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From n3kl.org

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Marlborough College
Oxford Astrophysics
Green Templeton College

Week of 26th June

  • There is no Astronomical darkness

  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

  • The Sun has two sunspot groups, neither of whih is active


  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 22.51.48 at 25 degrees altitude in W and 22.49.00 at 22 degrees in WNW

Week of 19th June

  • There is no Astronomical darkness

  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

  • On Wednesday (the Summer Solstice)the Sun reaches a Right Ascension of 6 hours and Declnation of 23.5 degrees at 5.24 BST. The Sun rises at it northernmost extreme (standstill point)on the Eastern horizon and likewise sets at the northernmost extreme, reaching its greatest altitude above the Southern horizon at Noon of 62.5 degrees; thus giving us the longest day of the year

  • The Sun has two sunspot groups, 2663 is active

  • Noctilucent Clouds have again been sighted and with clear evenings ,it is worth looking west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset

  • The Southern evening sky is dominated by 4 bright objects; from the East yellow Saturn, red Antares then blue Spica and finally bright yellow Jupiter. The planets alone will shin with a steady light

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 23.12.21 at 35 degrees altitude in W and Thursday at 23.03.27 at 31 degrees in W

Week of 12th June

  • There is no Astronomical darkness

  • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

  • The Sun has one new sunspot group 2662, ending a number of blank days

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare: On Thursday at 23.27.17 at 39 degrees altitude in WSW

Week of 5th June

  • There is no Astronomical darkness

  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Strawbery Moon) on Friday

  • The Sun has one new sunspot group 2661, which is active

  • The ISS makes final passes this week: Monday 23.18.32 W to S reaching 2 degrees. Tuesday 22.26.13 W to SSE to 32 degrees. Wednesday at 23.11.40 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees. Thursday 22.18.47 W to S to 19 degrees and Sunday 22.12.33 SW to SW to 10 degrees

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare: On Wednesday at 23.57.17 at 46 degrees altitude in WSW

Week of 29th May

  • The nights are now not truly dark until Astronomical Twilight ends on 21st July

  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

  • The Sun has one disappearing sunspot group

  • The first Notilucent Cloud (NLC) has been sighted this year. From now till into July they are more common. We now know that they are seeded by debris from meteors and are made up of ice crystals in the mesosphere. Look west for an hour after sunset and they are obvious as high electric blue iridescent clouds

  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday 22.56.50 W to E reaching 85 degrees. Tuesday 22.04.45 W to E to 88 degrees and 23.41.18 W to ESE to 83 degrees. Wednesday at 22.49.12 W to E to 87 degrees. Thursday 21,57,06 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.33.37 W to SE to 60 degrees. Friday 22.41.30 W to ESE to 77 degrees. Saturday 23.25.57 W to SSE to 37 degrees and Sunday 22.33.46 W to SE to 53 degrees

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares. On Tuesday at 21.49.06 at 56 degrees altitude in NE and on Friday at 21.36.05 at 61 degrees in NE

Week of 22nd May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.58 BST at the start of the week after which we do not see true astronomical darkness till 21st July

  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday

  • The Sun has three small sunspots groups, none of which is active

  • The ISS makes passes this week: Tuesday 23.19.58 reaching 38 degrees from SW to E. Wednesday at 22.28.20 to 26 degrees SSW to E. Thursday 23.12.04 to 60 degrees WSW to E. Friday 22.20.10 to 43 degrees SW to E. Saturday 23.04.18 to 83 degrees WSW to E and Sunday 22.12.14 to 67 degrees WSW to E and 23.48.42 to 85 degrees from W to E

  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares. On Wednesday at 22.15.05 at 47 degrees altitude in SE and on Friday at 22.02.06 at 51 degrees in NE and a superbright flare on Saturday at 22.04.01 at 55 degrees in NE

Week of 15th May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.57 BST at the start of the week and 00.58 BST at the end. The times now changing rapidly as we approach the period of continual astronomical twilight when from 23rd May till 21st July, the Sun never goes more than 18 degrees below the horizon and there is no astronomical darkness

  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun is again blank for the 5th successive day. Solar minimum is predicted in 2019-2020

  • The ISS makes no passes this week, but returns from 23rd

  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares. On Tuesday at 22.40.38 at 37 degrees altitude in NE and a super-bright flare at 23.00.33 at 37 degrees in NE and on Thursday at 22.37.32 at 37 degrees in NE

Week of 8th May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.26 BST at the start of the week and 23.57 BST at the end

  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Wednesday

  • The Sun has two small sunspot groups, neither of which is active

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares. On Monday at 23.09.10 at 29 degrees altitude in NNE and a super-bright flare on Tuesday at 21.38.34 at 57 degrees in ENE

Week of 1st May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.00 BST at the start of the week and 23.26 BST at the end

  • Monday is May Day and one of the Cross-Quarter days, roughly half-way between the Equinox and the Solstice. Known as Beltane in the Celtic calendar it is associated the World over with fertility celebrations

  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

  • The Sun has three small sunspot groups, none of which is active

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 23.17.02 at 14 degrees altitude in NNE

Week of 24th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.38 BST at the start of the week and 23.00 BST at the end

  • The Lyrid meteor shower peaks at the start of this week. Observing just before dawn may allow 10-20 shooting stars an hour to be seen

  • The Moon is New on Wednesday and will then wax to First Quarter next week

  • The Sun has two sunspot groups, 1653 is a return of the active 2645 group

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: Wednesday at 20.54.07 (superbright) at 68 degrees altitude in E and 22.29.16 at 37 degrees in NE

Week of 17th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.59 BST at the start of the week and 20.10 BST at the end

  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Tuesday

  • Jupiter, which rises around 8.30pm and dominates the South-Eastern evening sky and is well positioned for observations, with blue Spica following it up mid evening

  • The Sun is almost blank

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are 3 very bright evening Iridium flares: Wednesday at 21.21.22 at 59 degrees altitude in ENE and 22.46.43 at 43 degrees in NE and on Thursday, a super bright flare at 21.15.21 at 61 degrees in ENE

Week of 10th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.48 BST at the start of the week and 19.58 BST at the end

  • The Moon is Full (Paschal Moon) on Tuesday

  • Jupiter, which rises around 8.30pm and dominates the South-Eastern evening sky and is well positioned for observations

  • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups but neither is active

  • The ISS makes its last passes this week: Monday at 21.28.58 W to S reaching 25 degrees. Tuesday 20.36.38 W to SE to 36 degrees and Wednesday 21.21.44 WSW to S to 14 degrees

  • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares: Tuesday at 23.00.57 at 9 degrees in NE. Thursday at 20.09.46 at 73 degrees in SE. Friday at 20.03.43 at 74 degrees in SE and Saturday at 22.57.45 at 17 degrees in NE

Week of 3rd April

  • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Monday and then will continue to wax to Full at the start of next week

  • Orange Arcturus heralds the arrival of bright yellow Jupiter, which rises around 8.30pm and dominates the Eastern sky

  • After significant inactivity The Sun has now a huge 120,000 km wide sunspot group 2645, almos central on the disk and facing Earth

  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at (times now BST) 21.07.38 W to E to 86 degrees and 22.44.08 W to W to 22 degrees. Tuesday 20.15.12 WSW to E to 84 degrees and 21.51.41 W to SE to 87 degrees. Wednesday 20.59.13 W to E to 85 degrees and 22.35.43 W to W to 25 degrees. Thursday 21.43.13 W to SSE to 65 degrees. Friday 20.50.45 W to ESE to 82 degrees and 22.27.21 W to WSW to 23 degrees. Saturday 21.34.45 W to SSE to 42 degrees and Sunday 20.42.13 W to ESE to 59 degrees and 22.19.14 W to SW to 16 degrees

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flares next Saturday at 20.30.55 at 68 degrees altitude in ESE

Week of 20th March

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.20 UT at the start of the week and at 19.30 UT+1 (BST) at the end. The clocks go forward one hour to British Summer Time next Saturday night

  • Monday is the Vernal Equinox. Ths start of the Astronomical Year when the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator at 0 hours RA and 0 Degrees Dec. Sunrise and sunset are due East and West respectively

  • The Moon will wane to New next Week

  • The Sun is totally blank for the 12th successive day

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week but returns next week

  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

Week of 13th March

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.00 UT at the start of the week and at 20.12 UT at the end

  • The Moon will wane to Last Quarter next Monday

  • The Sun is totally blank

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

  • There are two superbright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 19.40.59 at 57 degrees altitude in ESE and Wednesday at 19.34.56 at 58 degrees altitude in SE

Week of 6th March

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.47 UT at the start of the week and at 19.59 UT at the end

  • The Moon will wax to Full (Lenten Moon) on Sunday

  • The Sun is totally blank. As Solar activity decreases, so Cosmic Ray radiation increase. There has been a 10% increase since 2015. The Earh's magnetic field also appears to be weakening. The South Atlantic anomaly has weakened 2% since 1999

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

  • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 19.56.04 at 53 degrees altitude in ESE

Week of 27th February

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.35 UT at the start of the week and at 19.47 UT at the end

  • The Moon will wax to First Quarter on Sunday. The new Crescent Moon will be close to Venus at the start of the week

  • The Sun is quiet with two inactive spot groups

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 18.56.43 at 54 degrees altitude in SSE

Week of 20th February

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.23 UT at the start of the week and at 19.33 UT at the end

  • The Moon will wane to New on Sunday

  • Three planets line up in the evening western sky. From West Venus at magnitude -4.3 then Mars at +1.6 and then at +6.2 Uranus (should be easy in Binos)

  • The Sun is quiet with one inactive spot group

  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

  • There are two super-bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 19.32.59 at 48 degrees altitude in SE and on Thursday at 53 degrees in NNE

Week of 13th February

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.11 UT at the start of the week and at 19.21 UT at the end

  • The Moon will wane to Last Quarter on Saturday

  • The Sun is quiet with one inactive spot group

  • The ISS makes its last passes: Monday at 18.52.45 from W to SSE reaching 23 degrees. Tuesday 18.00.04 W to SE reaching 34 degrees and Wednesday 18.44.57 WSW to S to 13 degrees

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 19.21.41 at 38 degrees in NNE

Week of 6th February

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.00 UT at the start of the week and at 19.10 UT at the end

  • The Moon will Wax to Full (Snow Moon) on Saturday

  • The Sun is totally quiet

  • The ISS continues to makes good passes as follows: on Monday at 18.33.31 from W to E reaching 85 degrees and 20.10.01 W to W to 16 degrees. Tuesday 17.41.05 W to E to 87 degrees and 19.17.35 W to W to 69 degrees. Wednesday 18.25.08 W to E to 86 degrees and 20.01.39 W to W to 21 degrees. Thursday 19.09.10 W to SSE to 61 degrees. Friday 18.16.41 W to ESE to 79 degrees and 19.53.21 W to WSW to 22 degrees. Saturday 19.00.43 W to SSE to 39 degrees and Sunday 18.08.10 W to ESE to 55 degrees and 19.45.22 WSW to SSW to 15 degrees altitude

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 19.49.56 at 25 degrees in NNE

Week of 23rd January

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.39 UT at the start of the week and at 18.48 UT at the end

  • The Moon wanes to New on Sunday

  • Venus dominates the evening sky in the West with Mars just above and to the left. In the pre-dawn sky Jupiter (with blue Spica below it) form a line with the Moon (at the start of the week) and Saturn and Mercury

  • The Sun at last has some spot activity, of the 4 small groups, 2628 has some activity

  • The ISS returns at the end of the week with a psss on Sunday at 19.07.31 from SSW to S reaching 16 degrees

  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 19.00.55, 41 degrees altitude in NNE and Friday at 18.54.47, 43 degrees in NNE

Week of 9th January

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.21 UT at the start of the week and at 18.29 UT at the end

  • The Moon will be Full on Thursday and will then wane to Last Quarter next week. It passes less than a degree from Red giant star Aldeberan on Monday

  • Venus dominates the evening sky in the West, reaching Greatest Eastern Elongation on Thursday

  • The Sun is very quiet and remains blank

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are two bright (the first is superbright and the beam within a km of the Observatory) evening Iridium flares this week on Wednesday at 16.18.37 at 73 degrees altitude in ESE and Thursday at 18.12.19 at 52 degrees in NE

Week of 2nd January

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.13 UT at the start of the week and at 18.21 UT at the end

  • The Moon will be First Quarter on Thursday and will then wax to Full next week. Just after sunset the Moon moves eastwards over the next few days past Venus and Mars

  • The Sun is very quiet and almost blank

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 16.44.12 at 70 degrees altitude in ENE

Week of 26th December

  • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.08 UT at the start of the week and at 18.13 UT at the end

  • The Moon will be New on Thursday and will then wax to First Quarter next week. Jupiter domninates the pre dawn sky with the decrescent Moon

  • The Sun is blank

  • The ISS makes no passes this week

  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

      Week of 19th December

      • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.04 UT at the start of the week and at 18.08 UT at the end. The Winter Solstice is on Wednesday, when the Sun rises and sets at its southerly extrems on the horizon, only reaching 15.5 degrees altitude at midday due South

      • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Wednesday and will then wane to New next week

      • The Sun is inactive with one tiny sunspot group

      • The ISS makes one evening pass this week on Wedmesday at 17.01.32 from WSW to S reaching 14 degrees altitude

      • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Christmas Eve at 17.54.37, 53 degrees altitude in ESE

      Week of 5th December

      • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and at 18.02 UT at the end. We are approaching the Winter Solstice

      • The Moon will be First Quarter on Tuesday and will then wax to Full (Solstice Moon) at the start of next week

      • Venus continues to dominate the evening twilight sky in the SW and familar Orion rises in the ESE mid evening, with bright red Betelgeuse at the top left 'shouler'

      • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups and 2615 is active

      • The ISS makes good evening passes: Monday at 18.00.39 from SW to SE reaching 49 degrees. Tuesday 17.08.58 SW to E reaching 34 degrees and 18.45.00 W to W to 33 degrees. Wednesday 17.53.03 WSW to E to 73 degrees and 19.29.33 W to W to 11 degrees. Thursday 17.01.09 WSW to E to 55 degrees and 18.37.32 W to W to 39 degrees. Friday 17.45.31 W to W to 89 degrees and 19.22.03 W to W to 13 degrees. Saturday 16.53.31 WSW to E to 79 degrees and 18.30.01 W to W to 49 degrees and Sunday at 17.38.00 W to E to 84 degrees and 19.14.31 W to w to 16 degrees

      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

      Week of 28th November

      • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.04 UT at the start of the week and at 18.02 UT at the end

      • The Moon will be New on Tuesday and will then wax to First Quarter at the start of next week

      • The Sun has 1 sunspot group but is innactive

      • The ISS returns from Thursday making eveningpasses: Thursday at 18.16.42 from S to S reaching 14 degrees. Friday 17.26.25 from SSE to SE reaching 11 degrees and 18.59.58 from SW to SW to 15 degrees. Saturday at 18.08.22 from SSW to SSE to 29 degrees and Sunday at 17.17.02 from SSW to ESE reaching 20 degrees and 18.52.20 from WSW to WSW to 25 degrees

      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

      Week of 21st November

      • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.09 UT at the start of the week and at 18.05 UT at the end

      • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week (Frost Moon) on 14th and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

      • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups but is very innactive

      • There are no evening ISS passes this week

      • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 18.23.11 at 43 degrees altitude in NNE

      Week of 14th November

      • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.15 UT at the start of the week and at 18.09 UT at the end

      • The Moon is Full (Frost Moon) on 14th and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week. The Moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit (Perigee) and will thus be a 'supermoon'. It has not been so close (and hence apparently large diameter (14% larger than at Apogee, its furthest) and thus brighter (30%)) since 1948 and won't be closer till November 2034!Of course no telescope is required (in fact, without filters, it could be damaging for the eyes)

      • The Leonid meteor shower peaks on Thursday. This year the bright Moon will interfere with sighting. Only 15-20 meteors are expected an hour. The next storm quality Leonids is not expected till 2033

      • Sirius dominates the pre-dawn sky in the West and Jupiter in the East

      • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups but is very innactive

      • There are no evening ISS passes this week

        There are 3 bright early evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 17.25.30 at 62 degrees altitude in NE. Thursday at 16.36.44 at 24 degrees in W and a superbright flare on Friday at 17.07.07 at 66 degrees altitude in NE

        Week of 7th November

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.24 UT at the start of the week and at 18.16 UT at the end

        • The Moon is waxing to Full (Frost Moon) on 14th. The Moon will be at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit (Perigee) and will thus be a 'supermoon'. It has not been so close (and hence apparently large diameter (14% laregr than average) and brighter (30%)) since 1948 and won't be closer till November 2034!Of course no telescope is required (in fact, without filters, it could be damaging for the eyes)

        • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups but is very innactive

        • There are no evening ISS passes this week

        • There is one bright early evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 16.39.51, 21 degrees altitude in SW

        Week of 24th October

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.46 BST at the start of the week and at 18.34 UT at the end. The clocks go back one hour to UT (GMT) in the early morning of Sunday 30th

        • The Moon is waning to New on Sunday

        • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups, neither of which is currently active

        • There are no evening ISS passes this week

        • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 17.52.55 at 18 degrees altitude in W and Saturday at 18.20.43 at 39 degrees altitude in SSW

        Week of 17th October

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.00 BST at the start of the week and at 20.02 BST at the end

        • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Saturday

        • The Orionid meteor shower (debris from Halley's comet) peaks over 21st to 24th, possibly best on 22nd.The Moon is particularly favourable. Due to the lack of Moon more may be visible though rates are unlikely to reach more than 20 an hour

        • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups, none of which is currently active

        • The ISS makes its last passes: Monday 19.02.32 W to SSE reaching 27 degrees and Wednesday 18.54.46 WSW to S to 16 degrees
        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 19.02.36 at 49 degrees altitude in S

        Week of 10th October

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.14 BST at the start of the week and at 20.02 BST at the end

        • The Moon is waxing to Full (Hunter Moon) on Sunday

        • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups, none of which is currenlty active, though 2599 is large

        • The ISS continues to make good passes this week: Monday at 20.19.02 W to S reaching 75 degrees altitude. Tuesday 19.26.49 W to E to 89 degrees and 21.03.23 W to W to 22 degrees. Wednesday 20.11.06 W to S to 51 degrees. Thursday 19.18.52 W to ESE to 69 degrees and 20.55.41 W to WSW to 18 degrees. Friday 20.03.13 W to S to 31 degrees. Saturday 19.10.52 W to SE to 45 degrees and 20.48.41 WSW to SW to 12 degrees and Sunday 19.55.32 W to S to 18 degrees

        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

        Week of 3rd October

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.30 BST at the start of the week and at 20.17 BST at the end

        • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Sunday

        • The Sun is blank with no sunspot groups

        • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at 19.58.28 SW to E reaching 45 degrees and 21.34.43 W to W to 16 degrees. Tuesday 20.42.33 WSW to WSW to 69 degrees. Wednesday 19.50.24 WSW to E reaching 69 degrees and 21.26.51 W to W to 20 degrees. Thursday 20.34.39 W to NW to 80 degrees. Friday 19.42.25 W to E to 89 degrees and 21.18.56 W to W to 22 degrees. Saturday 20.26.42 W to NNW to 87 degrees and Sunday 19.34.27 W to E to 84 degrees and 21.10.57 W to W to 23 degrees

        • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 18.36.01 at 52 degrees altitude in SSW and Friday at 19.56.35 at 55 degrees in SE

        Week of 26th September

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.47 BST at the start of the week and at 20.35 BST at the end

        • The Moon is waning to New on Saturday

        • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups. 2597 is growing. Auroral activity is high as usual near the Equinox, but only at high latitudes

        • The ISS returns at the end of the week: Thursday 20.15.30 from S to SSE reaching 14 degrees. Friday 20.58.24 from SW to SSW reaching 20 degrees. Saturday 20.06.40 fro SSW to SE reaching 27 degrees and 21.42.26 WSW to WSW to 11 degrees and Sunday 19.15.13 from S to E to 18 degrees and 20.50.22 WSW to SW to 43 degrees

        • There is one superbright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 20.23.20 at 55 degrees altitude in ESE

        Week of 19th September

        • The Autumnal Equinox is on Thursday. The Sun rises due East and sets due West

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 21.05 BST at the start of the week and at 20.47 BST at the end

        • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Friday

        • The Sun has 1 sunspot groups. There is no activity at the moment

        • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 21.17.37 at 47 degrees altitude in E. Tuesday ay 19.35.56 at 64 degrees in SSE and Wednesday at 19.30.09 at 63 degrees in SSE

        Week of 12th September

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 21.24 BST at the start of the week and at 21.24 BST at the end

        • The Moon is wanxing to First Quarter on Friday

        • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups. None is active at the moment but 2585 is larger and growing

        • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Tuesday at 20.42.06 at 64 degrees altitude in ESE

        Week of 5th September

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 21.24 BST at the start of the week and at 21.24 BST at the end

        • The Moon is wanxing to First Quarter on Friday

        • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups. None is active at the moment but 2585 is larger and growing

        • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Tuesday at 20.42.06 at 64 degrees altitude in ESE

        Week of 29th August

        • Astronomical Twilight ends at 22.05 BST at the start of the week and at 21.44 BST at the end

        • The Moon is waning to New on Thursday

        • The Sun has four sunspot groups. None is active at the moment

        • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 22.26.02 at 32 degrees altitude in NE

          Week of 22nd August

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 23.27 BST at the start of the week and at 22.08 BST at the end

          • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday

          • Jupiter and Venus are in Conjunction and very close on Friday but only visible in the western twilight just befoe they set around 7.45pm. By 9pm Saturn, Mars and Antares are also in close conjunction in South

          • The Sun has three sunspot groups. None is active at the moment

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 23.03.21 at 17 degrees altitude in NNE and Wednesday at 21.36.14 at 54 degrees in ENE

          Week of 15th August

          • CEB on Queen Mary 2 mid-Atlantic

          Week of 8th August

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 23.14 BST at the start of the week and at 22.53 BST at the end

          • The Moon is First Quarter on Wednesday and will wax to Full next week

          • .The famous Perseids meteor shower (Tears of St Lawrence) peaks at noon (BST) on 12th, but already some early Perseids may be seen. A larger than normal peak is predicted. It is worth observing on Thursday night as well. Look North East after sunset and towards Cassiopeia. The Moon will be rather bright till after midnight. The early hours of Friday morning could be best

          • There are 5 naked-eye planets visible: Venus, Mercury and Julpiter low in the WNW twighlight just after sunset and Saturn and Mars low in the South. On Thursday The Moon, Saturn, Mats and Antares form a tight parallelogram

          • The Sun has two sunspot groups. Neither is active at the moment

          • The ISS makes last passes this week: Monday 21.40.41 W to ESE reaching 64 degrees altitude and 23.17.34 W to SW to 18 degrees. Tuesday 22.24.17 W to S to 28 degrees. Wednesday 21.31.10 W to SE to 42 degrees and 23.09.26 SW to SW to 10 degrees. Thursday 22.15.08 W to S to 17 degrees. Friday 21.21.45 W to SSE to 25 degrees and Sunday 21.12.41 WSW to S to 15 degrees

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 22.50.30 at 32 degrees altitude in NE and Friday at 22.35.59 at 38 degrees in NE

          Week of 1st August

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 23.41 BST at the start of the week and at 23.18 BST at the end

          • The Moon is New on Tuesday and will then wax to First Quarter next week

          • Monday is the mid-Summer Cross-Quarter day, half-way between the Solstice and the Equinox. This is the Feast of Lughnasa

          • The famous Persieds meteor shower peaks on 12th, but already some early Persieds may be seen. Look North East after sunset and towards Cassiopeia. The Sun is almost blank again

          • The ISS make excellent evening passes: Monday 23.02.10 W to E reaching 84 degrees. Tuesday 22.09.12 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.45.40 W to SSW to 74 degrees. Wednesday 22.52.43 W to E to 89 degrees. Thursday 21.59.44 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.36.12 W to SW to 47 degrees. Friday 22.43.13 W to ESE to 69 degrees. Saturday 21.50.16 W to ESE to 85 degrees and 23.26.48 W to SW to 29 degrees and Sunday 22.33.45 W to SSE to 46 degrees

