Observing

See the Moon, Mars and Saturn triple conjunction of 1 March

29 February 2016 Ade Ashford

In the pre-dawn twilight of Tuesday, 1 March, the 21-day-old waning gibbous Moon acts as a convenient celestial guide to planets Saturn and Mars. For observers in the centre of the British Isles, the best time to see this triple conjunction is shortly before 6am GMT, when the trio are highest in the sky to the south.

Observing

See the Moon meet Mars in the pre-dawn of 1 February

31 January 2016 Ade Ashford

As avid skywatchers will already know, all of the bright naked-eye planets are currently visible in the pre-dawn sky — the first time in eleven years that such an alignment has occurred. At 6am GMT on Monday, 1 February, the last quarter Moon in the constellation Libra lies just 2½ degrees from magnitude +0.8 planet Mars low in the south for UK observers.

Observing

See the Moon meet Saturn and a star disappear on 22 August

21 August 2015 Ade Ashford

As dusk fades to dark on Saturday, 22 August, observers in the British Isles and Western Europe with clear skies can see the first quarter Moon close above planet Saturn low to the southwest. But for those skywatchers with binoculars and small telescopes, an additional treat is in store as the Moon passes in front of (occults) a naked-eye star.

Observing

See Saturn’s close brush with the Moon on 28 June

27 June 2015 Ade Ashford

Some five weeks after opposition, Saturn attains a maximum altitude of just 18 degrees in the south around 10:30pm as seen from the centre of the UK. If you need help finding the ringed planet, the Moon passes conveniently close by on the night of 28 June.

Observing

Saturn’s close encounter with the Moon

31 May 2015 Ade Ashford

If you would like to view ringed planet Saturn at its best but are unsure which ‘star’ you should point your telescope at, no problem — the Moon makes a convenient guide as it brushes close by late into the evening of Monday, June 1st.

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.