Venus dominates the SW evening twilight sky - visible low above the horizon for an hour or so. As the month progresses Venus gains a little in altitude and grows even brighter attaining -4.5 by Christmas. The moon lies above right on the 5th. [Read more about Planetary Skylights - December 2013 ]

New Website

We announced in our December Newsletter that the Society's new and improved web site should be available to peruse by the time our December notes reach you, and here it is!  Andi Ye and his team have done a sterling job building the new site, which has many new features.

There will be regular new content on all sorts of subjects, so bookmark the site in your browser, and keep coming back!  And it's not just a one-way information feed: you're welcome to add your comments to any article and start a discussion.  You can post anonymously or - better yet - create yourself an account and enjoy full site access. [Read more about New Website]

Comet Ison

At the time of the December newsletter, Comet ISON may already a news worthy item - or not. Comet ISON reached perihelion on Nov 28th when it slung shot around our Sun - just 750,000 miles above its surface at an astonishing 845,000 miles per hour. If the comet has not totally fragmented it may be a spectacular sight during the first week of December - or at least the tail of it will be, either just after sunset over in the SW, quite close to Venus, and also just before sunrise over in the SE and near Saturn.    [Read more about Comet Ison ]

Considered now to be the most prolific annual meteor shower, the Geminids are active from December 7-16, reaching a peak this year in the early morning hours of December 14th. Unlike other showers, Geminids stem from debris shed by a small asteroid called Phaethon, which passes within 10 million miles of the Sun. [Read more about Meteor Activity - December 2013]

The Winter Solstice

The Sun reaches its lowest position in the sky on December 21st this year - the date of the winter solstice, when the Sun arcs just over 12 degrees above S horizon at local noon. The northern hemisphere is then tilted away from the Sun and useful daylight amounts to just 7½ hrs: the shortest day. [Read more about The Winter Solstice]

There were a few differences this year. Firstly, because of work commitments Mark was unable to travel and therefore notes on the lectures were made by both Andy Lawrence and Andi Ye, so these will be a vast improvement on years gone by!

Secondly, only four lectures were given allowing a little more time for taking in the trade stalls (and lunch) and allowing an early finish.  As two versions of the lectures have been submitted to Mark he has done a ‘mash up’ job including parts of both. [Read more about What happened at Leeds Astromeet 2013]

WDAS Subs 2014

Nearly all W.D.A.S  members subscriptions for 2014 have now been paid and once again memebership stands around the 30 mark. [Read more about WDAS Subs 2014]

M42: Orion Nebula

M42 Orion Nebula

M42 the Orion Nebula or the Great Orion Nebula is one of the most studied objects in the night sky.  M42 is a naked eye object that is 1,344 light years away and is the middle star of Orion’s Sword. [Read more about M42: Orion Nebula]

WDAS "New Year Meal"

WDAS Christmas Meal 2013Our ‘oft’ postponed Christmas meal bash finally went ahead on Jan 24th. [Read more about WDAS "New Year Meal"]

M33 or Pinwheel Galaxy is found in Triangulum and lies approximately 3 million light years away.  M33 shares its nickname of the pinwheel with M101 in Ursa Major. [Read more about M33: Triangulum/Pinwheel Galaxy]