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Wednesday at 23.10.57 at 25 degrees altitude in NE

          Week of 25th July

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 00.14 BST at the start of the week and at 00.45 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

          • The Sun is almost blank again

          • The ISS returns with evening passes: Tuesday 21.56.24 S to ESE reaching 13 degrees and 23.30.42 SW to E to 49 degrees. Wednesday 22.38.03 SW to E to 34 degrees. Thursday 21.45.38 SSW to E to 23 degrees and 23.21.06 WSW to E to 73 degrees. Friday 22.28.16 WSW to E to 54 degrees . Saturday 21.35.34 SW to E to 38 degrees and Sunday 22.18.42 WSW to E to 78 degrees and 23.55.09 W to E to 89 degrees

          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 18th July

          • With lengthening nights Astronomical Twilight ends on Thursday at 00.52 and by the end of the week at 00.20 and we get brief period (30 minutes) of 'true' darkness

          • The Moon is Full on Tuesday (Thunder Moon) and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

          • The Sun has 3 large sunspot groups, 2567 is active

          • The ISS returns with evening passes next week

          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 11th July

          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

          • The Sun has 4 spot groups, none of which is active

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • Thereare two superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 23.08.58 at 30 degrees altitude in NNE and Saturday at 21.22.18 at 66 degrees in ENE

          Week of 27th June

          • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will wane to New at the start of next week

          • 3 naked-eye planets are visible in the evening sky after sunset with Jupiter appearing brght yellow in the West in Leo and Mars bright redish in SSE in Libra. Saturn is yellow and a little dimmer and to the East of Mars in Ophiucus. Below Mars, closer to the horizon is red Antares (in Scorpio). Arcturus is high in SW and if you follow the arc from the handle of the 'saucepan' down you reach blue Spica (alpha Virgo)

          • The Sun is still blank after 4 days and activity is very low

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 21.48.58 at 38 degrees altitude in NE

          Week of 20th June

          • The Summer Solstice occurs on 20th and the Sun rises at 4.45am at the furthest North point on the Eastern horizon in the year. At noon shadows will be the shortest for your location with the Sun culminating at its highest altitude (62.5 degrees in Marlborough)

          • The Moon is Full on the Solstice (Strawberry Moon) and will then wane

            ,li>3 naked-eye planets are visible in the evening sky after sunset with Jupiter appearing brght yellow in the West in Leo and Mars bright redish in SSE in Libra. Saturn is yellow and a little dimmer and to the East of Mars in Ophiucus. Below Mars , closer to the horizon is red Antares (in Scorpio). Arcturus is high in SW and if you follow the arc from the handle of the 'saucepan' down you reach blue Spica (alpha Virgo)

          • The Sun has 4 spot groups, none of which is active

          • The Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) season has started. Look West 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. These electric blue wispy 'clouds' are seeded by meteorites and occur at 80km altitude

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 21.37.53 at 61 degrees altitude in NE

          Week of 12th June

          • The Moon is waxing to Full at the start of next week

          • The Sun has 3 spot groups, none of which is active

          • The Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) season has started. Look West 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. These electric blue wispy 'clouds' are seeded by meteorites and occur at 80km altitude

          • The ISS makes its last evening pass for a while on Monday 22.10.35 WSW to SSW reaching 12 degrees altitude

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 23.23.53 at 23 degrees altitude in NNE

          Week of 6th June

          • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter next Sunday

          • Solar Minimum is on the way. The Sun has had a second day completely blank and devoid of sunspots

          • The Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) season has started. Look West 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. These electric blue whispy 'clouds' are seeded by meteorites and occur at 80km altitude

          • The ISS makes its last evening passes for a while this week: Monday 23.28.28 W to SSE reaching 39 degrees altitude. Tuesday 22.35.36 W to ESE to 56 degrees. Wednesday 23.19.28 W to S to 23 degrees. Thursday 22.26.27 W to SE to 35 degrees. Friday 23.10.55 WSW to SSW to 13 degres and Saturday 22.17.28 W to SSE to 21 degrees

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 22.31.42 at 43 degrees altitude in NE

          Week of 30th May

          • The Moon is waning to New next Sunday

          • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups neither of which is active

          • The Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) season has started. Look West 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. These electric blue whispy 'clouds' are seeded by meteorites and occur at 80km altitude

          • The ISS makes good evening passes this week every evening as follows: Monday at 23.12.12 from WSW to E reaching 84 degrees altitude. 22.19.28 WSW to E to 68 degrees and 23.55.53 W to E to 85 degrees. Wednesday 23.03.06 W to E to 85 degrees. Thursday 22.10.19 W to E to 88 degrees and 23.46.48 W toESE to 83 degrees. Friday 22.54.00 W to E to 86 degrees. Saturday at 22.01.12 W to E to 61 degrees and 23.37.41 W ti SE to 61 degrees and Sunday 22.44.53 W to ESE to 79 degrees

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 23.00.02 at 11 degrees in WNW

          Week of 23rd May

          • There is no Astronomical darkness till 20th July

          • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Saturday

          • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups neither of which is active

          • The ISS makes evening passes this weekas follows: Thursday at 23.30.40 SW to E reaching 40 degrees. Friday 22.38.18 SSW to E to 27 degrees. Saturday at 23.21.19 WSW to E to 62 degrees and Sunday 22.28.43 W to E to 44 degrees

          • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 21.47.32 at 56 degrees altitude in NE. Friday 22.17.26 at 11 degrees in NNW and 22.49.53 at 17 degrees in WNW and 23.15.33 at 23 degrees in NNE

          Week of 16th May

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.03 BST at the start of the week and at 00.42 BST on Saturday, after which there is no astronomical darkness till 20th July

          • The Moon is waxing to Full (Flower Moon) on Saturday

          • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups none of which is active

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 22.29.18 at 40 degrees altitude in NE. Wednesday at 23.06.49 at 28 degrees in W and Saturday at 22.08.28 at 47 degrees in NE and 22.58.03 at 25 degrees in W

          Week of 9th May

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.31 BST at the start of the week and at 23.58 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Friday

          • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups none of which is active

          • Mercury will make its first of the pair of Transits this decade on Monday. The Transit starts at 12.12 BST and ends at 19.42 BST. Mid Transit is 15.57 BST. The observatory will be open throughout weather permitting. Next Transit is November 11th 2019

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flares this week on Wednesday at 22.44.05 at 34 degrees altitude in NE

          Week of 2nd May

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.04 BST at the start of the week and at 23.31 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waning to New on Friday

          • The Sun is peppered with 6 sunspot groups, none of which is active

          • Mercury is moving towards its first of the pair of Transits this decade next Monday. The Transit starts at 12.12 and ends at 19.42. Mid Transit is 15.57. The observatory will be open throughout weather permitting. Next Transit is November 11th 2019

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 23.17.21 at 13 degrees altitude in WNW. Tuesday at 23.09.39 at 18 degrees altitude in NNE and 23.20.47 at 11 degrees in WNW and Wednesday at 22.05.53 at 12 degrees altitude in N

          Week of 25th April

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.42 BST at the start of the week and at 23.04 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Saturday
          • Next Sunday is the Pagan festival of Beltane. Half-way between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice and marks mid-Spring

          • The Sun has one inactive spot group

          • Mercury is now in its Decrescent phase, reaching inferior conjunction (and Transit)on 9th May
          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.16.44 at 17 degrees altitude in W

          Week of 18th April

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.22 BST at the start of the week and at 22.42 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing to Full (Grass Moon) on Friday

          • The Sun has three spot groups and 2529 is active

          • Jupiter dominates the evening sky still and is close to the Moon at the start of the week

          • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 23.36.57 at 22 degrees altitude in WSW

          Week of 11th April

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.03 BST at the start of the week and at 22.22 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Thursday

          • The Sun has one large Neptune sized spot 2529 so far its magnetic field is simple and so the activity is low. The number of spots is declining even more rapidly than normal as we head towards the next Solar minimum. The current Cycle 24 has been one of the weakest for over a century and bears resemblance to Cycle 5 which led to the Dalton miminum at the start of the 19th Century. With the demise in Solar activity the Cosmic Ray flux is rising noticeably

          • The ISS makes its last passes this week: Monday 20.29.21 W to ESE reaching 85 degrees and 22.05.55 W to SSW to 31 degrees. Tuesday 21.12.55 W to SE to 45 degrees. Wednesday 21.56.42 W to SSW to 18 degrees. Thursday 21.03.08 W to SSE to 28 degrees. Friday 21.47.59 SW to SW to 10 degrees and Saturday 20.52.55 W to S to 17 degrees

          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 4th April

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.47 BST at the start of the week and at 22.01 BST at the end

          • The Moon is New on Thursday and will then wax to First Quarter next week

          • The Sun has just 1 spot group. The number of spots is declining even more rapidly than normal as we head towards the next Solar minimum. The current Cycle 24 has been one of the weakest for over a centrury and bears resemblance to Cycle 5 which led to the Dalton miminum at the start of the 19th Century. Whether lower global temperatures will result will remain to be seen. With the demise in Solar activity the Cosmic Ray flux is rising noticeably

          • The ISS makesgood passes this week: Monday 21.47.37 W to E reaching 89 degrees. Tuesday 20.55.12 WSW to E to 77 degrees and 22.31.40 W to W to 35 degrees. Wednesday 21.39.13 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.15.42 W to W to 12 degrees. Thursday 20.46.45 W to E to 87 degrees and 22.23.14 W to W to 46 degrees. Friday 21.30.47 W to E to 88 degrees and 23.07.19 W to W to 14 degrees. Saturday 20.38.18 W to E to 84 degrees and 22.14.48 W to SW to 45 degrees and Sunday 21.22.18 W to ESE to 68 degrees and 22.59.07 W to WSW to 13 degrees

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 20.02.36 at 46 degrees altitude in N

          Week of 28th March

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.31 BST at the start of the week and at 21.47 BST at the end

          • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday and then continues to wane

          • The Sun has 2 spot groups, neither of which is active

          • The ISS makes new passes this week: Wednesday at 21.21.34 from SSW toS reaching 11 degrees. Thursday 20.30.22 from SSE to SE to 12 degrees and 22.04.34 SW to SW to 15 degrees. Friday 21.12.27 SW to SE to 33 degrees and 22.48.25 W to W to 10 degrees. Saturday 20.20.35 SSW to E to 22 degreesand 21.56.03 WSW to SW to 53 degrees and Sunday 21.03.44 WSW toE to 53 degrees and 22.40.05 W to W to 22 degrees

          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 21st March

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.16 UT at the start of the week and at 20.29 UT at the end. The Sun will now rise and set progressively further north on the horizon

          • The Moon is Full (Pascal Moon)on Wednesday> Since this is fter the Vernal Equinox, next Sunday is Easter Day

          • The Sun has 2 small spot groups, none of which is active

          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 20.20.22 at 22 degrees altitude in N and Wednesday at 20.07.44 at 26 degrees in N

          Week of 14th March

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.03 UT at the start of the week and at 20.16 UT at the end. Next Sunday (20th) this year is the Vernal Equinox (4.30pm). The Sun will rise due East in the morning and set due West

          • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday and will then wax to Full next week

          • The Sun has 4 small spot groups, none of which is active

          • Jupiter is now dominating the evening sky in the SE just below the Sphinx shaped constelltion of Leo

          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 29th February

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.37 UT at the start of the week and at 19.4 UT at the end

          • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will then wane to new next week

          • The Spring marker Arcturus can now be seen rising bright orange in the East after sunset

          • The Sun has 2 spot groups, neither of which is active. The Sun is very quiet at the moment

          • A 30m asteroid 2013 TX68 will make a close pass (less than 17000km) to Earth on March 5th

          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 22nd February

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.25 UT at the start of the week and at 19.37 UT at the end

          • The Moon is Full (Snow Moon) on Moday and will then wane

          • On Tuesday there is a conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter below the constellation of Leo

          • The Spring marker Arcturus can now be seen rising bright orange in the East after sunset

          • The Sun has 3 spot groups, none of which is active

          • A 30m asteroid 2013 TX68 will make a close pass (less than 17000km) to Earth on March 5th

          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

          • There are two superbright evening Iridium flares this week: Thursday at 20.21.46 at 15 degrees altitude in N and on Friday one of the brightest possible at 18.08.32 at 63 degrees in NNE

          Week of 15th February

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.13 UT at the start of the week and at 19.25 UT at the end

          • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday and will then wax to Full next week

          • The Sun has 2 spot groups, 2497 is currently active

          • A 30m asteroid 2013 TX68 will make a close pass (less than 17000km) to Earth on March 5th

          • The ISS (with Tim Peake on board) makes last evening passes this week: Monday at 17.52.51 W to ESE reaching 83 degrees and 19.29.27 W to SSW to 29 degrees. Tuesday 18.36.30 W to SE to 42 degrees and 20.14.38 WSW to SW to 10 degrees. Wednesday at 19.20.36 W to S to 17 degrees. Thursday 18.27.21 W to SSE to 26 degrees and Saturday 18.18.27 WSW to S to 15 degrees

          • There are thre superbright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 19.00.46 at 45 degrees altitude in NNE. Wednesday 17.24.27 at 35 degrees in SSW and the brightest at 18.54.36 at 48 degrees in NNE

          Week of 8th February

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.02 UT at the start of the week and at 19.13 UT at the end

          • The Moon is New on Monday and will then wax to First Quarter next week

          • Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina is currently still in Camelopardalis and heading Perseues and Auriga

          • The Sun has 4 spot groups, none of which is currently active

          • The ISS (with Tim Peake on board) makes more evening passes this week: Monday at 19.12.28 W to W reaching 82 degrees. Tuesday 18.19.53 WSW to E to 80 degrees and 19.56.21 W to W to 24 degrees. Wednesday at 19.03.43 W to ENE to 84 degrees. Thursday 18.11.04 W to E to 86 degrees and 19.47.34 W to W to 32 degrees. Friday 18.54.54 W to ESE to 86 degrees and 20.31.28 W to W to 11 degrees. Sturday 18.02.13 W to E to 85 degrees and 19.38.42 W to WSW to 40 degrees and Sunday 18.45.59 W to ESE to 65 degrees and 20.22.52 W to WSW to 13 degrees

          • There are several superbright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 17.54.35 at 39 degrees altitude in S and 19.34.57 to 32 degrees in NNE. Wednesday 19.28.42 to 34 degrees in NNE and Saturday at 17.39.28 at 38 degrees in SSW

          Week of 1st February

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.48 UT at the start of the week and at 18.59 UT at the end

            li>The Moon will be New next week

          • The pre-dawn planetary alignment continues and the waning Moon joins them, working its way towards the Sun. It will make Conjunctions with Mars on Monday, Saturn on Wednesday and Venus (which is closing with Mercury) on Saturday

          • Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina is currently near Polaris in Camelopardalis about half way from UMa to Cassiopeia, thus almost due N

          • The Sun has 3 spot groups, none of which is currently active

          • The ISS (with Tim Peake on board) returns with evening passes this week: Tuesday at 19.38.49 from SW to SSW reaching 12 degrees altitude. Wednesday 18.46.55 SSW to SSE to 21 degrees. Thursday 17.55.29 S to ESE to 14 degrees and 19.29.57 SW to SW to 26 degrees. Friday 18.37.42 SW to ESE to 35 degrees and 20.13.44 W to W to 12 degrees. Saturday 17.45.41 SSW to E to 24 degrees and 19.21.16 WSW to WSW to 50 degrees and Sunday 18.28.50 WSW to E to 57 degrees and 20.05.11 W to W to 18 degrees

          • There are no particularly bright evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 25th January

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.39 UT at the start of the week and at 18.49 UT at the end

          • The Moon will be Last Quarter on 1st February

          • The pre-dawn planetary alignemnt will be spectacular this week with (from the rising Sun in the East) Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter in an arc along the Ecliptic plane and through the Zodiac constellations from Sagitarius to Leo, all visible around 6.40am if you have a clear Southern horizon

          • Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina is currently near k Draco and heading towards UMi. It is nearly 1.5 AU from the Sun. It is a faint grey blur in binoculars but should be a little better once the Moon has waned further

          • The Sun has 3 spot groups, none of which is currently active

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 17.19.39 at 26 degrees altitude in SSW

          Week of 18th January

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.31 UT at the start of the week and at 18.39 UT at the end

          • The Moon will be Full (Snow Moon) next Friday

          • Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina is currently near Mizr in the handle of the 'Saucepan/Plough'. It reached perigee on 17th January. So far it has reached a maximum brightnes of +6 and is now +7, so just not naked eye, but binoculars should show a grey/greenish smudge

          • The Sun has 3 spot groups, none of which is currently active

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday at 16.29.14 at 31 degrees in W and Wednesday at 17.43.39 at 31 degrees in S

          Week of 11th January

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.21 UT at the start of the week and at 18.28 UT at the end

          • The Moon will be First Quarter next Saturday

          • Comet C/2013 US10 Catelina which has been a pre-dawn object since November comes into the evening skies and over the next couple of week heads up from Arcturus towards Polaris covering more than 2 degrees a day and accelerating. From 13th to 16th it will be just left of Alkaid (the last star in the handle of the Saucepan/Plough). It reaches perigee on 17th January. So far it has reached a maximum brightnes of +6 and is now +7, so just not naked eye, but binoculars should show a grey/greenish smudge

          • The Sun has 6 spot groups, none of which is currently active

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There are four bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 18.02.15 at 13 degrees in WNW. Tuesday at 17.47.22 at 16 degrees in WNE. Wednesday at 17.09.39 at 11 degrees in SW and 17.32.24 at 19 degrees in WNW

          Week of 4th January

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.15 UT at the start of the week and at 18.21 UT at the end

          • The Moon will be New next Sunday

          • An Oort cloud comet C/2013 US10 Catelina which has been a pre-dawn object since November comes into the evening skies and over the next couple of week heads up from Arcturus towards Polaris covering more than 2 degrees a day and accelerating. From 13th to 16th it will be just left of Alkaid (the last star in the handle of the Saucepan/Plough). It reaches perigee on 17th January. So far it has reached a maximum brightnes of +6 and is now +7, so just not naked eye, but binoculars should show a grey/greenish smudge

          • The Sun has 4 spot groups, 2473 is still active and produced New Years Eve aurorae in Edinburgh

          • The Quadrantid meteor shower (2nd most prolific in the year) peaks in the early morning of Monday 4th. Up to 80 per hour are possible at the narrow peak

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 18.43.52 at 33 degrees altitude in SSE and Friday at 17.11.59 at 19 degrees in SSW and 18.28.47 at 34 degrees in SSE

          Week of 28th December

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.09 UT at the start of the week and at 18.15 UT at the end

          • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Saturday

          • The Earth reaches Aphelion on Saturday

          • There is a good pre-dawn planetary alignment at the start of the week of Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Saturn

          • The Sun has 2 spot groups, 2473 is currently active

          • The Quadrantid meteor shower (2nd most prolific in the year) peaks on the morning of Monday 4th. Up to 80 per hour are possible at the narrow peak

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Thursday at 16.02.31 at 36 degrees in W and Sunday at 17.23.40 at 24 degrees in SSW

          Week of 21st December

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.04 UT at the start of the week and at 18.09 UT at the end. Monday is the Winter Solstice and the Sun rises at its extreme southerly point on the horizon and only reaches an altitude of 15.5 degrees at Noon. Days will then start to lengthen

          • The Moon will be Full (Solstice Moon) on Friday

          • The Sun has 3 spot groups, 2470 is currently active

          • The ISS makes its last evening passes this week: Monday at 16.44.12 from W to ESE reaching 65 degrees and 18.21.04 from W to S to 19 degrees. Tuesday at 17.27.44 W to SSE to 29 degrees. Wednesday 18.12.41 from WSW to SSW to 11 degrees and Thursday 17.18.24 W to S to 17 degrees

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 18.05.36 at 11 degrees in WNW and Wednesday at 17.04.35 at 10 degrees in SW

          Week of 14th December

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and at 18.04 UT at the end. Next Monday is the Winter Solstice

          • The Moon will be First Quarter on Saturday

          • The Geminids meteor shower is probably the most prolific in the year(up to 120 per hour) and peaks on 13th/14th, it is worth watching out if the sky is clear or you can listen to http://spaceweatherradio.com for the radar signatures of the meteors

          • The Sun has 7 spot groups, none of which is currently active, though 2470 could produce flares

          • The ISS continues to make good evening passes this week: Monday at 18.05.28 W to ENE reaching 84 degrees. Tuesday 17.12.40 W to E to 87 degrees and 18.49.09 W to W to 29 degrees. Wednesday 17.56.21 W to E to 89 degrees and 19.32.52 W to W to 10 degrees. Thursday 17.03.31 W to E to 84 degrees and 18.40.00 W to WSW to 38 degrees. Friday 17.47.10 W to ESE to 70 degrees and 19.23.57 W to W to 13 degrees. Saturday 16.54.20 W to ESE to 85 degrees and 18.30.53 W to SSW to 32 degrees and Sunday 17.37.58 W to SE to 46 degrees and 19.15.38 WSW to SW to 12 degrees

          • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 17.12.22 at 23 degrees in SSW. Tuesday at 18.32.28 at 33 degrees in SSE and Wednesday at 18.26.28 at 32 degrees in SSE

          Week of 7th December

          Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and at 18.02 UT at the end

        • The Moon will be New on Friday

        • The Geminids meteor shower is probably the most prolific in the year and peaks on 13th/14th, already one or two are being seen

        • The Sun has 2 spot groups and both have the potential to be active

        • There ISS makes good evening passes this week: Monday at 17.49.50 reaching 20 degrees SSW to SE and 19.25.08 WSW to WSW to 10 degrees. Tuesday at 16.58.22 SSE to ESE to 13 degrees and 18.32.40 SW to SSW to 33 degrees. Wednesday 17.40.19 SW to ESE to 34 degrees and 19.16.17 W to W to 15 degrees. Thursday 16.48.11 SSW to E to 23 degrees and 18.23.40 WSW to SW to 56 degrees.Friday 17.31.07 WSW to E to 54 degrees and 19.07.26 W toW to19 degres. Saturday 16.38.39 SW to E to 38 degrees and 18.14.44 W to W to 80 degrees and Sunday 17.22.02 WSW to E to 778 degrees and 18.58.30 W to W to 23 degrees

        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 17.36.02 at 30 degrees in S. Wednesday 16.03.08 at 33 degrees in W and Friday at 17.21.10 at 26 degrees in SSW

        Week of 30th November

        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.04 UT at the start of the week and at 18.02 UT at the end

        • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Thursday

        • The Sun has 4 spot groups and none of these are active

        • There ISS returns with evening passes this week: Friday at 18.00.36 reaching 10 degrees altitude SSE to SSE. Saturday at 18.42.13 reaching 17 degrees SSW to SSWand Sunday at 17.50.20 reaching 20dgerees SSW to SE

        • There are four bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 17.51.23 at 11 degrees in WNW and 17.59.50 at 34 degrees in S. Wednesday at 16.49.44 at 12 degrees in SW. Thursday at 17.06.27 at 20 degrees in WNW and Friday at 17.44.55 at 32 degrees in S

        Week of 23rd November

        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.08 UT at the start of the week and at 18.04 UT at the end

        • The Moon will be Full (Frost Moon) on Wednesday. As far as the weather forecast goes, this may be the only clear night this week

        • The Sun has 3 spot groups and only 2454 is slightly active

        • There are no ISS evening passes this week

        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week: Friday at 16.51.52 at 21 degrees altitude in SSW

        Week of 16th November

        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.14 UT at the start of the week and at 18.08 UT at the end

        • The Moon will be First Quarter on Wednesday

        • The Leonid meteor shower (debris from comet Swift-Tuttle) peaks early on Wenesday morning. If clear, Tuesday and Wednesday should provide good chances of catching these often bright meteors. Large rates are not however expected

        • The Sun has 4 spot groups none of which are currently active

        • There are no ISS evening passes this week

        • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare this week: Friday at 18.41.44 at 37 degrees altitude in SE

        Week of 9th November

        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.22 UT at the start of the week and at 18.14 UT at the end

        • The Moon will be New on Wednesday and will then wax to First Quarter in the middle of next week

        • The Leonid meteor shower peaks next week, but the lack of Moon may enable some early meteors to be seen

        • By late evening the great winter constellations of Taurus and Orion are rising in the East

        • The Sun has 5 spot groups none of which are currently active

        • There are no ISS evening passes this week

        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday at 17.31.30 at 11 degrees altitude in WNW. Wednesday at 16.34.25 at 17 degrees in SW and Thursday 17.01.25 at 19 degres in WNW

        Week of 2nd November

        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.32 UT at the start of the week and at 18.23 UT at the end

        • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Tuesday and will then wane to New at the start of next week

        • The Taurid meteor shower is already producing a few bright fireballs. Only a few an hour are expected but possible till 10th. The debris is from Comet Encke (3.3 year period)

        • The Pleiades (M45), the winter marker, are now high in the sky in the evening and a beutiful target in binoculars. They reached their heighest at midnight this week-end, the 'Feast of the Pleiades' (forerunner of Halloween?)

