Continuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line this month: a double-star in the 'Sickle' of Leo, a field barred spiral galaxy also in Leo, knwon to its friends as "NGC 2903"; and the 'Ghost of Jupiter' planetary nebula in Hydra.

  • Star: Algieba: the ‘The Lion's Mane’.
  • Galaxy: NGC 2903.  Discovered by William Herschel in 1784, this barred spiral galaxy lies in Leo near the top of the lion's head, to the right of the sickle asterism
  • Nebula: NGC 3242 - ‘Ghost of Jupiter’ nebula.

Sky Notes - April 2018

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn
  • Meteors: Lyrids, Virginids, Alpha Scorpiids
  • April 2018 Sky Charts

Spring Equinox 2018

The date of the Vernal Equinox and officially the start spring in the northern hemisphere falls on March 20th this year.  This is when the Sun's path - the ecliptic, first crosses the celestial equator on its apparent journey northwards into the skyThe orientation of the Earth at the spring or autumnal equinox is such that neither of the poles are inclined towards the Sun and all locations experience equal hours of daylight and darkness - hence the term equinox... [Read more about Spring Equinox 2018]

Sky Notes - March 2018

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and two Lunar Occultations
  • Meteors: perhaps some Viginids
  • March 2018 Sky Charts

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Venus and Mercury
  • Meteors: Alpha Aurigids
  • February 2018 Sky Charts

Continuing our new feature, we take a brief look at this month’s selection of objects of particular interest crossing the meridian line.

  • Star: 119 Tauri (CE Tau) – The Ruby star in the constellation Taurus.
  • Cluster: The 37 cluster – it would have been very easy to go for the Pleiades, however I'd like to highlight an object you may not have heard of, yet it certainly deserves scrutiny.
  • Nebula: The nebula Messier 78 (or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion.

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn
  • Earth Reaches Perihelion
  • Supermoon and Blue Moon
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • January 2018 Sky Charts

Starting this month is a new feature in which we take a brief look at various celestial objects of particular interest for one reason or another.  These are a star, a galaxy, a nebula and a cluster.  To keep matters simple all the objects are located on or close to the meridian line, due south, around mid month at 20:00h ( GMT time).  The objects are ranked as Easy, Medium or a Challenge to observe with the type of optical aid required to spot them... [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

The Winter Solstice

The Sun reaches its lowest position in the sky on December 21st this year; the date of the winter solstice and officially the start of winter in the northern hemisphere.  From our latitude the Sun arcs little more than 12 degrees above Southern horizon at local noon, standing before the stars of Sagittarius.  Useful daylight amounts to just 7½ hrs - ’the shortest day’... [Read more about The Winter Solstice]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • December 2017 Sky Charts