waxing gibbous Moon pass by Mars, first-magnitude star Antares in Scorpius, then Saturn. This series of conjunctions occurs very low in the southern sky for UK-based astronomers, while Australasian observers are ideally placed to view the spectacle almost overhead.

Observing

See the crescent Moon get close to Jupiter on Saturday, 9 July

6 July 2016 Ade Ashford

If the excitement of the Juno spacecraft’s arrival at Jupiter has prompted you to seek out the solar system’s largest planet, then the 5-day-old cresent Moon acts as a convenient celestial guide during the evening of Saturday, 9 July when it makes a close pass of the gas giant. Here’s our guide to where and when to see this beautiful celestial pairing.

Observing

Find Pluto close to naked-eye star π Sagittarii (Albaldah) in late June

21 June 2016 Ade Ashford

In the latter part of June, Pluto is best seen low in the southern UK sky around 2am local time and reaches opposition on 7 July. The dwarf planet passes less than 1/20th of a degree south of naked-eye star pi (π) Sagittarii on 26—27 June in the deep twilight of the UK, but Southern Hemisphere observers will have the best views.

Eclipse

Get ready for the 9 March total solar eclipse

8 March 2016 Ade Ashford

The Moon will pass in front of the Sun on 9 March 2016 UT, casting its shadow over much of Southeast Asia. The path of totality, in which all of the Sun’s bright face is blocked by the Moon, is nearly 100 miles wide as it crosses Indonesia, while the partial phases can be seen from East Asia, Australia and the Pacific Ocean. Here is our detailed guide.