        • The Sun is active with 4 spot groups and 2443 is huge and active enough for flares. The Earth will pass through a strong solar wind stream on Monday/Tuesday night

        • There are no ISS evening passes this week

        • There are two bright evening Iridium flare this week: Wednesday at 18.14.58 at 44 degrees in SSE and Saturday at 16.39.55 at 24 degrees in SSW

          Week of 26th October

          • We are now on Universal Time (UT or GMT). Astronomical twilight ends at 18.44 UT at the start of the week and at 18.34 UT at the end

          • The Moon will be Full (Hunter's Moon) on Monday and will then wane

          • Venus, Jupiter and Mars are closely grouped in the pre-dawn twilight sky over the next few days and are within 5 degrees of each other

          • The Sun is quite active with 5 spot groups and 2436 is active enough for flares

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week: Wednesday at 17.12.25 at 38 degrees in SSW

          Week of 19th October

          • Next Satruday/Sunday night the clocks go back one hour to Universal Time (UT or GMT). Astronomical twilight ends at 19.57 BST at the start of the week and at 18.44 UT at the end

          • The Moon will wax from First Quarter on Wednesday to Full next week

          • The Orionids meteor shower (debris from Halley's Comet) peaks in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Up to 20 per hour are expected. It is worth watching any dark clear night this week

          • The Sun is quite active with 5 spot groups and 2434 is active enough for flares

          • The ISS makes a few last passes: Monday 19.33.02 W to SSE reaching 38 degrees. Tuesday 18.40.26 W to ESE to 55 degrees and 20.17.37 WSW to SSW to 15 degrees. Wednesday 19.24.35 W to SSE to 23 degrees. Thursday 18.31.48 W to SE to 34 degrees and Friday 19.16.34 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flare this week: Friday at 20.08.57 at 47 degrees in SE and Saturday 20.02.56 at 47 degrees altitude in SE

          Week of 12th October

            Astronomical twilight ends at 20.12 BST at the start of the week and at 19.59 BST at the end

          • The Moon will wax to First Quarter at the start of next week

          • The Sun is quiet with only 2 innactive spot groups

          • There is a conjunction of planets in the pre dawn sky from 4.30am. Bright Venus rises followed by dimmer and redder Mars and the yellow Jupiter. They are within a few degrees in a line

          • The ISS makes super evening passes: Monday 19.14.11 WSW to E reaching 83 degrees and 20.50.40 W to W to 35 degrees. Tuesday 19.58.17 W to E to 85 degrees and 21.34.48 W to W to 11 degrees. Wednesday 19.05.54 W to E to 85 degrees and 20.42.24 W to W to 37 degrees. Thursday 19.50.01 W to ESE to 83 degrees and 21.26.37 W to W to 11 degrees. Friday 18.57.36 W to E to 86 degrees and 20.34.07 W to WSW to 36 degrees. Saturday 19.41.40 W to SE to 61 degrees and 21.18.40 W to W to 11 degrees and Sunday 18.49.14 W to ESE to 78 degrees and 20.25.53 W to SW to 26 degrees

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week: Tuesday 19.15.17 at 53 degrees altitude in SSE

          Week of 5th October

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.30 BST at the start of the week and at 20.14 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waning from Last Quarter on Monday and will be New at the start of next week

          • The Sun has only 3 spot groups with number 2427 producing activity

          • The ISS returns with evening passes: Monday 20.31.16 SW to S reaching 27 degrees altitude. Tuesday 19.39.23 SSW to ESE to 22 degrees and 21.14.53 WSW to WSW to 18 degrees. Wednesday 20.22.32 WSW to ESE to 54 degrees. Thursday 19.30.16 SW to E to 38 degrees and 21.06.22 W to W to 26 degrees. Friday 20.13.49 WSW to ESE to 78 degrees. Saturday 19.21.17 WSW to E to 60 degrees and 20.57.39 W to W to 32 degrees and the best on Sunday 20.04.58 WSW to ESE to 87 degrees and then 21.41.26 W to W to 11 degrees

          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 18.59.49 at 59 degrees altitude in N

          Week of 28th September

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.44 BST at the start of the week and at 20.30 BST at the end
          • The Moon is Full (Harvest Moon)tomorrow (28th) and is also at Perigee (closest point in its elliptical orbit to Earth. The media have coined the phrase 'supermoon' to indicate the apparent increased size and 30 percent extra brightness. The Sun, Earth and Moon are also exactly alligned thus the Moon will pass into the Earth's shadow which itself is particularly large. The eclipse which will start at 1.12 am will thus be very long with 1 hour 12 minutes of Totality. The darkest phase, where the refractive effects of the Earth's atmosphere will turn the Moon a shade of red, will last from 3.11 to 4.23am, with maximum eclise at 3.47am. The forecast is good and it will be worth looking out. The next Total Lunar eclipse visible from the UK will be in 2019

          • The Sun is peppered with spots (7 groups) and 2422 is active

          • The ISS returns with evening passes next week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Wednesday at 20.15.20 at 57 degrees altitude in SE and Friday at 19.30.21 at 50 degrees in N

          Week of 21st September

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.00 BST at the start of the week and at 20.44 BST at the end

          • Wednesday 23rd at 9.21am is the Autumnal Equinox. On Wednesday the Sun will rise due East and set due West

          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week

          • The Sun is quite active with 3 spot groups. Spot 2415 could produce activity and produce Equinox aurorae

          • There are no ISS evening passes

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week: Monday at 20.38.17 at 31 degrees altitude in

          Week of 14th September

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.21 BST at the start of the week and at 21.02 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter at the start of next week

          • The Sun is not very active though it has 6 spot groups. 2414 could produce flares

          • There are no ISS evening passes

          • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Wednesday at 22.27.42 at 17 degrees altitude in NE. Thurday at 21.15.18 at 51 degrees in E and Friday at 29.56.58 at 26 degrees in N

          Week of 7th September

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.41 BST at the start of the week and at 21.18 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday

          • Venus and Mars are now bright morning 'objects' in E before sunrise with Mars quickly disappearing in the twilight

          • The Sun is not active with 3 quiet spot groups

          • There are no ISS evening passes or evening Iridium flares this week

          Week of 24th August

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.23 BST at the start of the week and at 22.24 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Saturday

          • The Sun is active with 2 spot groups. 2403 is enourmous and highly active, greater than Jupiter in extent, and could lead to Earth bound storms at the start of the week

          • There are no ISS evening passes this week

          • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 22.52.54 at 23 degrees altitude in NE. Wednesday at 21.12.59 at 26 degrees in N. Friday at 22.38.27 at 29 degrees in NE and Saturday 23.57.22 at 16 degrees in WSW.

          Week of 17th August

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.46 BST at the start of the week and at 22.26 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

          • The Sun is barely active with 3 small spot groups

          • The ISS makes 2 last passes: On Monday at 21.15.08 W to SSE to 23 degrees and Wednesday at 21.05.34 WSW to S to 14 degrees

          • There are a number of bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 23.15.09 at 13 degrees in W and 23.29.09 at 12 degrees in W. Thursday 22.09.34 at 11 degrees in N and 23.07.10 at 18 degrees in NNE

          Week of 10th August

          • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.10 at the start of the week and at 22.46 at the end

          • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday. It should be visble as a slender crescent at the start of next week

          • The Perseids metoer shower (Tears of St Lawrence) peaks in the early hours of Thursday 13th. From Monday night onwards it hshould be possible to see plenty of meteors after twilight. At the peak we may hope for 60 or so per hour. The debris is from comet Swift-Tuttle and this year the phase of the Moon makes it a very favourable shower to view, weather permitting

          • The Sun is active with 6 spot groups and spot 2396 is 150,000 km in extent and will potentially lead to magnetic storms over the week

          • The ISS continue to make passes: On Monday at 22.38.15 W to SE reaching 64 degrees altitude. Tuesday at 21.45.08 W to ESE to 82 degrees and 23.21.43 W to WSW to 25 degrees. Wednesday 22.28.27 W to SSE to 42 degrees. Thursday 21.35.16 W to ESE to 59 degrees and 23.12.16 W to SW to 16 degrees. Friday 22.18.44 W to S to 26 degrees. Saturday 21.25.24 W to SE to 38 degrees and Sunday 22.09.19 WSW to SSW to 15 degrees

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 23.28.55 at 23 degrees altitude in W

          Week of 20th July

          • Darkness returns for an hour or so by the end of the week as Astronomical Twilight ends at 00.49 on Wednesday and at 00.13 by Sunday

          • The Moon is now waxing to First Quarter on Thursday

          • The Sun is still inactive despite 4 sunspot groups

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Tuesday at 23.11.45 at 27 degrees altitude in W and Thursday 23.08.54 at 24 degrees in W

          Week of 13th July

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is waning to New on Thursday

          • New Horizons mission is approaching Pluto after 3460 days since launch. Only 2.5 Mkm to go. The histric flyby will occur 12.50 BST on Tuesday. Already complex surface details are being resolved

          • The Sun is inactive again and though there are 6 spot groups, none of these is active

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 23.23.34 at 34 degrees altitude in W

          Week of 6th July

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Wednesday

          • The Sun is active again and peppered with 9 spot groups. 2381 is likely to produce flares this week

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There are a number of bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 22.52.20 at 18 degrees altitude in WNW. Wednesday at 22.55.38 at 16 degrees in WNW and 23.53.33 at 42 degrees in WSW. Thursday 22.58.56 at 14 degrees in WNW and Friday at 21.51.24 at 19 degrees in NNW

          Week of 29th June

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • An extra (leap) second is being added to June, so on Tuesday 23.59.59 will go to 23.59.60 before going to 00.00.00. This is to bring clocks in line with atomic clocks, due to the Earth's rotation slowing down. This is the 26th extra second since first used in 1972

          • The Moon is waxing to Full (Thunder Moon) on Thursday
          • The Sun is quiet again, there is only one departing sunspot group

          • The western sky after sunset continues to be dominated by Venus and Jupiter. They will slowly approach to within a third of a degree on Tuesday. Venus reaches an incredible super-bright m = -4.36 at the start of next week

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 23.03.26 at 31 degrees altitude in W

          Week of 22nd June

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Wednesday

          • The Sun is again active, though with only 2 sunspot groups. 2371 has 2 enormous spots and could produce X-class flares

          • The western sky after sunset continues to be dominated by Venus and Jupiter. They will slowly approach to within half a degree by 1st July

          • Saturn is visible low in the sky in the South late evening. Bright red super-giant Antares (the eye of Scorpio) is visible near the horizon below and left of Saturn, culminating at 23.20 BSTat the start of the week. Bright blue Spica can be seen to the west of Saturn and found by following the arc of the saucepan's handle down and beyond Arcturus

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 23.27.16 at 38 degrees altitude in WSW and Friday at 23.12.20 at 34 degrees in W

          Week of 15th June

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is New on Tuesday and will then wax to a slender crescent by the end of the week; on Saturday it will join Venus and Jupiter in a triangle

          • The Summer Solstice occurs next Sunday at 5.39pm. At sunrise the Sun will be at its furthest North on the horizon. At noon the Sun culminates at its highest point due South, an altitude of 62.5 degrees

          • The Sun is active with 6 sunspot groups. 2360 is currently producing flares

          • The western sky after sunset is dominated by Venus and Jupiter. They will slowly approach to within half a degree by 1st July

          • Saturn is visible low in the sky and due South at 11pm at the start of the week

          • The ISS makes its last pass this week: On Tuesday at 22.38.10 WSW to SSW reaching 13 degrees

          • There is one super-bright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 23.42.13 at 43 degrees altitude in WSW

          Week of 8th June

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is Last Quarter on Tuesday and will then wane to New at the start of next week

          • The Sun is becomming more active with 8 sunspot groups. 2361 is currently producing flares.has 2 sunspot groups at the moment, neither of which is active

          • The noctilucent cloud (NLC) season has begun and will last till a few weeks after the Solstice. Look West if clear 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. The electric blue high shimmering clouds are unmistakable (formed at 80km altitude and seeded by meteorites). Given the Earth is passing through an intense stream of meteoroids (Arietids) , the next few days might be a good time to look

          • The ISS makes more passes this week: On Monday at 23.18.07 W to ESE reaching 80 degrees. The best on Tuesday 22.24.45 W to E to 88 degrees. Wednesday 23.07.48 W to SE to 57 degrees. Thursday 23.14.24 W to ESE to 76 degrees and 23.51.02 W to SSW to 24 degrees. Friday 22.57.29 W to SSE to 36 degrees. Saturday 23.41.14 WSW to SSW to 14 degrees and Sunday 22.47.18 W to SSE to 22 degrees

          • here is one super-bright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 22.46.31 at 22 degrees altitude in WNW

          Week of 1st June

          • Astronomical Twilight lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is Full (Rose Moon) on Tuesday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

          • On Monday there is a conjunction between the Moon and Saturn. They will be less than 2 degrees apart. The Moon rises around 8pm and Saturn a few minutes later. Though low to the Southeastern horizon, they should make a nice view. They reach due south at 00.30

          • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups at the moment, neither of which is active

          • The noctilucent cloud (NLC) season has begun and will last till a few weeks after the Solstice. Look West if clear 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. The electric blue high shimmering clouds are unmistakable (formed at 80km altitude and seeded by meteorites)

          • The ISS returns with many good high passes this week: On Monday at 23.05.55 SW to E reaching 45 degrees and 00.45.21 W to E reaching 86 degrees. Tuesday 22.12.58 SW to E to 31 degrees and 23.48.48 WSW to E to 85 degrees. Wednesday 22.55.33 WSW to E reaching 68 degrees. Thursday 22.02.24 SW toE to 49 degrees and 23.38.37 W to E to 85 degrees. Friday 22.45.18 W to E to 88 degrees and 00.21.45 W to ESE to 83 degrees. Saturday 23.28.25 W to E to 86 degrees and Sunday 22.35.05 W to E to 84 degrees

          • There is one super-bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.06.55 at 32 degrees altitude in W

          Week of 25th May

          • Astronomical Twilight now lasts all night until 21st July

          • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday and will then wax to Full on 2nd June

          • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups at the moment, none of which is active

          • The ISS returns with two passes at the end of this week: On Saturday at 23.17.19 from SSW to E reaching 28 degrees and Sunday 22.23.32 S to E reaching 63 degrees

          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 23.36.45 at 39 degrees in WSW and Friday at 23.30.45 at 39 degrees in WSW

          Week of 11th May

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 23.36 BST at the start of the week and 00.11 BST at the end

          • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday and then will wane to New next Sunday

          • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups at the moment and 2339 is potentially active

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Sunday at 00.21.45 at 26 degrees in W

          Week of 4th May

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 23.09 BST at the start of the week and 23.32 BST at the end

          • The Moon is Full (Beltane or Flower Moon) early on Monday and then will wane to Last Quarter by the start of next week

          • The Sun has 1 sunspot and is relatively quiet

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 23.28.17 at 31 degrees in WSW

          Week of 27th April

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 22.46 BST at the start of the week and 23.02 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Beltane or Flower Moon) early on Monday 4th
          • Friday 1st May is the Celtic feast of Beltane, one of the cross-quarter days, roughly half-way between the Equinox and the Solstice and really marks the mid-Spring season

          • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, 2331 is potentially active

          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.58.00 at 34 degrees in SW

          Week of 20th April

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 22.25 BST at the start of the week and 22.43 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday
          • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, 2321 is potentially active
          • There are no ISS passes this week

          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 21.36.16 at 55 degrees in ENE

          Week of 13th April

          • Astronomical Twilight ends at 22.06 BST at the start of the week and 22.22 BST at the end

          • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

          • Venus dominates the Western evening sky and is close to M45 The Pleiades at the start of the week and Jupiter the South. Saturn rises just before midnight

          • Orange Arcturus is now in the East in the evening signifying Spring and if you follow the curve of the 'Saucepan's' handle onwards you will find blue Spica

          • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups, 2320 is potentially active

          • There are good ISS passes this week. Monday 21.23.13 W to E reaching 87 degrees and 22.59.42 W to W to 19 degrees. Tuedsay 22.06.01 W to SSW to 49 degrees. Wednesday 21.12.20 W to ESE to 68 degrees and 22.49.05 W to WSW to 17 degrees. Thursday 21.55.10 W to S to 31 degrees. Friday 21.01.22 W to SE to 46 degrees and 22.39.01 WSW to SW to 11 degrees. Saturday 21.44.26 W to S to 19 degrees and Sunday 20.50.23 W to SSE reaching 29 degrees

          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 20.30.24 at 71 degrees in ESE

            Week of 16th March

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.05 UT at the start of the week and 20.17 UT at the end as we approach the start of the Astronomical Year when the Sun rises due East and sets due West. The Vernal Equinox this year occurs at 22.45 UT on Friday
            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday as it exactly aligns with the Sun

            • The deepest Partial Solar Eclipse since 1999 and till 2026 will occur on Friday morning. The Eclipse will start at 8.29am here and last 2 hours and at maximum at 9.34am will leave a 'smiley' in the SE sky with only 18% of the bright photosphere remaining. At NO stage can the Sun be viewed directly safely. For details see the brochure 'How to observe an eclipse safely' at https://www.ras.org.uk/images/solar_eclipse_leaflet.pdf. The 10 inch will be used to time first contact and the Dome will remain open for external guests. If weather allows the whole College community will gather from 9.15am on Hamersley for an aerial photoThe Sun has 3 sunspot groups, 2297 is still active

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 9th March

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.52 UT at the start of the week and 20.05 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

            • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups, 2297 is likely to bring raised activity this week

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Monday at 18.50.31 at 57 degrees in SSE and Friday at 18.35.27 at 59 degrees in S and 20.10.59 at 49 degrees in ESE

            Week of 2nd March

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.39 UT at the start of the week and 19.50 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Lenten Moon) on Thursday. We thus have just over 2 weeks to the next New Moon and the solar eclipse

            • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, 2 of which are potentially active

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week; on Wednesday at 19.11.46 at 55 degrees in SE

            Week of 23rd February

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.27 UT at the start of the week and 19.36 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

            • Bright Venus and dim red Mars above it make a lovely pair in the western twilight

            • The Sun has 4 minute sunspot groups and is at its least active for a while

            • The ISS makes one final pass on Monday at 18.14.59 W to SSE to 20 degrees

            • There are two superbright evening Iridium flares this week; on Friday at 19.32.53 at 51 degrees in SE and Saturday at 19.28.50 at 52 degrees altitude in SE

            Week of 16th February

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.15 UT at the start of the week and 19.25 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday

            • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, 2282 is potentially active

            • The ISS makes final passes this week: Monday 18.00.20 W to W to 88 degrees altitude and 19.36.47 W to WSW to 51 degrees. Tuesday 18.43.49 W to ESE to 76 degrees and 20.20.29 W to WSW to 16 degrees. Wednesday 19.27.17 W to S to 36 degrees. Thursday 18.34.11 W to SE to 22 degrees and 20.11.25 WSW to SW to 14 degrees. Friday 19.17.47 W to S to 22 degrees. Saturday 18.24.25 W to SE to 33 degrees and Sunday 19.08.38 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees

            • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week; on Friday at 19.38.58 at 47 degrees in SE

            Week of 9th February

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.04 UT at the start of the week and 19.14 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

            • Venus is now dominating the Western sky for a couple of hours after sunset

            • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups, 2280 is potentially active

            • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday 17.45.19 SSW to E reaching 19 degrees and 19.20.33 WSW to SW to 54 degrees. Tuesday 18.28.05 SW to E to 47 degrees and 20.04.20 W to W to 21 degrees. Wednesday 19.11.41 W to ESE to 87 degrees. Thursday 18.19.02 WSW to E to 71 degrees and 19.55.28 W to W to 28 degrees. Friday 19.02.44 W to E to 84 degrees and 20.39.12 W to W to 10 degrees. On Saturday there is a rare Valentine's Day treat with a Zenith pass 18.09.58 W to E reaching 90 degrees altitude and then 19.46.26 W to W to 40 degrees and Sunday 18.53.38 W to E to 88 degrees and 20.30.08 W to W to 14 degrees

            • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Monday at 17.39.20 at 36 degrees in SSW. On Wednesday at 17.31.14 at 35 degrees in SSW and Friday at 18.54.40 at 47 degrees in SSE

            Week of 2nd February

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.51 UT at the start of the week and 18.59 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Tuesday

            • Jupiter will be only 5 degrees from the Moon on Wednesday and will reach Opposition on Friday

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups, 2268 and 2277 are potentially active

            • The ISS returns with low passes this week: Thursday 19.38.34 SSW to SSW reaching 10 degrees. Friday 18.46.54 S to SE to 17 degrees. Saturday 17.56.06 SSW to ESE to 11 degrees and 19.29.35 SW to SSW to 26 degrees and Sunday 18.37.26 SSW t ESE to 29 degrees and 20.13.15 WSW to WSW to 14 degrees

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Tuesday at 18.01.27 at 39 degrees altitude in S and Saturday at 17.46.20 at 37 degrees in SSW

            Week of 26th January

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.41 UT at the start of the week and 18.48 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

            • Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 is now visibly fading as it reaches Perihelion

            • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, none of which are active

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Tuesday at 17.32.25 at 67 degrees altitude in NE

            Week of 19th January

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.33 UT at the start of the week and 18.40 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday

            • As the Moon wanes the chances to see Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 increase. The Comet is best found by sweeping up the right side of the Pleiades with wide angle low magnification binoculars. It is a grey smudge and large (0.5 degrees) and hence diffuse. It is moving so fast against the background (around 0.1 degrees an hour) that using a telescope and inputting coordinates is not easy. Though it has passed its closest approach to the Earth it has yet to reach Perihelion. As it recedes from us its magnitude will fade quickly as it climbs higher in the sky through Taurus and Aries. It is just visible by eye over the next couple of weeks (best using averted vision) if away from light polution. Photography and image stacking is needed to see its tail (which is now some 7 degrees long)

            • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, none of which are active

            • Venus and Mercury still form a nice pair bright and low in the western twilight just after sunset around 4.30pm and as they set, by 5pm, Mars appears behind them

            • Jupiter rises around 7.30pm and is becoming a super bright object as it approaches opposition. It is also approaching Equinox and the orbital plane of the moons will cross our line of sight leading to multiple eclipses and transits. There is a triple shadow transit (Io, Callisto and Europa) on Saturday morning at 6.05am, though Jupiter will be low in the western dawn sky

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Monday at 18.12.18 at 54 degrees altitude in NE and Wednesday at 18.52.44 at 38 degrees in SSE

            Week of 12th January

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.24 UT at the start of the week and 18.31 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday
            • As the Moon wanes the chances to sees Comet Lovejoy 2014 Q2 increase. The Comet is best found by sweeping up the right side of Orion towards the Pleiades with wide angle low magnification binoculars. It is a grey smudge and quite large (0.3 degrees) and hence diffuse. It is moving so fast against the background that using a telescope and inputting coordinates is not easy. Though it has passed its closest approach to the Earth it wont reach perihelion till 14th February. As it recedes from us its magnitude will fade quickly as it climbs highr in the sky through Taurus (passing close to the Pleaides on Friday and Saturday) and Aries. It is visible by eye over the next couple of weeks (best using averted vision) if away from light polution. Photography and image staking is needed to see its tail
            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups; 3 are potentially active
            • Venus and Mercury are visible low in the western twilight just after sunset around 4.30pm and as they set, by 5pm, Mars appears behind themJupiter rises around 7.30pm and then dominates the southern sky
            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week; on Monday at 18.46.15 at 42 degrees altitude in NNE and Wednesday at 16.38.01 at 73 degrees in E

            Week of 5th January

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.16 UT at the start of the week and 18.22 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Cold Moon) on Monday

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups; 2253 is active

            • Venus and Mercury are now visible low in the western twilight just after sunset around 4.30pm

            • Jupiter rises around 7.30pm and then dominates the southern sky, though will be much more impressive once the Moon wanes

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 17.23.58 at 63 degrees altitude in NE

            Week of 29th December

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.09 UT at the start of the week and 18.16 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full next Monday

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups; 2249 is active

            • Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 is just visible by eye as a fuzzy dot at 5.5 magnitude in Lepus just below Rigel. During January it will move steadily into Taurus, but moonlight will make it hard to see

            • The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on Saturday at midnight and usually produces up to 80 meteors per hour. This year sadly the Full Moon will render many invisible

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 22nd December

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.05 UT at the start of the week and 18.09 UT at the end. The days will now start to lengthen following the Winter Solstice, when the Sun rises and sets at its southerly extremes on the Eastern and Western horizons respectively and at noon only reaches 15.5 degrees above the horizon

            • The Moon is waning and is New on 22nd

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups, 2 of which are active. Number 2242 produced an X-class flare on 20th

            • Saturn dominates the Eastern horizon just before dawn and Venus will soon be visible in the Western twilight just after Sunset

            • The ISS continues to make passes: The best is on Monday at 17.25.25 W to ESE to 76 degrees and 19.02.14 W to WSW to 21 degrees. Tuesday 18.11.12 W to SSE to 36 degrees. Christmas Eve at 17.20.13 W to SE reaching 50 degrees and 18.57.45 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees. Christmas Day at 18.06.11 W to SSE to 20 degrees. Boxing Day at 17.12.56 W to SSE to 30 degrees. Saturday at 18.02.02 WSW to SSW to 11 degrees and Sunday 17.09.46 W to S to 17 degrees

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 15th December

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.04 UT at the end. Very little change due to the approach of the Winter Solstice

            • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups, 2 of which could produce flares

            • The ISS makes good passes: Monday 16.54.02 SW to E reaching 40 degrees and 18.30.19 W to W to 50 degrees. Tuesday 17.39.49 WSW to E to 81 degrees and 19.16.27 W to W to 15 degrees. Wednesday 16.49.20 WSW to E reaching 65 degrees and 18.25.53 W to W to 57 degrees. Thursday 17.35.17 W to E to 85 degrees and 19.11.54 W to W to 17 degrees. Friday sees the best pass at 16.44.38 W to E to 88 degrees and then 18.21.16 W to W to 69 degrees. Saturday 17.30.34 W to E to 87 degrees and 19.07.12 W to W to 20 degrees and Sunday 16.39.49 W to 84 degrees and 18.16.26 W to S to 59 degrees

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares on Monday at 17.13.38 at 62 degrees in NE and a superbright flare on 17.00.09 at 66 degrees in ENE

            Week of 8th December

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end. Very little change due to the approach of the winter solstice
            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

            • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups but is quieter than in the last few weeks
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            • The Geminids meteor shower, typically the most active in the year with up to 120 meteors an hour expected, peaks on 13th/14th. Already many bright Geminids have been seen and this flux will increase over the week

            • The ISS returns on Tuesday 18.43.19 SSW to SSW reaching 14 degrees. Wednesday 17.53.45 S to SE to 18 degrees. Thursday 17.04.46 SSE to ESE to 12 degrees and 18.38.52 SW to SSW to 27 degrees. Friday 17.48.51 SW to SE reaching 32 degrees and 19.24.56 WSW to WSW to 12 degrees. Saturday 16.59.00 SSW to E to 22 degrees and 18.34.38 WSW to WSW to 41 degrees and Sunday 17.44.21 WSW to ESE to 55 degrees and 19.20.51 W to W to 14 degrees. The best passes will be next week

            • There is an extraordinary pair of superbright Iridium flares on Monday less than one minute apart in the same spot in the sky; at 17.51.25 at 53 degrees altitude in NE and at 17.52.20 at 52 degrees altitude in NE

            Week of 1st December

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.03 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Cold Moon) on Saturday

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups and 2219 could produce flares this week
            • The Geminids meteor shower is typically the most active in the year with up to 120 mteors an hour expected. The shower does not peak till 13th/14th December but Geminids may be see from 4th onwards. One fireball has already been recorded

            • There are no evening ISS passes this week but will return on 9th

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 24th Novembef

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.07 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

            • The Sun has 3 large sunspot groups and 2209 and 2216 could produce flares this week

            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

            • There is one extremely superbright Iridium flare this week, which should be visible even in the twilight: Friday at 16.48.45 at 68 degrees altitude in ENE

            Week of 17th November

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.13 UT at the start of the week and 18.07 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

            • The Leonid meteor shower peaks at 1am on 18th. Every 33 years they expect to be prolific in number. Not this year. 15 to 20 meteors are expected per hour

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups and the huge active group 2192 has made it all the way round the Sun and now is back as 2209. There is again a chance of strong X-class fares this week

            • The Rosetta mission and its lander Philae has already been a huge success, despite the bounce which landed Philae on its back and in the shadow of a cliff. Before its batteies depleted, so that it is now in sleep mode, the scientifc instruments sent back a huge amount of data, sniffing both the gases near the surface and a sample from the surface nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 10th November

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.21 UT at the start of the week and 18.13 UT at the end
            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

            • The Sun is quieter at the moment but still has 5 sunspot groups and 2205 is both large and potentially active
            • On Wednesday the Rosetta probe, some 500Mkm from Earth, will attempt to land Philae (a complex scientific package of instruments) onto the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Already a hugely succesful mission, the landing at the site, now named Agilkia after an ancient Egyptian site on an island in the Nile, will perhaps be the greatest engineering feat attempted by humankind. The lander is due to be released Wednesday morning and will hopefully land around 5pm. There is a webcast (via Space.com) from 3pm

            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

            • There are 2 bright Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 18.11.34 at 48 degrees altitude in NNE and Friday at 18.05.25 at 64 degrees in NE

            Week of 3rd November

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.33 UT at the start of the week and 18.24 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Thursday (Frosty Moon)

            • The Sun is quieter this week but still has 6 sunpot groups

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There is one superbright Iridium flares this week on Wednesday at 16.55.31 at 71 degrees altitude in NE

            Week of 27th October

            • All times are now in UT (GMT) Astronomical Twilight ends at 18.42 UT at the start of the week and 18.32 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

            • Saturday November 1st is the last Cross-Quarter days (half-way between an Equinox and a Solsice and a true mid-Autumn marker) of the year. The ancient feast of the Pleiades (7 Sisters/Subaru) and the Celtic feast of Samhain (Feast of the Dead)

            • The Sun has been at its most active this Solar Cycle. Sunspot group 2192 is larger than Jupiter and has unleashed the strongest flare for many years (X3) and an X1 flare on 24th and 25th. The chances are high that more M and X class flares will follow in the next few days causing HF radio disruption

            • The ISS makes its last passes for a while: On Monday at 18.11.40 WSW to SSW reaching 11 degrees and Tuesday at 17.21.29 W to S to 17 degrees

            • There are two bright Iridium flares this week: Monday at 19.49.17 at 11 degrees altitude in N and Tuesday at 19.42.29 at 15 degrees altitude in N

            Week of 20th October

            • This is the last week of British Summer Time. The clocks go back one hour to Universal Time (UT) or GMT next Saturday night. Astronomical Twilight ends at 19.55 BST at the start of the week and 18.44 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday and a slender crescent next week-end

            • The Sun only has 3 sunspot groups but 2192 is huge and highly active. X-class flares, CMEs and HF radio frequency intereference is likely over the next week or so

            • The Orionids meteor shower peaks on Wednesday. The meteors originate from Halley's comet and are generally fast. Up to 20 or so per hour are expected at best. The lack of moonlight makes this very favourable. The Radiant does not rise till 10pm

            • Mars has a close call with comet Siding Spring which on 19th October passes only 140,000km from the planet. It is possible that there will be some interaction between the coma and the planet's thin atmosphere

            • The ISS makes more passes this week: Monday 20.04.09 W to S reaching 52 degrees altitude. Tuesday 19.15.10 W to ESE to 68 degrees and 20.52.15 W to W to 17 degrees. Wednesday 20.03.02 W to S to 29 degrees. Thursday 19.13.55 W to SE to 41 degrees. Friday 18.24.51 W to ESE to 55 degrees and 20.02.16 WSW to S to 15 degrees. Saturday 19.12.47 W to SE to 22 degrees and Sunday 17.23.30 W to SE to 31 degrees

            • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

            Week of 13th October

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.09 BST at the start of the week and 19.55 BST at the end

            • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

            • The Sun is less active and 2182 will soon rotate away from the nearside

            • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday 19.19.24 WSW to E reaching 56 degrees and 20.56.01 W to W to 30 degrees. Tuesday 20.07.12 W to ENE to 88 degrees. Wednesday 19.18.23 WSW to E to 83 degrees and 20.55.08 W to W to 28 degrees. Thursday 20.06.16 W to ENE to 85 degrees. Friday 19.17.23 W to E to 84 degrees and 20.54.08 W to W to 26 degrees. Saturday 20.05.13 W to SSE to 79 degrees and on Sunday a rare Zenith pass directly overhead at 90 degrees at 19.16.17 W to E and then a lower pass at 20.53.04 W to W to 22 degrees

            • For those of you now hooked on Iridium flare 'hunting', there is just one superbright evening flare this week on Friday at 19.42.55 at 43 degrees elevation in NNE

            Week of 6th October

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.25 BST at the start of the week and 20.11 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Full (Hunters Moon) on Wednesday. The Total Lunar eclipse will not be visible from here

            • The Sun is peppered with 9 sunspot groups. 2181 is potentially active

            • The ISS makes 8 passes this week but the best will be next week: Tuesday at 20.58.56 SW to SW reaching 11 degrees. Wednesday 20.10.04 SSW to SSE to 22 degrees. Thursday 19.21.28 S to ESE to 16 degrees and 20.56.34 WSW to SW to 22 degrees. Friday 20.07.22 SW to SE to 43 degrees. Saturday 19.18.17 SSW to E to 31 degrees and 20.54.22 WSW to WSW to 31 degrees and the best on Sunday at 20.04.58 WSW to ESE reaching 70 degrees

            • There are 5 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 20.51.31 at 21 degrees in N. Tuesday 20.45.09 at 24 degrees in N. Wednesday at 18.32.55 at 67 degrees in NNE. Thursday at 18.26.47 at 69 degrees in NNE and Friday at 18.20.38 at 70 degrees in NNE

            Week of 29th September

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.41 BST at the start of the week and 20.27 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

            • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups. 2173 flared up early on 28th and caused temporary radio blackout. A CME may sesult. 2175 is highly active and could give rise to a strong flare

            • The planned deployment of the Rosetta mission lander, Philae, to landing suite 'J' on 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been put back a day to 12th November

            • The ISS make no evening passes this week but will return from 7th October

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 22nd September

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 20.59 BST at the start of the week and 20.44 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday and will then be visible as a slender crescent by the end of the week

            • The Autumnal Equinox is on Tuesday as the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator at coordinates 12h RA, 0 degrees Dec and the Northern summer ends. From now the day length is less than that of the night

            • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups none of which are active

            • The ISS make no evening passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 15th September

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 21.18 BST at the start of the week and 21.02 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday and will then wane to New at the start of next week

            • The most powerful solar storms this year (G3) hit the Earth last week causing mid-latittude aurorae. The Sun still has 7 sunspot groups. 2157 and 2158 are still active

            • The ISS make no evening passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 8th September

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 21.37 BST at the start of the week and 21.20 BST at the end

            • The Moon is Full (Harvest Moon) on Tuesday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups. 2157 is potentially active

            • The ISS make no evening passes this week

            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 21.07.07 24 degrees altitude in N

            Week of 1st September

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 21.58 BST at the start of the week and 21.40 BST at the end

            • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday and will then wax to Full next Tuesday

            • The two pairs of planets continue to dominate the twilight: Jupiter and Venus pre sunrise in the East (also with bright Sirius) and Mars and Saturn in the West after sunset

            • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups. 2152 is potentially active

            • The ISS make no evening passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 25th August

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 22.19 BST at the start of the week and 22.01 BST at the end

            • The Moon is New at the start of the week and will then wax to First Quarter early next week

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups which are gaining in activity

            • The ISS make no evening passes this week

            • There is 1 bright evening Iridium flare this week: On Tuesday 22.39.14 at 20 degrees in WSW

            Week of 18th August

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 22.41 BST at the start of the week and 22.22 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

            • Venus and Jupiter (higher elevation)are in conjunction and dominate the pre-dawn sky below Gemini and on 23rd will be joined by a slim decrescent Moon. Look East at 5am. A little further to the South Sirius and Orion are visible

            • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups which are waning in activity

            • The ISS makes its last 2 low evening passes: On Tuesday at 21.30.38 W to SSE reaching 26 degrees and Thursday at 21.31.11 WSW to S to 13 degrees

            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week: On Friday at 23.52.14 24 degrees altitude in WSW and Sunday 23.49.13 at 22 degrees in WSW

            11th August

            • Astronomical Twilight ends at 2305 BST at the start of the week and 2241 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday
            • The Perseid meteor shower (Tears of St Lawrence) peaks between 10th and 13th. The peak will be largely hidden by the Full Moon, nevertheless bright meteors should still be visible especially just after sunset/moonrise when earthgrazers (long trails across the sky) are possible

            • The Sun is fairly active again with 5 sunspot groups and 2135 could be a source of flares

            • The ISS continues with good passes this week: On Monday at 21.32.36 W to E reaching 87 degrees and 23.09.20 W to SSE to 73 degrees. Tuesday 22.20.19 W to ESE to 86 degrees and 23.57.08 W to W to 18 degrees. Wednesday 21.31.18 W to E to 86 degrees and 23.08.02 W to SW 43 degrees. Thursday 22.18.58 W to SE to 61 degrees and 23.56.11 W to W to 11 degrees. Friday 21.29.55 W to ESE to 77 degrees and 23.06.50 W to SW to 23 degrees. Saturday 22.17.37 W to S to 35 degrees and Sunday 21.28.29 W to SE to 49 dgerees and 23.06.11 WSW to WSW to 12 degrees

            • There are no particularly bright evening Iridium flares this week

            4th August

            • Astronomical Twighlight ends at 2331 BST at the start of the week and 2309 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Grain Moon, a 'supermoon' since it is at Perigee) at the start of next week

            • The Perseid meteor shower (Tears of St Lawrence) peaks between 10th and 13th. The peak will be largely hidden by the Full Moon, thus observing before dawn this week should give the greatest rate of shooting stars

            • The Sun is beginning to be active again with 10 sunspot groups and 2132 could be a source of flares
            • The Summer Triangle of Vega, Deneb and Altair now dominates the southern sky as it culminates in the evening, signalling mid-summer and the harvest

            • Red supergiant Antares (the eye of the scorpion) culminates at 2030 BST at 12 degrees above the horizon and will be more visible over the next couple of weeks
            • The ISS returns with good passes this week: On Monday at 22.25.35 SW to E reaching 37 degrees . Tuesday at 21.37.05 SSW to E to 26 degrees and 23.13.00 WSW to E to 78 degrees. Wednesday 22.24.09 WSW to E to 63 degrees. Thursday at 21.35.22 SW to E to 47 degrees and 23.11.51 W to E to 85 degrees. Friday 22.22.55 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.59.29 W to W to 50 degrees. Saturday 22.21.43 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.58.27 W to W to 30 degrees and Sunday 21.32.43 W to E to 86 degrees and 23.09.27 W to SSE to 73 degrees
            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

            28th July

            • Astronomical Twighlight ends at 0001 BST at the start of the week and 2335 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter at the start of next week

            • The Sun is still relatively quiet with 5 small sunspot groups

            • The ISS returns with a few passes at the end of this week, then next week will give good passes: On Saturday at 22.27.39 at 10 degrees in SSW and Sunday at 21.39.48 at 10 degrees in S

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares; on Monday at 22.36.26 at 41 degrees altitude in NE and Tuesday at 22.30.27 at 42 degrees in NE

            21st July

            • The nights are now getting longer and Astronomical Twighlight now ends again for about an hour at 0046 BST at the strt of the week and 0006 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

            • The Sun is extremely quiet and indeed has recently had no sunspots at all

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are three bright evening Iridium flares; on Wednesday at 22.57.07 at 34 degrees altitude in NE, Friday at 21.10.14 at 70 degrees in ENE and Saturday at 21.04.12, 71 degrees altitude in ENE

            14th July

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

            • The Sun is again active with 8 sunspot groups. 2108 could still produce flares

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are two super-bright evening Iridium flares; on Friday at 21.43.11 at 60 degrees altitude in NE and Saturday at 21.37.14, 61 degrees altitude in NE

            7th July

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Saturday

            • The Sun is again active with 8 sunspot groups. 2104 and 2108 could produce flares

            • Good Notilucent Clouds (NLCs)have already been seen this summer. Look West 30 minutes to an hour after sunset for lumninous electric blue tendril clouds
            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 22.31.00 at 44 degrees altitude in NE

            30th June

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

            • The Sun is less active with 5 sunspot groups, though activity may pick up during the week

            • There are no ISS passes now for a few weeks

              There is one super-bright evening Iridium flare on Tuesday at 22.57.46 at 35 degrees altitude in NE

            23rd June

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday and visible as a slender crescent at the start of next week

            • The Sun is less active with 5 sunspot groups, though 2093 could produce flares

            • The Summer Triangle is now prominent with bright magnitude 0 Vega following Mars as the twilight darkens. Orange Arcturus at higher altitude is next and then Saturn. The line from West to East of Mars, Spica, Saturn then supergiant Antares (even redder than Betelgeuse in a small telescope) makes a nice 'target hop' and with a reasonable telescope Vesta and Ceres are within a couple of degrees and close to Mars. Sagitarius and the densest part of the Milky Way near the Galactic centre just skim the southern horizon

            • There are no ISS passes now for a few weeks

            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 23.18.12 at 26 degrees in NNE

            16th June

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

            • The Sun is still active with 11 sunspot groups but the sources of activity last week 2080 and 2085 have rotated round the western limb

            • Red Mars and yellow Saturn are now visible in the S from 9.30pm only reaching 25 or so degrees above the horizon. They are followed by deep red Antares (the eye of Scorpio), perhaps the biggest diameter and brightest star we can see (it is in fact 10000 times brighter than the Sun) It reaches its maximum elevation when it culminates at 11.30pm

            • The ISS makes its last passes for a while on Monday at 22.56.44 W to SSE reaching 24 degrees . Tuesday at 22.07.30 W to SE to 34 degrees and Wednesday 22.56.12 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 23.45.51 at 10 degrees in NNE

            9th June

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Solstice Moon) on Friday

            • The Sun is active with 8 sunspot groups of which 3 are crackling with activity

            • The ISS makes excellent passes this week: On Monday at 22.12.49 W to E reaching 89 degrees altitude and 22.49.34 W to ESE to 82. Tuesday 23.00.36 W to E to 88 degrees. Wednesday 22.11.37 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.48.21 W to SE to 55 degrees. Thursday 22.59.21 W to ESE to 71 degrees. Friday 22.10.22 W to ESE to 85 degrees and 23.47.11 W to S to 31 degrees. Saturday 22.58.06 W to SE 43 degrees and Sunday 21.09.04 W to ESE to 59 degrees and 23.46.22 W to SSW to 17 degrees

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            2nd June

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

            • The Sun is relatively quiet with 4 non-active sunspot groups
            • The season for Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) has started. They should build in intensity over the Solstice. Look West on a clear evening 30 to 60 minutes after sunset for electric blue veils of clouds

            • The ISS returns this week: On Monday at 23.05.48 SSW to E reaching 29 degrees altitude.22.17.27 SSW to E to 21 degrees and 23.53.01 WSW to E to 68 degrees. Wednesday 23.04.13 SW to E to 52 degrees. Thursday 22.15.31 SW to E to 38 degrees and 23.51.52 W to E to 89 degrees. Friday 23.02.57 WSW to E to 80 degrees. Satyurday 22.14.04 WSW to E 65 degrees and 23.50.44 W to E to 84 degrees and Sunday 23.01.47 W to E to 85 degrees

            • There are two super-bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 21.32.55 at 61 degrees altitude in NE and Friday at 23.06.58 at 29 degrees altitude in NNE

            26th May

            • Astronomical twilight now lasts all night till 21st July. Astronomical darkness does not return again till 21st July
            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday

            • The Sun is active with 6 sunspot groups in total, 2 of which are active

            • The ISS returns at the satart of June. It makes a late pass next Sunday 1st at 23.54.52 from SW to E reaching 41 degrees altitude
            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 22.14.20 at 47 degrees altitude in NE and Friday at 23.29.31 at 16 degrees altitude in NNE

            19th May

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.19 BST at the start of the week but by the end of the week Astronomical twilight continues all night. Astronomical darkness does not return again till 21st July

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

            • The Sun is active with 9 sunspot groups in total, 3 of which are activeThe ISS does not make any passes this week

            • There is one super-bright evening Iridium flares this week on Friday at 22.29.15 at 41 degrees latitude in NE

            12th May

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.43 BST at the start of the week and 00.19 BST at the end
            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Wednesday

            • The Sun is active again with 3 active sunspot groups. There are 8 groups in total and a chance of flares

            • The ISS does not make any passes this week
            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 23.07.06 at 22 degrees latitude in NNE and Thursday 22.58.38 at 29 degrees in NE

            5th May

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.13 BST at the start of the week and 23.37 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

            • The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on Monday night-Tuesday morning. Up to 30 meteors an hours may be seen in the Northern hemisphere. This is debris from Comet Halley and is the first time in the year that the Earth crosses the debris stream. The second time is in October for the better known Orioninds

            • The Sun is active again with a huge rapidly developing sunspot group 2051. There are 5 groups in total and a chance of X-flares

            • The ISS does not make any passes this week

            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 22.06.05 at 46 degrees altitude in NE and Saturday 21.45.07 at 55 degrees in ENE

            28th April

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.53 BST at the start of the week and 23.06 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday it will then wax and be visible as a slender crescent at the end of the week

            • Thursday is May Day and the feast of Beltane, the spring cross-Quarter day. The Sun will rise soon after 5.20am

            • The Sun is relatively quiet and has 3 sunspot groups

            • The ISS does not make any passes this week

            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Friday at 20.39.41 at 74 degrees altitude in E and Sunday 20.3.42 also at 74 degrees in E

            21st April

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.29 BST at the start of the week and 22.46 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Tuesday

            • The Lyrid meteor shower (Debris from comet Thatcher) peaks on 22nd in the early hours (Th Moon risesat 2am). Around 15 meteors per hour are expected

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups, some of which are currently active

            • The ISS makes its last 2 passes: On Monday at 21.01.51 W to SSE reaching 27 degrees and Wednesday 21.02.05 WSW to S reaching 14 degrees

            • There are5 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 22.53.00 at 24 degrees altitude in NE. Tuesday 21.21.52 at 58 degrees in ENE. Thursday 22.44.22 at 29 degrees in NE. Sunday 21.00.47 at 66 degrees in E and 22.35.41 at 34 degrees in NE

            14th April

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.10 BST at the start of the week and 22.29 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Paschal Moon) next Tuesday. Given this is the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox then next Sunday 20th is Easter

            • There will be Total Lunar eclipse on Tuesday morning but this will not be visible from here. We will have to wait till 28th September 2015
            • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups but has now quietened down after a period of hightened activity

            • The ISS makes good passes: Monday 21.49.37 W to E reacghng 88 degrees altitude and 23.26.27 W to W to 14 degrees. Tuesday 21.01.14 W to E to 85 degrees and 22.38.01 W to WSWto 39 degrees. Wednesday 21.49.29 W to SE to 62 degrees and 21.26.42 W to W to 10 degrees. Thursday 21.00.50 W to ESE to 78 degrees and 22.37.46 W to SW to 24 degrees. Friday at 21.48.52 W to SSE to 36 degrees. Saturday 20.59.55 W to SE to 50 degrees and 22.37.37 WSW to SW to 13 degrees and Sunday at 21.48.00 W to S to 20 degrees

            • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 22.59.57 at 11 degrees altitude in NNE and Thursday at 21.42.51 at 51 degrees in ENE and Saturday at 22.55.32 at 20 degrees in NE

            7th April

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.52 BST at the start of the week and 22.10 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Paschal Moon) next Tuesday. Given this is the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox then the next Sunday 20th is Easter

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups but has now quietened down after a period of hightened activity
            • The ISS returns to our skies making good passes: Monday 21.04.50 SSW to ESE reaching 25 degrees and 22.40.40 WSW to WSW to 16 degrees. Tuesday 21.51.48 WSW to ESE to 60 degrees. Wednesday 21.03.00 SW to E to 44 degrees and 22.39.27 W to W to 34 degrees. Thursday 21.50.27 WSW to E to 85 degrees and 23.27.11 W to W to 13 degrees. Friday 21.01.27 WSW to E to 72 degrees and 22.38.09 W to W to 48 degrees. Saturday 21.49.04 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.25.48 W to W to 15 degrees and Sunday 20.59.58 W to E to 88 degrees and 22.36.42 W to W to 51 degrees

            • .There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week on Wednesday at 22.12.45 at 38 degrees altitude in ENE and Friday at 20.02.27 at 46 degrees in N and Saturday at 22.03.51 at 44 degrees in ENE

            31st March

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.36 BST at the start of the week and 21.50 BST at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Monday

            • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups and following an X-1 flare on Saturday there is still potential for activity

            • Mars now rises at 8.30pm, following orange Arcturus, and in small instruments is already showing some detail

            • The ISS makes its first pass week: Sunday 21.52.51 SW to SSW reaching 18 degrees altitude. It will return with passes next week

            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 22.30.20 at 29 degrees altitude in NE and Sunday at 22.21.31 reaching 33 degrees in ENE

            24th March

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.20UT at the start of the week and 20.33 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New next Monday

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups, 2010 and 2014 are potentially active

            • Mars now rises at 8pm and in small instrumernts is already showing some detail

            • The ISS makes no passes this week

            • There are four bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 20.55.30 at 10 degrees altitude in N. Wednesday at 21.40.29 at 14 degrees in NE. Thursday at 20.26.31 at 20 egrees in N and Friday at 21.38.13 at 18 degrees in NE

            17th March

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.08UT at the start of the week and 20.19 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Monday 24th

            • Friday 21st is the Vernal Equinox. The start of the Astronomical Year and Origin (0,0) of the Celestial coordinate system. The Sun rises due East and sets due West. From Friday the days are longer than the nights and the Sun rises progressively further north on the horizon

            • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups, none of which are currently particularly active

            • Arcturus 'the Spring marker' is now rising in the East in the early evening (arc from the handle of the saucepan (Plough) to Arcturus..and on to Spica and Mars)

            • The ISS makes no passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            10th March

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.54 UT at the start of the week and 20.06 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Lent Moon) on Sunday
            • The Sun is covered with small spots, unlike last week, none of which are currently particularly active

            • Mars is now rising in the East late evening and is approaching Opposition on April 8th, when it will rise at sunset

            • The ISS makes no passes this week
            • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Friday at 19.21.39 at 41 degrees altitude in N

            National Astronomy Week beginning 3rd March

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.42 UT at the start of the week and 19.52 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

            • National Astronomy Week all over the UK to celebrate the excellent potential viewing in the evening sky of Jupiter which is at its best elevation for many years. Events can be located on the NAW website www.astronomyweek.org.uk

            • The Sun has 9 active sunspot groups strung out across its disc. 1990 and 1991 have the potential for real activity and even X-class flares. Watch the live monitors on the right of the website's front page

            • The ISS makes no more passes this week

            • There are two extremely bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 20.21.19 at 18 degrees altitude in N and Tuesday at 18.08.30 at 63 degrees in NNE

            Week of 24th February

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.29 UT at the start of the week and 19.40 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday and a slim crescent at the start of NAW

            • National Astronomy Week returns next week after 5 years to celebrate the excellent potential viewing in the evening sky of Jupiter. Events are running across the Country and can be located on the NAW website www.astronomyweek.org.uk

            • The Sun has 8 active sunspot groups strung out across its disc. 1982 is worth watching for flares and unusually 1967 is returning again after its January appearance and whole rotation survival

            • The ISS makes last passes this week: Monday 18.26.48 from W to SSE reaching 23 degrees and the last on Wednesday 18.26.28 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 17th February

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.17 UT at the start of the week and 19.28 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

            • The Sun has 6 large active sunspot groups strung out across its disc. 1974 is worth watching for flares

            • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday 19.18.52 from W to SE reaching 81 degrees. The best on Tuesday 19.30.04 W to E to 89 degrees and 20.06.51 W to WSW to 26 degrees. Wednesday 19.17.59 W to SSE to 53 degrees. Thursday 18.29.06 W to ESE to 69 degrees and 20.06.10 W to SW to 20 degrees. Friday 19.17.04 W to SSE to 30 degrees. Saturday 18.28.03 W to SE to 41 degrees and 20.06.41 Sw to SW to 10 degrees and Sunday 19.16.28 WSW to S to 16 degrees

            • There is one superbright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 19.00.43 at 46 degrees altitude in NNE

            Week of 10th February

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.06 UT at the start of the week and 19.16 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Snow Moon..or Rain Moon) on Thursday

            • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups and there is a slight chance of activity

            • The ISS returns with low passes this week: Monday 18.33.19 SSW to ESE reaching 30 degrees and 20.09.27 WSW to WSW to 18 degrees. Tuesday 17.45.15 SSW to E to 21 degrees and 19.20.54 WSW to SSW to 64 degrees. Wednesday 18.32.24 WSW to E 54 degrees and 20.09.00 W to W to 22 degrees. Thursday 19.20.21 W to NNW to 88 degrees. Friday 18.31.42 WSW to E to 81 degrees and 20.08.28 W to W to 24 degrees. Saturday 19.19.46 W to ENE to 85 degrees. Sunday 18.31.02 W to E to 84 degrees and 18.31.02 W to W to 26 degrees

            • There is one superbright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 17.53.47 at 65 degrees altitude in NNE

            Week of 3rd February

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.55 UT at the start of the week and 19.04 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

            • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups and 1967 is enormous and active

            • The Type 1a Supernova in M82 (now nearly 2 weeks old) is still visible at around apparent magnitude +11 and is visible in small telescopes

            • The ISS returns with low passes this week: Friday 19.22.37 SSW to S reaching 15 degrees. Saturday 18.34.55 S to SE to 16 degrees and 20.09.58 WSW to WSW to 12 degrees and Sunday 17.48.03 SSE to SE to 11 degrees and 19.21.39 SW to SSW to 34 degrees. Next week will be a good ISS pass week

            • There are no particularly bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 27th January

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.44 UT at the start of the week and 18.53 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday and a slender Crescent next week-end

            • The Sun is slightly less active, though there are still 9 sunspot groups

            • The Type 1a Supernova in M82 (now less than a week old) is the closest in over 20 years. It will be an ideal candidate to study for its lightcurve given the dependence on thee type of evenst for measuring the acceleration of the Universe's expansion. At apparent magnitude +11 it should be visible in the 10 inch. We await a clear night

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There is 1 bright evening Iridium flare: Wednesday 16.59.24 at 74 degrees altitude in ENE

            Week of 20th January

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.34 UT at the start of the week and 18.43 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

            • The Sun is less active, though there are still 6 sunspot groups and an active region is about to emerge on the Eastern limb

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: Monday 17.13.58 at 22 degrees altitude in WNW and 17.45.16 at 61 degrees in NE and Wednesday at 16.56.21 at 25 degrees in W

            Week of 13th January

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.25 UT at the start of the week and 18.34 UT at the end
            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Thursday

            • The Sun is still active and the giant sunspot 1944 is now on the limb but has the potential for a final flares. There are 7 other sunspot groups

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares: Monday 17.11.32 at 21 degrees altitude in SSW. Tuesday 17.11.46 at 19 degrees in SSW. Thursday at 17.08.57 at 16 degrees in SW and Friday 17.53.20 at 15 degrees in WNW

            Week of 6th January

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.17 UT at the start of the week and 18.25 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

            • Venus will be in Inferior Conjunction on Saturday 11th

            • The Sun is highly active and giant sunspot 1944 has the potential to release flares. An Earth directed CME left the Sun on 4th and could impact on 7th causing geomagnetic storms. There are 6 other sunspot groups

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: Thursday at 17.23.28 at 24 degrees altitude in SSE and Saturday at 18.31.19 at 47 degrees in NNE

            Week of 30th December

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.10 UT at the start of the week and 18.17 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on New Year's day

            • The Quadrantid metoer shower (often one of the best in the year) peaks on Friday 3rd. This is often a narrow 2 hour peak with up to 80 per hour expected. The radiant is in Bootes (follow the handle of the 'saucepan') in the old constellation of Quadrans Muralis

            • Venus is now a bright slender crescent in the SW twilight between 3.30pm and setting soon after 5pm

            • The Sun is active with 8 seperate groups and 1936 is worth watching for flares

            • There are no ISS passes this week

            • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: Tuesday at 16.47.34 at 27 degrees altitude in WNE. Wednesday at 16.41.34 at 28 degrees in WNW and Saturday at 16.10.15 at 34 degrees in W

            Week of 23rd December

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.06 UT at the start of the week and 18.10 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Xmas day and New on New Year's day

            • The Sun is again active with 8 seperate groups and 1928 is worth watching for flares

            • The ISS makes final passes this week as follows: Monday at 17.11.20 W to E reaching 89 degrees and 18.48.10 W to WSW to 32 degrees. Tuesday 17.59.40 W to SE to 50 degrees. Wednesday 17.11.11 W to ESE to 65 degrees and 18.48.21 W to SSW to 20 degrees. Thursday 17.59.35 W to SS E to 27 degrees. Friday 17.10.56 W to SE to 38 degrees. Saturday 17.59.54 WSW to S to 14 degrees and Sunday 17.10.47 W to SSE to 21 degrees

            • There are 6 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday at 17.06.49 at 15 degrees in SSW. Wednesday 18.08.50 at 10 degrees in WNW. Thursday 17.04.01 at 13 degrees in SW and 17.53.35 at 13 degrees in WNW and 18.11.10 at 32 degreees in SSE and Friday at 17.07.19 at 10 degrees in SW

            Week of 16th December

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.06 UT at the end
            • The Winter Solstice occurs next Saturday when the Sun will rise and set at its furthest Southern extremes and culminate at midday at its lowest elevation of 15.5 degrees (at our Latitude of 51 degrees

            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Yule Moon) on Tuesday

            • The Sun is again highly active with 9 seperate groups and 1917 and 1918 are worth watching for flares

            • The ISS makes good passes this week as follows: Monday at 17.59.08 WSW to ESE reaching 71 degrees and 19.35.53 W to W to 11 degrees. Tuesday 17.11.02 WSW to E to 56 degrees and 18.47.41 W to W to 33 degrees. Wednesday 17.59.26 W to E to 88 degrees and 19.36.14 W to W to 10 degrees. Thursday 17.11.10 WSW E to 83 degrees and 18.47.57 W to W to 33 degrees. Friday 17.59.38 W to E to 85 degrees and 19.36.25 W to W to 11 degrees. Saturday 17.11.16 W to E to 84 degrees and 18.48.03 W to W to 35 degrees and Sunday 17.59.39 W to ESE to 78 degrees and 19.36.36 W to W to 11 degrees

            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday at 18.41.14 at 33 degrees in SSE and Friday at 17.12.20 at 21 degrees in SSW

            What's Up - Week of 9th December

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.01 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Monday

            • The Geminid meteor shower peaks at 1am on 14th. The waxing Gibbous Moon will interfere. It will however be worth watching out all through the week

            • The Sun is again active with 5 seperate groups and 1916 is worth watching for flares

            • The ISS makes passes this week as follows: Tuesday at 18.02.45 SSE to SSE reaching 11 degrees. Wednesday 18.47.53 SW to SSW to 17 degrees. Thursday 17.59.05 SSW to SSE to 23 degrees. Friday 17.10.34 S to ESE to 16 degrees and 18.45.35 WSW to SW to 28 degrees. Saturday 17.56.26 SW to SE to 41 degrees and 19.32.49 W to W to 11 degrees and Sunday 17.07.24 SSW to E to 30 degrees and 18.43.27 WSW to WSW to 35 degrees

            • There are bright evening Iridium flares this week

            Week of 2nd December

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.03 UT at the start of the week and 18.01 UT at the end

            • The Moon is New on 3rd December and should be visible as a slender crescent at the end of the week making a nice conjunction with bright Venus on 4th, 5th and 6th

            • The Sun is again active with 6 seperate groups and 1908 and 1909 are worth watching for flares

            • The ISS makes no passes this week but will return from 10th

            • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares this week: On Thursday at 17.57.12 11 degrees altitude in WNW and Friday at 16.52.36 at 13 degrees in SW and 17.33.19 at 16 degrees in WNW

            Week of 25th November

            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.06 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end

            • The Moon is waning and will be New on 3rd December

            • This is the week of ISON's perihelion on Thursday 28th. Currently at magnitude +3.8 it is only 16 degrees from the Sun in Libra. Its 2km nucleus may not survive temperatures as high as 5000 degrees in its core. Spacecraft will watch for its appearance so by 1st December we should know if it will make a show in our dawn sky. In case, one can plan for 6am pre-dawn viewing in South East before twilight. Best viewing could probably be on 3rd. The Comet will dim steadily after that. We shall see, but the media hype may be premature

            • The Sun is slightly less active with 4 seperate groups, but 1904 is worth watching for flares

            • The ISS makes no passes this week

            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                Week of 18th November

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.11 UT at the start of the week and 18.06 UT at the end

                • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Monday

                • The Sun is still highly active with 8 seperate groups and 1897 covering a huge area and worth watching for flares

                • ISON suddenly brightened last week and is now officially a naked-eye comet at magnitude +5.5. It appears as a dim greenish smudge in the pre-dawn sky. At the start of the week it is near Spica (follow the arc of the Saucepan's handle to Arcturus and then continue the arc to the blue brioght star. ISON rises in the East just before Mercury which it will approach during the week. Best timing pre twilight would be 5.30am till 6am. Whether the brightening is a sign of things to come or a sign that the nucleus is breaking up is debatable.We will still have to wait and see. On 28th November ISON will be deep within the Sun's corona and less than a Solar diameter from the Photosphere. It may well not survive

                • The ISS makes no passes this week

                • There is 1 bright evening Iridium flare this week on Nonday at 16.52.08 at 21 degrees altitude in WNW

                Week of 11th November

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.19 UT at the start of the week and 18.11 UT at the end

                • The Moon is waxing and will be Full Moon (Frosty Moon) next Sunday

                • The Leonids meteor shower peaks next Sunday at 7pm. Unfortunately due to the Full Moon only the most brilliant shooting stars will be visible
                • The Sun is still active with 4 seperate groups and 1890 is large and active and worth watching for flares

                • Four comets are visible in binos or small telescopes in the pre dawn sky. ISON is still around 8th magnitude and not an easy target. The brightest at magnitude 6 is Comet Lovejoy, also 2P/Encke and exploding comet Linear X1. ISON is now in Virgo and will be close to Spica on 17th and 18th November. On 28th November ISON will be deep within the Sun's corona and less than a Solar diameter from the Photosphere. It may well not survive

                • The ISS makes no passes this week

                • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 17.52.13 10 degrees altitude in WNW, Friday 17.37.13 at 13 degrees in WNW and Saturday 17.48.04 at 37 degrees in S

                Week of 4th November

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.28 UT at the start of the week and 18.20 UT at the end

                • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Sunday

                • The Sun is still covered with sunspots, 9 seperate groups. 1884 and 1890 are active and worth watching for flares

                • The Taurid metoer shower peaks on Tuesday and then again on 12th. Taurids are often slow meteors, though the expected number will be low at no more than 5 to 10 per hour. Taurids are the debris from the short period comet 2P/Encke,br>
                • ISON is now within the Earth's orbit and only 50 degrees angular seperation from the Sun

                • The ISS makes no passes this week

                • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 18.30.01 at 43 degrees in SSE

                Week of 28th October

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.40 UT at the start of the week and 18.30 UT at the end

                • The Moon is waning and will be New at the end of the week
                • The Sun is still covered with sunspots, 9 seperate groups. 1875, 1877 and 1882 are active

                • ISON is still brightening to around +8 as it approaches the Sun

                • The ISS makes its last passes as follows: Monday at 18.25.14 WSW to SSW reaching 31 degrees and Tuesday 17.36.15 W to S to 16 degrees

                • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 18.50.56 at 42 degrees in SE

                Week of 21st October

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.52 BST at the start of the week and 18.41 UT at the end. Summer time ends next week-end and the clocks go back an hour to UT (GMT) early morning on Sunday

                  ,li>The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

                • ISON will be magnitude 8.6 by the end of the week, midway and just below the 'base' of Leo. Its coordinats for the entire orbit can be found at http://scully.cfa.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/returnprepeph.cgi?d=c&o=CK12S010

                • The Sun is covered with sunspots, 10 seperate groups. 1875 is active

                • The ISS makes passes as follows: Monday at 18.33.07 W tp E reaching 84 degrees and 20.09.55 W to SW to 54 degrees. Tuesday 19.21.40 W to ESE to 70 degrees and 20.58.45 W to WSW to 15 degrees. Wednesday 18.33.25 W to ESE to 84 degrees and 20.10.18 W to SSW to 31 degrees. Thursday 19.21.56 W to SE to 42 degrees. Friday 18.33.35 W to ESE to 57 degrees and 20.11.00 WSW to SSE to 16 degrees. Saturday 19.22.17 W to SSE to 23 degrees and Sunday 17.33.45 W to SE to 32 degrees

                • There are no evening Tiangong-1 passes

                • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 18.42.14 at 45 degrees in S

                Week of 14th October

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.06 BST at the start of the week and 19.54 BST at the end

                • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Hunter Moon) on Friday

                • The Orionid meteor shower peaks next Sunday, but due to the Full Moon only the brightest will be seen. The debris from Comet Halley does sometimes produce bright fireballs and it is worth watching out earlier in the week

                • ISON is now at magnitude +10. It is currently close to Mars in Leo and at the start of the week will be close to Regulus (alpha Leonis) and should be easy to spot. It will be around 30 degrees elevation in SE at 5am, but will disappear in the dawn twilight. It can be found between Right Ascension 10 hours and 10 hours 18 minutes and Declination 14 degrees 40 minutes and 13 degrees 5 minutes during the week. In some publications it is already being referred to as a Great Comet..we shall see

                • The Sun is active this week with 2 large active spot groups 1861 and 1865 which are central on the disc and could generate Earthbound flares

                • The ISS makes passes as follows. Thi is one of the best weeks I can remember for overhead passes. Lets hope for some fine weather: Monday at 19.19.50 SW to E reaching 49 degrees and 20.56.25 W to W to 27 degrees. Tuesday 20.08.22 W to E to 89 degrees. Wednesday at 19.20.19 WSW to E to 78 degrees and 20.57.06 W to W to 25 degrees. Thursday 20.09.01 W to NNE to 84 degrees. Friday 19.20.54 W to E to 85 degrees and 20.57.42 W to W to 22 degrees. Saturday 18.32.46 W to E to 88 degrees and 20.09.34 W to WSW to 78 degrees and Sunday 19.21.25 W to E to 88 degrees and 20.58.14 W to W to 19 degrees

                • There are no evening Tiangong-1 passes

                • There are no bright Iridium flare this week

                Week of 7th October

                • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.22 BST at the start of the week and 20.08 BST at the end

                • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                • The Sun is still relatively quiet with 5 sunspot groups none of which is active

                • The ISS returns as follows: Wednesday at 20.07.18 SSW to SSE reaching 17 degrees. Thursday 19.20.20 S to ESE to 14 degrees and 20.55.03 SW to SW to 19 degrees. Friday 20.07.20 SW to SSE to 37 degrees. Saturday 19.19.45 SSW to E to 27 degrees and 20.55.47 WSW to WSW to 26 degrees and Sunday 20.07.53 WSW to SE to 65 degrees

                • There are no evening Tiangong-1 passes

                • There is one bright Iridium flare this week on Tuesday 20.03.15 at 54 degrees in SE

                  Week of 30th September

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.38 BST at the start of the week and 20.24 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                  • Comet ISON is approaching Mars (currently magnitude 13) and will be closest on Tuesday at a distance of only 0.07 AU (2 degrees apart in the sky and rising 2 hours pre dawn) travelling at 72,000 mph. It will come closest to the Sun (Perihelion) on 28th November at a distance of 0.012 AU

                  • The Sun is quiet with barely any sunspots, which is extraordinary for Solar maximum

                  • The ISS will return from 9th October

                  • There are no evening Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

                  Week of 23rd September

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.53 BST at the start of the week and 20.38 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                  • Comet ISON is approaching Mars and will be closest on 1st October at a distance of only 0.07 AU travelling at 72,000 mph. It will come closest to the Sun (Perihelion) on 28th November at a distance of 0.012 AU, after which, if it survives, we hope for a bright naked-eye display

                  • The Sun has 5 sunspot regions and 1850 is active

                  • The ISS makes no passes this week nor does Tiangong-1

                  • There are four bright Iridium flares this week, the first two of these are superbright: Wednesday 21.03.13 at 50 degrees altitude in E and Saturday 19.09.34 at 59 degrees in S also on Thursday at 20.57.13 at 50 degrees in E and Friday at 19.15.36 at 60 degrees in S

                  Week of 16th September

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.14 BST at the start of the week and 20.56 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Thursday

                  • Next Sunday (22nd) is the Autumnal Equinox and the Sun will rise due East and set due West. From then on the hours of darkness exceed those of daylight as the Sun moves into the southern half of Celestial Sphere

                  • The Sun is still quiet and there is little activity

                  • NASA has announced that Voyager 1 (launched in 1977) is confirmed to have left the Solar System in August 2012 and is now in Interstellar Space. At 121 AU or 17 light hours it is out of influence of both the Sun's gravity and Solar Wind and thus is no longer shielded from the more powerful interstellar wind of charged particles

                  • The ISS makes no passes this week nor does Tiangong-1

                  • There are a couple of bright Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 22.30.15 at 14 degrees altitude in NE and Friday 21.24.09 at 45 degrees in E and 22.20.40 at 12 degrees in NE

                  Week of 9th September

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.34 BST at the start of the week and 21.14 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                  • The Sun has quietened down and there is little activity

                  • The ISS makes no passes this week

                  • There are a couple of low Tiangong-1 passes: On Monday at 20.20.01 SSW to SE to 12 degrees. Tuesday 20.43.10 SW to SSE. Wednesday 21.06.48 SW to S to 15 degrees. Thursday 21.30.55 SW to SW to 10 dgrees. Friday 20.18.37 SW to SSE to 15 degrees. Saturday 20.42.45 SW to S to 11 degrees and Sunday 19.54.24 SSW to S reaching 11 degrees
                  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week: Tuesday 22.05.48 at 36 degrees altitude in ENE

                  Week of 2nd September

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.54 BST at the start of the week and 21.36 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday and visible as a slender crescent in the west at the week end

                  • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions, 1836 is potentially active

                  • Comet ISON is still well beyond the orbit of Mars but at magnitude 14 is nearly within grasp of the 10 inch

                  • The ISS makes no passes this week

                  • There are a couple of low Tiangong-1 passes next week-end but a good pass on 10th September

                  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week: Thursday 22.32.28 at 30 degrees altitude in NE

                  Week of 26th August

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.15 BST at the start of the week and 21.57 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                  • The Sun is still peppered with 8 small sunspot regions

                  • The ISS makes no passes this week

                  • There are no Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week: Thursday 22.49.29 at 21 degrees altitude in NE

                  Week of 19th August

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.37 BST at the start of the week and 22.18 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Corn Moon)on Wednesday

                  • The Sun is currently still peppered with 9 small sunspot regions. 1818 has the potential to produce flares

                  • The ISS makes its last passes: On Monday 22.10.25 W to S to 24 degrees altitude. Tuesday 21.21.31 W to SSE to 24 degrees. Wednesday at 22.10.34 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees and Thursday 21.21.06 W to S to 18 degrees

                  • There are no Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There is one super-bright Iridium flare this week: Thursday 20.22.03 at 119 degrees altitude in ESE

                  Week of 12th August

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.01 BST at the start of the week and 22.41 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                  • The annual Perseid meteor shower caused by debris from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle(sometimes known as the 'Tears of St Lawrence') peaks at 6pm Monday. Given the Moon phase it is worth looking out over the next few nights. Ideally between midnight and dawn. Rates of 30 an hour are already being seen (11th). Fireballs are also likely

                  • The Sun is currently still peppered with small sunspots. None of which are currently active

                  • The ISS continues to make good evening passes: Monday at 21.23.58 W to E reaching 88 degrees altitude and 23.00.44 W to ESE to 84 degrees. Tuesday 22.12.06 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.48.53 W to W to 24 degrees. Wednesday 21.23.27 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.00.12 W to SSW to 56 degrees. Thursday 22.11.33 W to ESE to 72 degrees and 23.48.34 W to W to 14 degrees. Friday 21.22.54 W to ESE to 85 degrees and 22.59.44 W to SW to 30 degrees.Saturday 22.11.00 W to ESE to 44 degrees and Sunday 21.22.18 W to ESE to 59 degrees and 22.59.36 W to SW to 16 degrees

                  • There are no Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There is one super-bright Iridium flare this week: Thursday 20.55.10 at 69 degrees altitude in E

                  Week of 5th August

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.26 BST at the start of the week and 23.04 BST at the end

                  • The Moon will be New on Tuesday and should be visible in the west at twilight as a slender crescent by the end of the week

                  • There is a gathering of planets in the pre-dawn sky. Jupiter leads Mars then Mercury, which rapidly dissapears in the dawn twilight

                  • The annual Persied meteor shower peaks at 4pm next Monday (12th). Given the Moon phase it is worth looking out this week and over next week-end. Fireballs are already being seen

                  • The Sun is currenlty peppered with small sunspots. None of which are currently active

                  • The ISS makes good evening passes: The first is on Monday at 22.14.35 SSW to E reaching 28 degrees altitude and 23.50.37 WSW to WSW to 51 degrees. Tuesday 21.26.37 SSW to E to 20 degrees and 23.02.06 WSW to E to 20 degrees. Wednesday 22.13.40 SW to E to 50 degrees and 23.50.13 W to NNW to 84 degrees. Thursday 21.25.19 SW to E to 37 degrees and 23.01.38 W to E to 89 degrees. Friday 22.13.04 WSW to E to 78 degrees and 23.49.49 W to W to 64 degrees. Saturday 21.24.32 WSW to E to 63 degrees and 23.01.13 W to E to 84 degrees. Sunday 22.12.36 W to E to 85 degrees and 23.49.22 W to W to 39 degrees

                  • There are no Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There is one super-bright Iridium flare this week: Thursday 21.28.13 at 62 degrees altitude in W

                  Week of 29th July

                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.55 BST at the start of the week and 23.26 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will then wane to New at the start of next week

                  • The Sun has 4 sunspots groups, none of which is currently active

                  • Comet ISON is currently at a distance of 500 million km (between Jupiter and the Asteroid Belt) and already has a 300,000 km tail

                  • The ISS will make evening passes next week. The first is on Sunday at 23.02.27 SW to SSW reaching 28 degree

                  • .There are no Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There is one bright night-time Iridium flare this week: Tuesday 23.11.52 at 20 degrees in W

                  Week of 22nd July

                  • Astronomical twilight extends ends at 00.35 BST at the start of the week and 23.55 BST at the end

                  • The Moon is Full (Thunder Moon) on Monday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                  • The Sun has 3 sunspots groups, none of which is currently active, though 1793 is large and could flare

                  • There are no ISS evening passes nor Tiangong-1 passes

                  • There are three bright night-time Iridium flares this week: Wednesday 23.20.26 at 29 degrees in W.Thursday 23.15.30 at 29 degrees in W and Friday 22.28.04 at 45 degrees in NE

                  Week of 15th July

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night until next Sunday when it ends briefly at 00.44 BST

                  • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday and will then wax to Full at the start of next week

                  • The Sun has 4 sunspots groups, none of which are currently active

                  • There are no ISS evening passes this week but Tiangong-1 makes the best evening passes for some time as follows: Monday 22.46.37 up to 13 degrees SSW to S. Tuesday 23.13.33 to 13 degrees SW to SSW. Wednesday 22.05.31 to 14 degrees SSW to SE. Thursday 22.32.26 to 16 degrees SW to SSE. Friday 22.59.45 to 13 degrees SW to SSW. Saturady 21.50.58 to 16 degrees SW to SE and Sunday 22.18.16 to 13 degrees SW to SSE

                  • There are two bright night-time Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 21.41.48 at 21 degrees in NNW and Thursday 23.38.21 at 37 degrees in WSW

                  Week of 8th July

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is New on Monday and will then wax to be a slender crescent by the end of the week

                  • The Sun has 4 sunspots groups and 1785 is active and 11 times the Earth's diameter. There is a chance this week of Earth targetted flares

                  • Neither the ISS nor Tiangong-1 make evening passes this week

                  • There is one bright night-time Iridium flare this week: Thursday at 22.54.54, 20 degrees altitude in WNW

                  Week of 1st July

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                  • The Sun has 4 sunspots groups and is active with Earth grazing CMEs possible at the start of the week. On Saturday, Aurorae were seen in US as far south as 40 degrees North

                  • Neither the ISS no Tiangong-1 make evening passes this week

                  • There are a number of bright night-time Iridium flares this week: Tuesday at 00.44.38, 53 degrees altitude in NW and 23.12.10, 32 degrees altitude in W. Friday 23.03.18, 29 degrees altitude in W and Sunday 00.23.28, 49 degrees altitude in NNW

                  Week of 24th June

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                    >
                  • The Moon is waning (from its 14% larger Perigee Full Moon)and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                  • The Sun is again peppered with sunspot groups, a couple of which are likely to give rise to flare activity during the week

                  • Neither the ISS no Tiangong-1 make evening passes this week

                  • There is one bright night-time Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 23.21.03, 36 degrees altitude in W

                  Week of 17th June

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Solstice Moon) on Sunday

                  • The Summer Solstice occurs on Friday, when the Sun rises (and sets) at its furthest North point on the Eastern (and Western) horizon. At noon it culminates at its greatest altitude of 74.5 degrees

                  • The Sun has alare number of sunspot groups appearing at its eastern limb and these could bring activity during the week

                  • The ISS makes its last 3 evening passes as follows: On Monday at 22.36.00 W to SE reaching 36 degrees. Tuesday at 23.24.27 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees and Wednesday at 22.34.41 W to SSE to 19 degrees

                  • Shenzhou-10 has just docked with Tiangong-1 bring another 3 Taikonauts to the Chinese Space Station. This is the 5th manned mission and will last 15 days. Tiangong-1 makes no visible passes this week

                  • There are two bright night-time Iridium flare this week on Monday at 22.49.13, 25 degrees altitude in W and Wednesday at 22.46.29 at 22 degrees altitude in WNW

                  Week of 10th June

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Sundaybr>
                  • The Sun has one active sunspot group 1765

                  • Noctilucent clouds are being sighted earlier than usual and this promises to be a good year. Keep an eye out for electric blue high veils of clouds in the west up to an hour after sunset

                  • The ISS makes its evening passes as follows: On Monday at 22.29.37 W to E reaching 87 degrees. Tuesday at 21.40.31 W to E to 84 degrees. Wednesday at 22.28.07 W to ESE to 74 degrees. Thursday 21.38.59 W to E to 87 degrees. Friday 22.26.34 W to SE to 46 degrees. Saturday 21.37.24 W to ESE to 62 degrees and Sunday at 22.25.07 W to S reaching 26 degrees

                  • There are two bright night-time Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 23.00.50, 32 degrees altitude in W and Saturday at 21.43.48 at 13 degrees altitude in WNW

                  Week of 3rd June

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                  • 2.7km asteroid 1998QE2 and its tiny moon passed the Earth only 5.8 million km away on 31st May. Though now receding it will be brightest on Monday and Tuesday and at 10th magnitude visible in small telescopes. It is moving up through Libra to Ophiucus, low in the south. Follow this link for a finder chart. http://freestarcharts.com/images/Articles/Month/May2013/1998QE2/NEO_1998_QE2_CH1_Finder_Chart.pdf

                  • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups, none are currently active. However, the Earth has been battered by solar storms over the last few days

                  • Noctilucent clouds have been sighted at the end of last week. Keep an eye out for electric blue high veils of clouds in the west up to an hour after sunset

                  • The ISS makes its evening passes as follows: On Monday at 22.47.21 SSW to E reaching 20 degrees. Tuesday at 21.59.23 S to ESE to 13 degrees. Wednesday at 22,45,12 SW to E to 36 degrees. Thursday 23.32.29 WSW o E to 78 degrees. Friday 22.43.32 WSW to E to 62 degrees. Saturday 23.31.07 W to E to 85 degrees and the best on Sunday at 22.42.05 W to E reaching 87 degrees

                  • There is one super-bright night-time Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 00.54.17 53 degrees altitude in SSW

                  Week of 27th May

                  • Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                  • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, none are currently active

                  • As we approach the Summer Solstice there is a chance of Noctilucent clouds. Electric blue high veils of clouds in the west up to an hour after sunset

                  • The ISS makes its first evening pass on Sunday at 23.38.37 reaching 28 degrees altitude from SE to E

                  • There is one super-bright evening Iridium flares this week on Friday at 23.45.34 42 degrees altitude in WSW

                  Week of 20th May

                  • Astronomical twilight ends for the last time on Wednesday and then until 21st July the Sun is never more than 18 degrees below the horizon, so Astronomical twilight extends all night

                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Saturday

                  • Jupiter, Mercury and Venus are gathering for a superb sunset conjunction (at its best on 26th May when they will form a triangle only 3 degrees wide). This is low in the West twilight and best viewed up to an hour after sunset

                  • The Sun has 9 sunspot groups and 1748 is active

                  • The ISS makes no passes this week

                    There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 23.07.18 29 degrees altitude in W and Thursday at 22.58.28 at 26 degrees in W

                    Week of 13th May

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.47 BST at the start of the week and 00.20 BST at the end

                    • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

                    • Jupiter, Mercury and Venus are gathering for a superb sunset conjunction (at its best on 26th May when they will form a triangle only 3 degrees wide). This is low in the West twilight and best viewed up to an hour after sunset

                    • The Sun is again peppered with sunspots. Emerging spot 1745 among others may well pose a threat of flares during the week

                    • The ISS makes no passes this week

                    • There are 2 bright evening (daylight) Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 20.10.11 at 25 degrees altitude in N and Thursday 20.04.03 at 26 degrees in N

                    Week of 6th May

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.18 BST at the start of the week and 23.47 BST at the end

                    • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                    • The Sun is peppered with sunspots. There are 9 sunspot groups and 1734 is large and active

                    • The ISS makes no passes this week

                    • Tiangong 1 makes no passes this week

                    • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 21.53.45 at 15 degrees altitude in NNW and 23.51.54 at 36 degrees in WSW

                    Week of 29th April

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.54 BST at the start of the week and 23.14 BST at the end

                    • The Cross-Quarter day festival of Beltane falls on Wednesday. This is roughly half-way between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice

                    • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

                    • The Sun has 6 sunspot regions and 1731 is large and active

                    • Saturn is at Opposition at the start of the week. That is it culminates at midnight (highest in the sky and due South) It is thus at its closest to the Earth for 2013 and well viewed with its rings visible in small telescopes

                    • The ISS makes no passes this week

                    • Tiangong 1 makes no passes this week

                    • There is a bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 23.19.56 at 20 degrees altitude in W

                    Week of 22nd April

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.32 BST at the start of the week and 22.50 BST at the end

                    • The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Monday. This shower is normally uneventful, but can sometimes provide higher rates. The debris is that left behind by comet Thatcher

                    • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Thursday

                    • The Sun has 7 sunspot regions and 2 are active. 1726 is 125,000 km from end to end

                    • The ISS makes its last passes this week: On Monday at 21.20.26 W to SSE reaching 24 degrees and Wednesday 21.16.32 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees

                    • Tiangong 1 makes no passes this week

                    • There is a bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.28.40 at 21 degrees altitude in W

                    Week of 15th April

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.10 BST at the start of the week and 22.23 BST at the end

                    • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                    • The Sun has 6 sunspot regions and 3 are active

                    • Comet ISON is some 4AU away and as a first time entrant to the solar system is already losing its outer layers of ice and dust fast (51 tonnes a minute) in its first encounter with solar wind, and hence brightening. But this may give an overestimate of what it will become. We will see

                    • The ISS makes good passes at the start of this week: On Monday at 2o.47.52 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 22.24.30 W to SW to 74 degrees. Tuesday 21.33.56 W to E to 89 degrees and 23.10.37 W to W to 19 degrees. Wednesday at 20.43.19 W to E reaching 84 degrees and 22.19.57 W to SSW to 50 degrees. Thursday 21.29.18 W to ESE to 67 degrees and 23.06.17 W to WSW to 15 degrees. Friday 22.15.23 W to SSW to 29 degrees. Saturday 2.24.35 WSE to E to 42 degrees and Sunday 22.11.03 W to SSW to 16 degrees

                    • Tiangong 1 makes no passes this week

                    • There is a bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.52.05 at 24 degrees altitude in WSW

                    Week of 8th April

                    • All times will now be given in BST (British Summer Time (UT+1). Astronomical twilight ends at 21.55 BST at the start of the week and 22.10 BST at the end

                    • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday and a slender crescent by the week-end

                    • The Sun is peppered with small sunspots and one large spot 1711. 1719 is currently on the Eastern limb and appears to be active

                    • The ISS makes good pases this week: On Monday at 21.51.34 SW to SSW reaching 28 degrees. Tuesday 21.01.35 SSW to ESE to 27 degrees and 22.37.28 WSW to WSW to 23 degrees. Wednesday at 21.47.09 WSW to ESE reaching 63 degrees and 23.23.43 W to W to 11 degrees. Thursday 20.56.53 SW to E to 47 degrees and 22.33.18 W to W to 49 degrees. Friday 21.42.52 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.19.30 W to W to 17 degrees. Saturday 20.52.26 WSW to E to 73 degrees and 22.29.03 W to WNW to 71 degrees and Sunday 21.38.33 W to E to 84 degrees and 22.15.12 W to W to 20 degrees

                    • Tiangong 1 makes its best pass on Wednesday at 21.06.31 SW to SSE reaching 16 degrees

                    • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                    Week of 1st April

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.39 UT at the start of the week and 20.53 UT at the end

                    • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                    • The Sun has 7 sunspot regions and one large spot number 1711, but none are currently active little

                    • The ISS will return next week

                    • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                    Week of 25th March

                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.24 UT at the start of the week and 20.39 UT at the end

                    • The Moon is Full (Pascal Moon) on Wednesday and will then wane to Last Quarter early next week

                    • The Sun has little activity on the near side

                    • There are no ISS or Tiangong 1 evening passes

                      Week of 18th March

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.10 UT at the start of the week and 20.24 UT at the end. The Vernal Equinox this year is on Wednesday 20th. The Sun rises due East and sets due West and the day length is equal to that of the night. From now on the Sun will rise and set progressivley further north on the horizon. Spring should be on the way and indeed the spring marker Arcturus is now rising orange in the early evening in te East (follow the arc of the 'Saucepan's handle', 'arc to Arcturus')

                      • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday and will then wax to Full early next week

                      • CometPan-STARSS is fading and possibly fragmenting. It was not easy to spot by eye. Fingers crossed for comet ISON in November. Currently ISON has just passed Jupiter's orbit

                      • The Sun has 5 sunspot regions, 1696 is currently active

                      • There are no ISS or Tiangong 1 evening passes

                      • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 20.10.46, 52 degrees altitude in E

                      Week of 11th March

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.57 UT at the start of the week and 20.10 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is New on Monday and will then wax to First Quarter next week

                      • CometPan-STARSS will be close to the very new Moon on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is very much in the twighlight and wont be as bright as the 1st magnitude suggests. It can be found by following the left edge of the Square of Pegasus down toward the horizon. I would estimate that it might be visible between 5.40 and 6.00pm. For a finder chart see spaceweather.com

                      • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions, none are currently active

                      • There are no ISS or Tiangong 1 evening passes

                      • There is one super bright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 18.44.12, 61 degrees altitude in SSE

                      Week of 4th March

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.44 UT at the start of the week and 19.57 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will then wane to New at the start of next week

                      • The Sun has 6 sunspot regions and 1683 could grow in activity

                      • There are no ISS or Tiangong 1 evening passes

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                      Week of 25th February

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.31 UT at the start of the week and 19.44 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is Full (Lenten Moon) on Monday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                      • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions moving off the Western limb, none of which are currently active. An active region is about to appear on the Eastern limb

                      • The ISS makes 2 last evening passes: On Monday 18.40.40 W to SSE reaching 23 degrees and Tuesday 18.36.48 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

                      • Tiangong 1 makes its last pass on Monday at 18.21.30 SW to S reaching 12 degrees

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                      Week of 18th February

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.20 UT at the start of the week and 19.31 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week

                      • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions, none of which are currently active

                      • Extraordinary footage of the 15th February Russian meteorite stike (http://say26.com/meteorite-in-russia-all-videos-in-one-place). It would now appear to have been a sizeable 15m asteroid of around 7000 tonnes which exploded some 12 to 15 miles altitude with an energy of 300 kilotons

                      • The ISS makes evening passes: On Monday 18.09.17 W to E reaching 87 degrees and 19.45.54 W to W to 53 degrees. Tuesday 18.55.04 W to ESE to 87 degrees and 20.31.45 W to W to 16 degrees. Wednesday 18.04.13 W to E to 85 degrees and 19.40.50 W to SSW to 48 degrees. Thursday 18.49.57 W to ESE to 65 degrees and 20.26.57 W to WSW to 15 degrees. Friday 19.35.48 W to S to 28 degrees. Saturday 19.35.48 W to S to 28 degrees and Sunday 18.44.46 W to SE to 40 degrees 19.14.54 SW to S to 41 degrees

                      • Thereare no bright Iridium flares this week

                      Week of 11th February

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.08 UT at the start of the week and 19.20 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Sunday

                      • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions, none of which are currently active, however there have been 2 large CMEs giving auroral activity at high latitudes

                      • Mercury is on view this week just after sunset at 17.30 UT

                      • On Friday Asteroid 2012 DA14 may be visible in small telescopes or large binoculars at magnitude 8-9, but will be moving at a great speed across the sky, around a degree (2 Lunar widths) a minute, It should be visible from 8pm till 10pm and crosses the handle of the 'saucepan' near delta UMa at 9.30pm for a finder chart see http://www.heavens-above.com/2012da14.aspx?Session=kebgfcoijcaakpdjnclieadk

                      • The ISS makes evening passes: On Monday 19.14.54 SW to S to 41 degrees. Tuesday 18.24.23 SSW to E to 30 dgrees and 20.00.32 WSW to WSW to 25 degrees. Wednesday 19.09.53. Thursday 18.19.17 SW to E to 51 degrees and 19.55.43 W toW to 34 degrees. Friday 19.04.58 W to E to 89 degrees and 20.41.36 W to W to 12 degrees. Saturday 18.14.14 WSW to E to77 degrees and 19.50.50 W to W to 43 degrees and Sunday 19.00.03 W to E to 84 degrees and 20.36.40 W to W to 14 degrees

                      • The is one Tiangon 1 pass on Sunday at 19.13.24 SSW to S reaching 13 degrees
                        There is one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 17.45.58 at 39 degrees in SSW

                      Week of 4th February



                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.57 UT at the start of the week and 19.06 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is waning and will be New at the end of the week and a slender crescent by 13th

                      • The Sun has 5 small sunspot regions, none of which are currently active

                      • Asteroid 2012 DA14 a 58m object is being tracked and will make the closest tracked path for such a sizeable object since modern tracking methods began in 1990s. On February 15th it will come as close as 0.09 of the Lunar Distance, some 17,000km, which is only 1.5 Earth diameters and closer than the orbits of many man-made satellites. There is no chance of a collision (luckily) as it is probably around the same size or bigger than the object which caused the 1908 Tunguska explosion. The object may be visible in small telescopes orlarge binoculars at magnitude 7-8, but will be moving at a great speed across the sky, around a degree (2 Lunar widths) a minute

                      • There ISS begins evening passes at the end of this week: On Saturday 19.20.21 SSW to S reaching 19 degrees altitude and Sunday 18.30.30 S to SE to 17 degrees. Next week will be an ISS week

                      • There are two bright Iridium flares: on Tuessday at 18.16.08 at 41 degrees altitude in S and Wednesday at 17.36.44 at 17 degrees altitude in W

                      Week of 28th January

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.46 UT at the start of the week and 18.57 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                      • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions, none of which are currently active

                      • The first potentially bright Comet PanSTARRS (a visitor from the Oort cloud) is currently 8th magnitude. It could brighten to 3rd magnitude or more at close approach on 10th March (0.3 AU)

                      • There are no evening ISS/Tiangong/FITSAT passes this week

                        There is one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 18.37.19 at 41 degrees altitude in SSE

                      Week of 21st January

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.36 UT at the start of the week and 18.45 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Ice Moon) on Sunday

                      • On Monday the Moon and Jupiter are in conjunction getting closer during the evening till closest around 2am, when Jupiter will be vertically above the Moon and less than a degree apart, with red Aldeberan to the left. All three will then set

                      • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions, none of which are currently active

                      • Comet ISON is being tracked, see the filmed sequence at http://www.spaceweather.com/images2013/17jan13/isoninmotion.gif?PHPSESSID=3ehov5cg4nnul2c7nejtsj44f7 at the distance of Jupiter's orbit at 16th magnitude

                      • There are no evening ISS/Tiangong/FITSAT passes this week

                      • There is one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 17.35.16 at 30 degrees altitude in SSW

                      Week of 14th January

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.25 UT at the start of the week and 18.32 UT at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                      • Following 10 years of lecturing on Sun-Climate links, the following report makes interesting reading: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate

                      • The Sun has 10 active regions and 1654 and 1652 could flare up shortly

                      • Comet ISON is now being tracked at the distance of Jupiter's orbit at 16th magnitude, 5 times dimmer than the extreme limit of visiblity of the Barclay. As it approaches its sungrazing encounter at the end of 2013, this website will keep you updated

                      • There are no evening ISS/Tiangong/FITSAT passes this week

                      • There is one bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 17.17.07 at 21 degrees altitude in WNW

                        Week of 7th January

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.18 UT at the start of the week and 18.25 UT at the end

                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday

                        • The Sun has started the year with a burst of activiy and has 12 spot groups, several are active and flares are likely during the week

                        • There are no evening ISS/Tiangong/FITSAT passes this week

                        • There are three bright Iridium flares on Wednesday at 17.12.24 at 20 degrees altitude in SSW. Friday at 17.09.35, at 17 degrees altitude in SSW and Saturday 18.11.50 at 12 degrees in WNW Friday at 18.50.26 at 34 degrees

                        Week of 31st December

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.12 UT at the start of the week and 18.17 UT at the end as daylight time begins to lengthen noticeably

                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

                        • On Thursday at midday the Quadrantid metoer shower peaks. Meteors should be visible from 1st till 6th, but Thurdsay evening should be best. The Radiant (named after the now defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis) is in the constellation of Bootes (northwest of the Saucepan's handle) The shower is often plentiful (100 ph at peak) with bright white meteors

                        • The Sun has a four spot groups, none are currently active

                        • There is one last ISS pass this week: On New Year's Eve at 16.50.12 W to SSE reaching 24 degrees

                        • Tiangong-1 makes passes on Monday at 17.55.41 SSW to SSE reaching 13 degrees. Tuesday at 18.21.58 SW to S reaching 16 degrees. Wednesday 17.13.28 SSW to SE to 14 degrees and 18.48.45 SW to SSW to 14 degrees. Thurdsay at 17.39.48 SW to SE to 16 degrees. Friday 18.06.34 SW to SSE to 14 degrees. Saturday 16.57.26 SW to SE to 16 degrees and Sunday 17.24.13 SW to SSE to 13 degrees

                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Friday at 18.50.26 at 34 degrees

                        • FITSAT-1 the Japanese flashing Cube-satellite is not visible this week

                        Week of 24th December

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.04 UT at the start of the week and 18.06 UT at the end as daylight time begins to length

                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Cold Moon) on Friday

                        • The Sun has a three spot groups and 1635 is currently active

                        • On Christmas Day evening Jupiter and the waxing Gibbous Moon are in conjunction and Jupiter will appear to roll around the top limb of the Moon being closest around 1am on 26th. Red Aldeberan follows close to the East and then Orion

                        • There are ISS passes this week: On Christmas Eve at 17.49.58 W to ESE reaching 80 degrees and 19.26.45 W to W to 13 degrees. The best is on Christmas Day 16.59.39 W to E to 89 degrees and then 18.36.19 W to SW to 37 degrees. Boxing day 17.45.56 W to SE to 53 degrees and 19.23.20 WSW to WSW to 12 degrees. Thursday 16.55.34 W to ESE reaching 70 degrees and 18.32.29 W to S to 21 degrees. Friday 17.41.54 W to SE to 44 degrees. Saturday 16.51.24 W to SE to 44 degrees and 18.29.28 WSW to SSW to 11 degrees. Sunday 17.38.06 W to S to 17 degrees

                        • There are two superbright Iridium flares on Monday at 18.02.55 at 31 degrees in SSE and Thursday at 16.41.35 at 69 degrees in ENE

                        • FITSAT-1 the Japanese flashing Cube-satellite developed by students at Fukuoka Institute of Technology, which was released from the ISS and is, via LED arrays on each face, flashing visible morse code messages to the ground should be visible this week. Monday 16.44.53 W to E reaching 83 degrees altitude, 18.21.07 W to ESE to 55 degrees and 19.58.04 WSW to S to 15 degrees. On Tuesday at 17.25.02 W to ESE to 76 degrees and 19.01.29 W to SSE to 24 degrees. Wednesday 18.05.09 W to SE to 37 degrees. Thursday 17.08.52 W to ESE to 56 degrees and 18.45.46 WSW to S to 15 degrees. Friday 17.48.58.W to SSE 24 degrees. Saturday 16.42.24 W to SE to 38 degrees and Sunday 17.32.43 WSW to S to 16 degrees. The brightness has yet to be estimated

                        Week of 17th December

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.04 UT at the end. The Winter Solstice falls on Friday (when the end of the World is not expected!)

                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                        • The Sun has a four spot groups though none particularly active

                        • The pre dawn sky has a super alignment of 3 planets: From West to East Saturn, Venus and Mercury (which disappears in the Sun's glow by 7.20am)

                        • There are ISS passes this week: On Monday at 17.15.16 SW to E reaching 34 degrees and 18.51.25 W to W to 27 degrees. Tuesday 18.01.04 WSW to ESE to 75 degrees. Wednesday 17.10.45 WSW to E to 58 degrees and 18.47.16 W to W to 31 degrees. Thursday 17.56.50 W to E reaching 87 degrees. Friday 17.06.25 WSW to E to 83 degrees and 18.43.02 W to W to 35 degrees. Saturday 17.52.36 W to E to 85 degrees and 19.29.13 W to W to 11 degrees and Sunday 17.02.07 W to E to 84 degrees and 18.38.44 W to W to 42 degrees

                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Thursday at 18.17.54 at 33 degrees in SSE

                        Week of 10th December

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end, really no change as we approach the Winter Solstice

                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday

                        • The Sun has no active areas and is nearly blank for the beginning of the week

                        • Jupiter is at Opposition on Monday and at its closest to the Earth till 2021. With no Moon it is at its very best and dominates the sky all night

                        • There are ISS passes this week starting on Wednesday at 18.15.08 S to SSE reaching 12 degrees. Thursday 18.59.54 SW to SW to 14 degrees. Friday 18.09.58 SSW to SSE to 27 degrees. Saturday 17.20.18 S to ESE to 19 degrees and 18.55.39 WSW to WSW reaching 22 degrees and Sunday the best at 18.05.28 SW to SSE reaching 48 degrees

                        • There are two superbright Iridium flares on Monday at 16.11.42 at 72 degrees in E and Tuesday 16.05.36 at 72 degrees in E

                        Week of 3rd December

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end, really no change as we appraoch the Winter Solstice

                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                        • The Sun has 4 active areas, 1623 could flare up later in the week

                        • Jupiter is at Opposition on Monday and as the Moon wanes will only become a better target

                        • There are no ISS passes this week but there is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 18.25.58 at 15 degrees altitude in NNE

                        Week of 26th November

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.05 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end

                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Wednesday when, following the Solar eclipse 2 weeks ago, it will enter the Earth's penumbra for a partial Lunar eclipse. This will occur during Wednesday afetrnoon and the northern limb will darken to a maximum at 2.30pm

                        • The Sun has quietened down and the active regions of last week are all but gone

                        • Jupiter is at its best for some years and reaches Opposition next Monday, though affected by moonlight. It will be in fact be in Conjunction with the Moon only 1 degrees to its North on Thursday

                        • There are no ISS passes this week but there is one superbright Iridium flare on Saturday at 17.00.06 at 66 degrees altitude in NE

                        Week of 19th November

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.10 UT at the start of the week and 18.05 UT at the end

                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                        • The Sun much more active and has 7 sunspot regions, 2 of which harbour activity that will likely result in flares during the week

                        • There are no ISS passes this week but there is one superbright Iridium flare on Monday at 16.06.20 at 76 degrees altitude in E

                        Week of 12th November

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.18 UT at the start of the week and 18.11 UT at the end

                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday (a Total eclipse will be visible in Australia just after their dawn on 14th)

                        • Orion now rises by 9pm following Jupiter in Taurus just above red Aldeberan

                        • The asterism of the Square of Pegasus is high in the South in the evening and if you use the 2 right-hand stars as pointers one can find the bright it is reltively close at 25 light years) southern star Fomalhaut just above the southern horizon. Using the 2 left-hand stars as pointers, come down about their seperation and with a pair of binoculars one can find the blue-green disc of Uranus. From Alpheratz (alpa And) at the top left corner it is relatively easy to find M31 (Andromeda Galaxy)high and a best visibility whilst the Moon is New

                        • The Sun is still relatively quiet with 5 sunspot regions, none are active

                        • There are no ISS passes this week nor bright Iridium flares

                        Week of 5th November

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.27 UT at the start of the week and 18.19 UT at the end

                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                        • From Monday a few Taurid meteors an hour may be seen. The shower has 2 small peaks, the second is on 12th November. Though small in number, Taurids (from Comet Encke) tend to be slightly larger fragments, slow and reach lower altitudes (40km). The prediction is for a couple of bright fireballs (brighter than -3 magnitude) an hour over the next 10 days

                        • The Sun is relatively quiet with 3 sunspot regions, none are active

                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                        • There is an usual chance to see a -6.6 magnitude Iridium flare during the day on Friday at 10.54.20 at 43 degrees altitude in South

                        Week of 29th October

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.36 UT at the start of the week and 18.28 UT at the end. All times will now be in UT (GMT) till 31st March 2013

                        • The Moon is Full on Monday (Hunter Moon) it will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                        • With the colder weather and ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, keep an eye out for lunar halos

                        • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions one, 1598 is still potentially active

                        • Arcturus sets in the North just after sunset then M45 (Pleiades) rises at 18.00 UT and Jupiter and the Hyades and Aldeberan at 19.00 UT with Betelgeuse at 21.00 UT; all a sure sign that winter is on the way

                        • The ISS makes its last passes for a while: On Monday at 18.44.54 WSW to SSW reaching 11 degrees and on Tuesday at 17.54.23 W to S reaching 17 degrees

                        • There is a bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 17.47.19 at 58 degrees altitude in NNE

                        Week of 22nd October

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.50 BST at the start of the week and 18.36 UT at the end

                        • The clocks go back to GMT (UT) next Saturday night

                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday and will then wax to Full at the start of next week

                        • The Sun has 6 sunspot regions one, 1598 is currently active and poses a flare threat over the next few days

                        • Jupiter rises in the East late in the evening for the first time at the end of the week and dominates the pre-dawn sky in the South

                        • The ISS makes more good passes this week. On Monday the best is at 19.02.21 W to E reaching 85 degrees and then 20.39.06 W to W to 27 degrees. Tuesday 19.49.48 W to SSE to 66 degrees. Wednesday 19.00.28 W to ESE to 81 degrees and 20.37.20 W to WSW to 22 degrees. Thursday 19.47.52 W to S to 39 degrees. Friday 18.58.25 W to SE to 54 degrees and 20.35.52.WSW to SW to 14 degrees. Saturday 19.45.58 W to S to 22 degrees and on Sunday 17.56.16 W to SSE reaching 31 degrees

                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                        Week of 15th October

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.04 BST at the start of the week and 19.50 BST at the end

                        • The Moon is New on Monday and will then wax to First Quarter at the start of next week

                        • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions one, 1589, is currently active

                        • The Orionid meteor shower peaks from 20th to 23rd and usually produces up to 25 fast mteors per hour. This year later in the evening the Moon will be setting. The Orionids are due to the dbris streams left over by Halley's comet

                        • Jupiter rises in the East late in the evening for the first time at the end of the week

                        • The ISS makes good passes this week. On Monday 19.56.25 WSW to ESE reaching 59 degrees and 21.33.03 W to W to 10 degrees. Tuesday 19.07.27 SW to E to 44 degrees and 20.43.54 W to W to 33 degrees. Wednesday 19.54.44 WSW to E 85 degrees and 21.31.28 W to W to 10 degrees. Thursday 19.05.34 WSW to E to 71 degrees and 20.42.16 W to W to 32 degrees. Friday 19.53.02 W to ENE to 84 degrees. Saturday 19.03.47 W to E to 88 degrees and 20.40.32 W to W to 30 degrees and the best on Sunday 19.51.15 W to E reaching 89 degrees

                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                        Week of 8th October

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.19 BST at the start of the week and 20.06 BST at the end

                        • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will wane to New at the start of next week

                        • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions one, 1582, is currently active

                        • The Draconid meteor shower peaks in the early hours of 8th. Normally inconsequential it sometimes storms

                        • The ISS starts to make passes this week. On Thursday 20.00.40 S to SSE reaching 17 degrees altitude. Friday 19.12.47 SSE to ESE to 13 degrees and 20.47.10 to 19 degrees. Saturday 19.58.24 SW to SSE to 34 degrees and Sunday 19.09.48 SSW to E to 24 degrees and 20.45.38 WSW to WSW to 29 degrees

                        • There are no Tiangong evening passes this week

                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                        Week of 1st October

                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.35 BST at the start of the week and 20.21 BST at the end

                        • The Moon will wane and will be Last Quarter at the start of next week

                        • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions one, 1577, is currently active

                        • There are no ISS or Tiangong evening passes this week

                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                        Week of 24th September

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.53 BST at the start of the week and 20.35 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing this week and will be Full on Sunday (Harvest Moon)

                      • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions but none are currently active

                      • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                      • There are no Tiangong passes this week each day

                      • There are three bright evening Iridium flares. Monday 20.26.33 at 34 degrees altitude in N. Wednesday 20.14.09, 38 degrees in N and Thursday 20.07.59 at 39 degrees in N

                      Week of 17th September

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.11 BST at the start of the week and 20.55 BST at the end

                      • Saturday is the Autumnal Equinox. The Sun will rise due East and set due West (after that it will rise and set progressively further south). From next week-end night will be longer than day, as the Sun spends more time in the southern hemisphere

                      • The Moon is waxing this week and will be First Quarter on Saturday

                      • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions but none are currently active

                      • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                      • Tiangong makes a pass each day. None of these are very bright however at magnitude 3. Monday at 20.40.11 SSW to SSE reaching 15 degrees altitude. Tuesday 21.07.21 SW to SSW to 15 degrees. Wednesday 19.59.04 SW to SE to 16 degrees. Thursday 20.26.14 SW to SSE to 15 degrees. Friday 20.54.03 SW to SSW to 11 degrees and Saturday 19.44.56 SW to SSE to 14 degrees

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                      Week of 10th September

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.30 BST at the start of the week and 21.14 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is waning and will be New next Sunday

                      • The Sun has several active regions and spot 1564 is likely to flare during the week

                      • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                      • Tiangong makes 1 evening pass next Sunday, low and no brighter than 2.3 magnitude at 20.12.32 S to SE reaching 12 degrees

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                      Week of 3rd September

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.50 BST at the start of the week and 21.33 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is now waning from the Full Blue Moon last Friday (next in July 2015) and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

                      • The Sun is growing in activity and spot 1560 is now very extensive and likely to flare during the week and there is a chance of Earth directed flares at the start of the week. There are 4 other sunspot regions, though none of these are active

                      • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                      • Tiangong does not make evening passes this week

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                      Week of 27th August

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.11 BST at the start of the week and 21.53 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Friday

                      • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions, none of which are currently active

                      • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                      • Tiangong does not make evening passes this week

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                      Week of 20th August

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.33 BST at the start of the week and 22.14 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                      • Venus and Jupiter shine bright in the East in the pre dawn sky

                      • The Sun has 3 active and has flared recently but these have not been directed towards Earth

                      • The ISS makes its last few passes: On Monday at 21.18.06 W to SSE reaching 60 degrees and 22.55.10 W to WSW to 16 degrees. Tuesday 22.03.12 W to S to 26 degrees. Wednesday 21.11.25 W to SE to 37 degrees. Thursday 21.57.03 WSW to SSW to 14 degrees. Friday 21.04.53 W to SSE to 22 degrees and Sunday 20.59.02 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

                      • Tiangong does not make evening passes this week

                      • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 21.41.39 at 18 degrees in N

                      Week of 13th August

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.57 BST at the start of the week and 22.33 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday

                      • The Perseid meteor shower will still produce meteors early in the week

                      • Venus, Jupiter and the decrescent Moon make a fine conjunction in the pre dawn sky

                      • The Sun has been active and has 5 active regions which could flare again this week

                      • The ISS makes passes all this week: On Monday at 22.32.37 W to E reaching 84 degrees. Tuesday 21.39.26 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.15.53 W to WSW to 58 degrees. Wednesday 22.22.41 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.59.11 W to W to 14 degrees. Thursday 21.29.28 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.05.55 W to WSW to 42 degrees. Friday 22.12.40 W to ESE to 69 degrees and 23.49.25 W to W to 11 degres. Saturday 21.19.25 W to ESE to 86 degrees and 22.55.57 W to WSW to 28 degrees and Sunday 22.02.36 W to SSE to 47 degrees

                      • Tiangong does not make evening passes this week

                      • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 23.29.15 at 20 degrees in W

                      Week of 6th August

                      • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.22 BST at the start of the week and 23.00 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                      • Red Mars and yellow Saturn and blue star Spica are forming a fine conjunction in the evening SW sky

                      • The Sun has been active and has 5 active regions which could flare again this week

                      • The ISS makes passes all this week: On Monday at 22.19.43 SSW to S reaching 17 degrees. Tuesday 23.02.08 SW to S to 48 degrees. Wednesday 22.09.21 SW to S to 35 degrees and 23.45.20 W to W to 42 degrees. Thursday 21.16.47 SSW to E to 23 degrees and 22.52.17 WSW to E to 57 degrees. Friday 21.59.17 WSW to E to 55 degrees and 23.35.35 W to WNW to 70 degres. Saturday 22.42.28 W to E to 89 degrees and Sunday 21.49.20 WSW to E to 78 degrees and 23.25.46 W to W to 70 degrees

                      • Tiangong does not make evening passes this week

                      • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 23.35.06 at 27 degrees in WSW

                      Week of 23rd July

                      • Astronomical Twighlight ends at 00.26 BST at the start of the week and at 23.50 BST at the end

                      • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                      • The Sun has two sunspot regions, neither are currently active

                      • There are 6 Tiangong passes this week: On Monday at 22.12.09 SSW to SSE reaching 13 degrees. Tuesday 22.38.50 SW to S reaching 16 degrees. Wednesday 23.06.02 SW to SSW reaching 13 degrees. Thursday 21.57.35 SW to SE reaching 16 degrees. Friday 22.24.48 SW to S to 14 degrees and Sunday 21.43.24 SW to SSE to 14 degrees

                      • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                      • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.09.38, 19 degrees altitude in W

                      Week of 16th July

                      • As we move away from the Summer Solstice darkness returns, albeit briefly, at the end of the week with Astronomical Twighlight ending at 00.52 BST on Friday for 40 minutes or so. At the start of next week it will end at 00.26 BST

                      • The Moon is waning and will be New mid-week. By next week end it will be a slender crescent in the West at sunset

                      • Following the week-end conjunction of the waning Moon and Jupiter, the dawn sky will be a fine sight with Jupiter, Venus and the Moon over the next couple of days

                      • The Sun has three active regions and spot 1520 released an X class (X1.4) flare at the week end with an associated Earth bound CME. There are good prospects of Aurorae at high latitudes at the start of the week

                      • There are no Tiangong or ISS passes this week but both space stations should return to evening skies next week

                      • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 23.21.03, 31 degrees altitude in W

                      Week of 25th June

                      • The Moon is First Quarter on Wednesday and will then continue to wax to Full mid next week

                      • The Sun is currently remarkably blank with no sunspot groups

                      • There are no Tiangong or ISS passes this week

                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flare this week

                          Week of 18th June

                          • The Moon will now wax to First Quarter mid next week. It will grow from a fine slender crescent over the Solstice

                          • The Summer Solstice (longest day) occurs on Thursday 21st. The Sun will rise at its most northerly position on the Eastern horizon and set in its most northerly position on the Western horizon, hence spending longest in the sky and reaching its greatest elevation at noon of 62.5 degrees

                          • The Sun has 1 decaying active sunspot group, number 1504, which launched CMEs Earth bound last week-end There are no Tiangong passes this week, but the station will soon be manned. 3 Taikonauts (including the first Chinese woman) will dock on 19th

                          • There are 4 remaining ISS evening passes this week: On Tuesday at 22.42.16 W to SSE reaching 32 degrees. Wednesday 23.25.02 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees. Thursday 22.29.54 W to SSE to 20 degrees and the last on Saturday 22.17.57 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

                          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 22.25.22 at 41 degrees altitude in NE

                          Week of 11th June

                          • The Moon wanes this week to New on 18th. It should then be a fine slender crescent for the Solstice on 21st

                          • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, number 1504 is producing M-class flares

                          • There are no Tiangong passes but the ISS makes good passes as follows: On Monday at 23.31.35 W to E reaching 84 degrees. Tuesday 22.37.19 W to E to 65 degrees. Wednesday at 23.19.26 W to E reaching 88 degrees, Thursday at 22.24.34 W to E to 84 degrees. Friday 23.07.08 W to ESE to 76 degrees. Saturday 22.12.48 W to E to 89 degrees and Sunday 22.54.47 W to SE to 54 degrees

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                          Week of 4th June

                          • The Moon wanes this week from Full (Strawberry Moon) at the start of the week, when it undergoes a Partial Eclipse (not visible from UK)

                          • Venus wll transit the disc of the Sun for the last time this Century and for only the 7th time since first viewed by telescope in 1639. The transit is not well placed for the UK. Only the final hour is visible, but the Sun is very low. The transit itself starts at 22.03 BST with 1st Contact. 2nd Contact is at 23.21 BST and 3rd at 05.37 BST on 6th, then the planet will leave the transit at 05.54 BST till December 2117. Under no circumstances should the Sun be viewed directly without professional filters. Only a projected image should be used

                          • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups none particularly active

                          • There are four Tiangong passes: On Monday at 23.01.38 SW to SSW reaching 14 degrees. Tuesday 23.21.59 SW to SW to 10 degrees. Wednesday at 22.06.09 SW to SSE reaching 14 degrees and Thursday at 22.26.19 SSW to S to 12 degrees

                          • The ISS makes evening passes as follows: Monday 23.30.24 ESE to E reaching 15 degrees. Tuesday 22.35.13 SE to ESE to 13 degrees. Wednesday 23.13.58 SW to E to 33 degrees. Thursday 22.20.24 SSW to E to 22 degrees and 23.55.42 WSW to E to 71 degrees. Thursday at 23.01.43 SW to E to 52 degrees. Friday 22.07.46 SW to E to 35 degrees and 23.43.45 W to E to 89 degrees and Sunday 22.49.34 WSW to E to 74 degrees

                          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 21.56.08 at 53 degrees in NE and Saturday at 23.15.25 at 25 degrees altitude in NNE

                          Week of 28th May

                          • The Sun dips only 17 degrees below the Northern horizon

                          • The Moon waxes this week from First Quarter at the start of the week to Full on 4th June

                          • Venus is now only 15 degrees from the Sun and too close to view safely

                          • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, 1492 which is just emerging is active and already giving flare activity

                          • There are three Tiangong passes at the end of this week on Saturday at 22.35.33 from SSW to S reaching 13 degrees and Sunday at 22.57.01 from SW to S reaching 14 degrees

                          • The ISS returns for late evening passes at the start of next week

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                          Week of 21st May

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.42 BST on Monday and then the Sun does not go far enough below the horizon for true astronomical darkness till July 20th

                          • The Moon waxes this week and will be a slender crescent mid-week and First Quarter at the start of next week

                          • Venus is approaching its 5/6th June Transit and in medium sized telescopes is now a slender crescent. As it disappears into the twighlight it will leave bright Mars in southwest and Saturn and blue Spica will be left in south, whilst in southeast red Antares in Scorpio rises

                          • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, though none show significant activity

                          • There are no Tiangong passes this week nor ISS passes

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                          Week of 14th May

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.53 BST at the start of the week and 00.41 BST at the end

                          • The Moon wanes this week and will be New at the start of newt week

                          • Venus sets just before 11pm leaving red Mars in southwest and yellow Saturn and blue Spica culminating due south whilst to the southeast red supergiant Antares in Scorpio rises

                          • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups and a giant active sunspot 1476. A CME is due to give a glancing blow to the Earth on Monday afternoon

                          • There are no Tiangong passes this week nor ISS passes

                          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 23.15.23 at 19 degrees altitude in NNE

                          Week of 7th May

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.22 BST at the start of the week and 23.48 BST at the end

                          • The Moon will now wane this week and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                          • Venus dominates the whole western sky after sunset at its maximum brightness of magnitude -4.7 (nearly 100 times as bright as the very brightest evening stars)

                          • The Sun is growing in activity again and a large active sunspot group is emerging at the eastern limb(surface)

                          • There are no Tiangong passes this week nor ISS passes

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flare this week

                          Week of 30th April

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.19 BST at the start of the week and 22.58 BST at the end

                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Beltane Moon) on Sunday

                          • The Celtic feast of Beltane falls on Tuesday May 1st. This is one of the Cross-Quarter days as this week marks the point half-way between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice

                          • Venus is now visible in daylight, nearly 40 degrees East of the Sun and setting 2.5 hours later. It is at its maximum brightness of magnitude -4.7 (nearly 100 times as bright as the very brightest evening stars)

                          • The Sun's photosphere (surface) is peppered with sunspot groups. As yet this week the activity is still low however

                          • There are no Tiangong passes this week nor ISS passes

                          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 20.48.18 at 71 degrees altitude in ENE

                          Week of 23rd April

                          • .Astronomical twilight ends at 22.36 BST at the start of the week and 22.24 BST at the end

                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday. It will make a good twilght pairing with Venus as a slender crescent at the start of the week

                          • The Sun has 5 active sunspot regions and there is a good chance of flares during the week

                          • There are no Tiangong passes this week but the ISS makes 4 final passes: On Monday at 22.23.24 W to WSW to E reaching 16 degrees. Tuesday at 21.26.35 W to SSE reaching 26 degrees. Wednesday 22.08.09 SW to SW to 8 degrees and Thursday 21.10.10 W to S reaching 16 degrees

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                          Week of 16th April

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.16 BST at the start of the week and 22.33 BST at the end

                          • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday and visible as a slender crescent with Venus at the start of next week

                          • Next week-end the Lyrid meteor shower peaks. Though normally giving only 10 to 20 meteors per hour occasionally mny more are seen. The shower will peak during Saturday night. There is no Moon and the Radiant just south of bright Vega is high all night. The shower is the debris from Comet Thatcher

                          • The Sun has 2 sunspot regions and 1455 is growing in activity

                          • There are 5 Tiangong passes this week: On Monday at 20.41.57 SSW to SE reaching 14 degrees and 22.17.09 SW to SW to 10 degrees. Tuesday 21.07.43 SW to SSE to 16 degrees. Wednesday 21.33.54 SW to S to 14 degrees and Friday 20.50.27 SW to SSE to 14 degrees

                          • The ISS continues to make good passes: On Monday at 20.55.50 WSW to E reaching 78 degrees and 22.32.03 W to WNW reaching 79 degrees. Tuesday at 21.35.55 W to E reaching 84 degrees and 23.12.09 W to W to 24 degrees. Wednesday 22.15.57 W to SE to 77 degrees. Thursday 21.19.46 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 22.56.00 W to WSW to 28 degrees. Friday 21.59.46 W to SE reaching 58 degrees. Saturday 21.03.30 W to ESE to 78 degrees and 22.39.56 W to SW to 25 degrees and Sunday 21.43.29 W to SSE reaching 40 degrees

                          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 23.05.41 at 11 degrees altitude in NNE

                          Week of 9th April

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.58 BST at the start of the week and 22.14 BST at the end

                          • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                          • The Sun has only 1 sunspot region, though there is still some chance of geomagnetic disruption at the start of the week

                          • There are 2 Tiangong passes this week: On Saturday at 21.24.50 SSW to S reaching 13 degrees and Sunday at 21.50.23 SW to SSW reaching 14 degrees

                          • The ISS returns: On Tuesday at 21.44.19 SSW to SSW reaching 18 degrees. Wednesday at 20.49.09 S to ESE reaching 17 degrees and 22.23.52 WSW to SW to 24 degrees. Thursday 21.28.04 SW to ESE to 40 degrees and 23.03.56 W to W to 16 degrees. Friday 20.32.28 SSW to E reaching 26 degrees and 22.07.54 WSW to ESE to 79 degrees. Saturday 21.11.55 WSW to E reaching 59 degrees and 22.48.01 W to W to 41 degrees and Sunday 21.51.55 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 23.28.08 W to W to 16 degrees

                          • There are super bright evening Iridium flares this week: Wednesday 20.52.16 at 65 degrees altitude in E and 22.22.12 at 36 degrees in NE

                          Week of 2nd April

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.42 BST at the start of the week and 21.56 BST at the end

                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Paschal Moon) on Friday, when it is close to Saturn and though hard to see in its glare forms a line of 3 with Saturn and Spica in Virgo. On Tuesday the Moon is close to Mars

                          • Mars continues its westerly progress just below the body of Leo, heading towards Regulus, until it reaches its stationary point mid month when it begins its retrograde easterly motion

                          • The Sun has 4 sunspot regions and 1429 has returned after 2 weeks, but has decayed to minimal actvitiy. The disc is thus quiet

                          • There are no Tiangong or ISS evening passes this week (The ISS returns to the evening skies on 10th

                          • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 21.13.23 BST at 57 degrees altitude in E

                          Week of 26th March

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.27 BST at the start of the week and 21.40 BST at the end

                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday as it moves past first Jupiter then Venus then the Pleiades in the western twilight sky

                          • Bright red Mars nestles just below the trapezium, of Leo (Lion), perhaps the most identifyable 'animal' among the Zodiac constellations, being in the shape of the Eqyption hyroglyph the right facing Sphinx

                          • The Sun has 4 sunpot regions and 1445 is active. The giant spot 1429 which caused the magnetic disturbances 2 weeks ago is still highly active and errupting on the far side of the Sun. It ios not impossible that it will survive to make a second near side rotation and hence bring Earth into the firing line again

                          • There are no Tiangong or ISS evening passes this week

                          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 22.42.47 BST at 12 degrees altitude in NNE

                          Week of 19th March

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.12 UT at the start of the week and 20.25 UT at the end. The Vernal Equinox this year falls on Tuesday when the Sun will rise due East (and set due West in the evening). At noon the Sun will be directly overhead on the Equator and the Astronomical Year begins with the Sun spending more time above the horizon than below (in the Northern hemisphere)

                          • The Moon is will be New on Tuesday and will then wax to First Quarter at the end of the month

                          • Venus is now East of Jupiter and heading out of Aries towards Taurus and will reach the Pleiades at the start of April. Bright red Mars heads south during the evening and yellow Saturn rises in the East around 9.30pm just to the east of bright blue Spica

                          • Following the arc of the saucepan's handle (Plough) down to the horizon finds orange giant Arcturus rising in the East, as sure sign of Spring

                          • Spot 1429 has now gone and the Sun's activity is dropping. There are just 3 small sunspot groups on the disc

                          • There are no Tiangong or ISS evening passes this week

                          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 19.15.26 at 42 degrees altitude due N.

                          Week of 12th March

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.59 UT at the start of the week and 20.12 UT at the end

                          • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                          • Venus and Jupiter converge to within 3 degrees on Tuesday, Venus will then head East of Jupiter towards Taurus and will reach the Pleiades at the start of April. Bright red Mars heads South during the evening and yellow Saturn rises in the East around 9.30pm just to the Easty of bright blue Spica

                          • Following the arc of the saucepan's handle (Plough) down to the horizon finds orange giant Arcturus rising in the East, as sure sign of Spring

                          • After a week of solar storms, spot 1429 is still active and could yet release more X-class flares, though it is now moving to the Western hemisphere of the Sun so flares will not be so Earth directed

                          • There are no Tiangong or ISS evening passes this week

                          • There is one superbright evening Iridium flares on Tuesday at 20.11.21 at 50 degrees altitude in E

                          Week of 5th March

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.46 UT at the start of the week and 19.57 UT at the end

                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Lenten Moon) on Thursday

                          • Venus and Jupiter are converging and will be less than 3 degrees apart at the start of next week, making a very bright display in the West. In the East Mars is at its brightest and culminates at midnight (Opposition) on Monday. Small to medium telescopes should show some detail and colour variation

                            ,li>A large (4 Earth diameter) and potentially active spot 1429 is emerging on the eastern limb and may bring active flares this week

                          • There are no Tiangong or ISS evening passes this week

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                          Week of 27th February

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.34 UT at the start of the week and 19.44 UT at the end

                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                          • Venus, Jupiter and the Moon form changing triangles in the West after sunset

                          • Mars is brightening in the East just below the beutiful asterism of Leo and to the North of Regulus. Mars reaches Opposition next Saturday and is at its closest to Earth on the 5th. Mars will be significantly larger than usual and some features may be visible in medium sized telescopes

                          • The Sun is temporarily quiet again with 3 sunspot regions after an Earth directed CME this last week-end

                          • This is a week for Tiangong evening passes: On Monday at 18.38.10 SSW to SE reaching 14 degrees. Tuesday 19.03.39 SW to SSE to 16 degrees. Wednesday 17.54.17 SSW to SE to 16 degrees and 19.29.34 SW to S to 15 degrees. Thursday 18.19.45 SW to SE to 16 degrees and 19.56.11 SSW to SSW to 11 degrees and Friday 18.45.38 SW to SSE to 14 degrees

                          • The ISS makes its last passes as follows: Monday 19.10.41 W to SSE reaching 28. Tuesday 18.13.28 W to SE to 44 degrees and 19.51.07 WSW to SSW to 11 degrees. Wednesday 18.52.54 W to S to 18 degrees. Thursday 17.55.26 W to SSE to 30 degrees and Friday 18.35.31 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

                          • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 18.54.28 49 degrees altitude in NNE

                          Week of 20th February

                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.22 UT at the start of the week and 19.34 UT at the end

                          • The Moon is New on Tuesday and should be visible as a slender crescent by the end of the week. It will then wax to First Quarter next week

                          • Superbright Venus and Jupiter are converging and will form a beutiful conjunction with the crescent Moon on Saturday

                          • The Sun is suprisingly quiet, withn no flares for 5 days. Though there are 3 sunspot regions

                          • There are two Tiangong evening passes next week-end. Saturday 19.21.31 SSW to S reaching 12 degrees and Sunday 18.37.36 SSW to SE reaching 13 degrees

                          • The ISS makes passes as follows: Monday 17.48.34 WSW to E reaching 55 degrees and 19.24.36 W to NNE to 83 degrees. Tuesday 18.27.45 W to E to 89 degrees and 20.03.55 W to W to 29 degrees. Wednesday 19.07.02 W to E to 87 degrees and 20.43.14 W to W to 11 degrees. Thursday 18.10.06 W to E to 83 degrees and 19.46.16 W to WSW to 48 degrees. Friday 18.49.20 W to ESE to 81 degrees and 20.25.39 W to W to 16 degrees. Saturday 17.52.21 W to E reaching 86 degrees and 19.28.32 W to S to 42 degrees and Sunday 18.31.29 W to ENE to 62 degrees and 20.08.07 W to SW to 17 degrees

                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                            Week of 13th February

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.10 UT at the start of the week and 19.20 UT at the end. Day length is perceptibly increasing

                            • The Moon is Last Quarter on Tuesday and then wanes to New at the start of next week

                            • The Sun has a large and active region 1416, which is central on the disc and thus has the potential for Earth directed flares this week. Watch the activity bars on the front web page

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 passes this week

                            • The ISS makes passes as follows: Monday 19.37.46 SSW to SSW reaching 13 degrees. Tuesday 18.41.59 S to SE to 16 degrees. Wednesday 19.20.13 SW to S to 34 degrees. Thursday 18.24.00 SSW to ESE to 25 degrees and 19.59.24 WSW to WSW to 22 degrees. Friday 19.02.47 WSW to ESE to 57 degrees. Saturday 18.06.18 SW to E to 38 degrees and 19.42.07 W to W to 46 degrees. The best is on Sunday at 18.45.24 WSW to E reaching 77 degrees and then 20.21.33 W to W to 17 degrees

                            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 17.59.51, 65 degrees altitude in NNE

                            Week of 6th February

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.59 UT at the start of the week and 19.10 UT at the end. Day length is perceptibly increasing

                            • The Moon is Full (Snow Moon) on Tuesday and then wanes to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                            • The Sun has 2 sunspot regions, though large, 1410 is mature and neither spot poses a threat of activity

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 or ISS passes this week (ISS returns next week)

                            • There ar no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                            Week of 30th January

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.48 UT at the start of the week and 18.57 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday and then waxes to Full at the start of next week

                            • The Sun having unleashed major flares this week and caused southerly lattitude aurorae has now calmed down. The most active regions have rotated around the western limb. There are still 2 sunspot regions but as yet neither of these show particular activity

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 or ISS passes this week

                            • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 19.07.39 at 40 degrees in NNE

                            Week of 23rd January

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.38 UT at the start of the week and 18.48 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is New on Monday and then waxes to First Quarter at the start of next week at the start of next week

                            • Mars is now rising bright red in the East at 9.30pm and will double in apparent diameter as it reaches Opposition in early March

                            • The Sun has 4 active sunspot regions with 2 particularly active regions already producing Earth-bound CMEs. Watch out for another week of flares

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 or ISS passes this week

                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                            Week of 16th January

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.28 UT at the start of the week and 18.36 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is waning. It will be New at the start of next week

                            • Major planets are now gathering in the evening sky. Venus brilliantly dominates the West in the early evening. Jupiter continues bright high in the South West and Mars is now appearing from 9.45pm on in the East, almost doubling in apparent diameter as it approaches Opposition in March

                            • This is Stargazing Live week with Brian Cox doing his stuff on BBC2 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Local events are 'Bring your Own Binos' at MCBO on Monday at 8pm. A major family event at Lacock run byb the national trust and BBC on Wednesday 4.30pm till 9.30pm and in Oxford, Astrofest Oxford, run by Oxford Astrophysics, 2pm till 10pm on Saturday

                            • The Sun has 6 active sunspot regions with 2 particularly active regions emerging over the eastern limb. Watch out for a week of flares

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 or ISS passes this week

                            • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 18.25.05 at 51 degrees altitude in NNE

                            Week of 9th January

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.19 UT at the start of the week and 18.27 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is Full on Monday night and then wanes to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                            • The Sun has 5 active sunspot regions with 1393 expanding rapidly

                            • There are a number of low Tiangong 1 passes this week: On Monday at 17.52.51 SSW to SE reaching 14 degrees. Tuesday 16.46.52 S to SE to 12 degrees and 18.21.36 SW to SSE to 15 degrees. Wednsday at 17.14.59 SW to SE to 15 degrees and 18.50.51 SW to SSW to 13 degrees. Thursday 17.43.47 SW to SE to 15 degrees. Friday 16.36.57 SW to SE to 16 degrees and 18.13.10 SW to SSE to 12 degrees. Saturday 17.05.47 SW to SSE to 14 degrees and Sunday at 17.35.36 SW to S to 10 degrees. None of these are brighter than magnitude 2.3

                            • There are no ISS passes this week

                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flare this week

                            Week of 2nd January

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.12 UT at the start of the week and 18.18 UT at the end

                            • At midnight on Thursday the Earth is at perihelion, the closest point in its orbit to the Sun

                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week

                            • The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks (sharply) in the early morning of 4th. The Radiant is in Bootes (defunct Quadrans Muralis - the Mural Quadrant). This is usually a reliable shower with an expected maximum rate of some 80 per hour

                            • The Sun has 3 active sunspot regions

                            • There are a number of low Tiangong 1 passes starting next Sunday at 18.30.22 SSW to S reaching 13 degrees at magnitude 2.4

                            • The ISS makes its last passes for a while at the start of the week; on Monday at 16.57.10 W to SE reaching 45 degrees and 18.34.33 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees. Tuesday 17.37.05 W to SSE to 20 degrees. Wednesday at 16.40.09 W to SE to 31 degrees. Thursday at 17.20.36 WSW to S to 13 degrees and the last on Friday at 16.23.09 W to SSE to 21 degrees

                            • There are no superbright Iridium flares

                            Week of 26th December

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.07 UT at the start of the week and 18.12 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is waxing from a very slender crescent on Boxing Day to the north of Venus just after sunset to First Quarter on New Year's Day

                            • The Sun is covered in small inactive sunspots with 5 succinct groups

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 passes this week

                            • This is a week of super ISS passes with 7 almost directly overhead; on Monday at 17.08.05 from WSW to E reaching 82 degrees and 18.44.19 SW to W to 34 degrees. Tuesday at 16.11.47 WSW to E to 66 degrees, 17.47.58 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 19.24.14 W to W to 13 degrees. Wednesday 16.51.37 W to E to 90 degrees and 18.27.52 W to SW to 55 degrees. Thursday 17.31.32 W to ESE to 79 degrees and 19.07.54 W to WSW to 20 degrees. Friday 16.35.12 W to E to 89 degrees and 18.11.28 W to SSE to 43 degrees. New Year's Eve at 17.15.07 W to ESE to 62 degrees and 18.51.46 W to SSW to 19 degrees and New Year's Day 16.18.47 W to ESE to 80 degrees and at 17.55.09 W to SE reaching 30 degrees

                            • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

                            Week of 19th December

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.03 UT at the start of the week and 18.06 UT at the end. The Winter Solstice occurs on Thursday at 05.30 UT and the Sun will rise and set at its extreme southerly position on the horizon. By 25th there should be a noticeable movement north in these points and daylight hours will increase

                            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday and visible aa a very slender crescent on Boxing Day to the north of Venus just after sunset

                            • The Sun is covered in small inactive sunspots with 5 succinct groups

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 passes this week

                            • The ISS returns on Monday at 17.19.11 from S to ESE reaching 14 degrees and 18.53.30 SW to SW to 20 degrees. Tuesday at 17.57.37 SW to SE reaching 34 degrees. Wednesday 17.01.58 SSW to E to 22 degrees and 18.37.12 WSW to WSW to 36 degrees. Thursday 17.41.05 SW to E to 49 degrees and 19.17.08 W to W to 15 degrees. Friday 16.45.07 SW to E to 33 degrees and 18.20.51 W to WSW to 65 degrees. Christmas Eve at 17.24.34 WSW to E to 67 degrees and 19.00.45 W to W to 22 degrees and Christmas Day 16.28.22 SW to E to 48 degrees and the best at 18.04.23 W to ENE reaching 89 degrees

                            Week of 12th December

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end, changing very little as we approach Winter Solstice

                            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next week-end

                            • The Geminid meteor shower, perhaps the most reliable high rate shower peaks on Wednesday at 14.00 UT (predicted up to 140 per hour). Unfortunately the Moon is only just off Full, however it is worth watching out on from Tuesday till Thursday

                            • The Sun is covered in sunspots with 7 sucucinct groups

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 passes this week

                            • The ISS returns next week and makes the first evening pass on Sunday at 18.17.36 from SSW to S reaching 20 degrees

                            • There are two bright early evening Iridium flares: Tuesday at 17.39.01 14 degrees altitude WNW and Wednesday at 17.09.04 21 degrees altitude in WNW

                            Week of 5th December

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end, unchanging as we approach Winter Solstice

                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Saturday

                            • The Sun is growing again in activiy. It has 6 spot groups with 1365 growing

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 passes this week

                            • There are no evening ISS passes

                            • There is one bright early evening Iridium flare on Friday at 17.59.08 at 50 degrees altitude in NE

                            Week of 28th November

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.05 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday. Till then it presents a beutiful crescent in the west after sunset

                            • Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd is now visible in binoculars at magnitude 7 and is in Hercules (http://www.britastro.org/misc/2009p1_finder.jpg) Closest approach is next March when it will be in Ursa Minor, however it is not expected to brighten significantly. Best views should be in the dark skies in late December

                            • After a long absence, Venus appears as 'hespera - the evening star' low in the west after sunset, setting around 16.30 UT. Care, do not search with optical aids due to proximity to the Sun

                            • The Sun is still active. It has 6 spot groups. A CME will reach Earth on 28th at 17.21 UT and could result in a minor geomagnetic storm with HF radio interference at high latitudes(see spaceweather.com for further details)

                            • There are no Tiangong 1 passes this week

                            • There are no evening ISS passes

                            • There are no bright early evening Iridium flares

                            Week of 21st November

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.09 UT at the start of the week and 18.05 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday

                            • The Sun is active. It has 6 spot groups and a new group just emerging on the eastern limb

                            • There are several chances to see Tiangong 1 as it makes evening passes this week but it will be dim at 2nd to 3rd magnitude: Monday 17.42.23 from SW to SE reaching 16 degrees. Tuesday 16.39.13 SW to SE to 16 degrees and 18.15.22 SW to S to 13 degrees. Wednesday 17.11.45 SW to SE to 15 degrees. Thursday 17.45.01 SW to S to 11 degrees and Friday 16.40.56 SW to SSE to 14 degrees

                            • There are no evening ISS passes

                            • There are 3 bright early evening Iridium flares: Tuesday at 17.18.48, 16 degrees altitude in WNW and Friday 17.35.56 at 34 degrees altitude in S.

                            Week of 14th November

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.16 UT at the start of the week and 18.10 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                            • The Sun is still very active. It has 8 spot groups and spot 1339, though decaying is still active

                            • At last there is a chance to see Tiangong 1 as it makes evening passes this week and at 2nd magnitude will be similar brightness to Polaris though it will be low altitude: Monday 17.35.05 from S to SSE reaching 11 degrees. Tuesday 17.52.30 SSW to SSE to 14 degrees. Wednesday 16.36.34 S to SSE to 11 degrees and 18.10.27 SW to S to 15 degrees. Thursday 16.53.41 SSW to SE and 18.28.40 SW to SSW to 13 degrees

                            • There are no evening ISS passes

                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                            Week of 7th November

                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.25 UT at the start of the week and 18.17 UT at the end

                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Thursday

                            • The Sun is seriously active. It has 6 spot groups and spot 1339 is the largest and most active this cycle. It has released one X-class flare and loads of M-class flares and as it crosses tothe centre of the Sun's disc, there is a chance of an Earth directed X-class flare, watch the panel on the website; each of its main umbra are the size of the Earth and the total width of the group is some 100,000 miles

                            • This week sees the closest approach of a sizeable asteroid till 2028, on Tuesday 2005 YU55 a 400m rock passes just 0.8LD from Earth. It will only be visable in medium to large telescopes

                            • Neither the ISS nor Tiangong 1 makes evening passes this week

                            • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 18.38.56, 41 degrees altitude in SE

                              Week of 31st October

                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.35 UT at the start of the week and 18.26 UT at the end

                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

                              • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, spot 1330 is large could still produce flares

                              • The ISS makes final passes this week: Monday at 18.06.17 W to SE reaching 51 degrees and 19.43.18 WSW to WSW to 11 degrees. Tuesday 17.09.07 W to ESE to 72 degrees and 18.45.32 W to S to 22 degrees. Wednesday 17.48.07 W to SE to 35 degrees. Thursday 16.50.48 W to ESE to 53 degrees and 18.27.41 WSW to S reaching 15 degrees. Friday 17.29.51 W to SSE reaching 24 degrees and Sunday 17.11.36 WSW to S to 16 degrees

                              • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 17.36.15 41 degrees altitude in S

                              Week of 24th October

                              • British Summer Time ends next Sunday 30th October and we return to Universal time (UT or GMT). Astronomical twilight ends at 19.48 BST at the start of the week and 18.37 UT at the end

                              • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday

                              • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups, 2 of which are currently active and could produce flares

                              • Chinese Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace-1) is making early morning passes but does not gt brighter than +2 magnitude

                              • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at 19.22.35 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 20.58.43 W to W to 14 degrees. Tuesday 18.25.01 WSW to E to 69 degrees and 20.01.05 W to WNW to 66 degrees. Wednesday 19.03.27 W to E to 85 degrees and 20.39.34 W to W to 21 degrees. Thursday 18.05.48 WSW to E to 85 degrees and 19.41.55 W to ESE reaching 86 degrees. Friday 18.44.15 W to E reaching 84 degrees and 20.20.22 W to W to 30 degrees. Saturday 19.22.40 W to ESE to 70 degrees and 20.59.05 W to W to 10 degrees and Sunday 18.24.58 W to E to 87 degrees and 20.01.09 W to SW to 33 degrees

                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 19.18.08 48 degrees altitude N

                                  Week of 17th October

                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.01 BST at the start of the week and 19.49 BST at the end

                                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                  • The Sun has 7 sunspot groups, none of which are currently active

                                  • Some time next week-end another satellite will re-enter the atmosphere at the end of its life. Launched in 1990, bits of ROSAT X-ray observatory may survive to the surface due to heat resistant materials. The new Space Station Chinese Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace-1) does not make passes this week

                                  • The ISS returns on Monday at 19.44.52 S to SSE reaching 15 degrees. Tuesday 20.21.20 SW to SSW to 22 degrees. Wednesday 19.23.29 SSW to ESE to 24 degrees and 20.58.42 WSW to WSW to 13 degrees. Thursday 18.26.09 S to ESE to 15 degrees and 20.00.26 WSW to S reaching 15 degrees. Friday 19.02.19 SW to E reaching 35 degrees and 20.37.57 W to W to 25 degrees. Saturday 19.39.33 WSW to E to 71 degrees and Sunday 18.41.15 SW to E to 49 dgerees and 20.17.07 W to W to 43 degrees

                                  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                  Week of 10th October

                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.16 BST at the start of the week and 20.03 BST at the end

                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Wednesday

                                  • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, none of which are currently active

                                  • The new Space Station Chinese Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace-1) does not make passes this week

                                  • The ISS returns next week

                                  • There is bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 20.12.11, 51 degrees altitude in SE and Friday 20.03.12 also at 51 degrees in SE

                                  Week of 3rd October

                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.32 BST at the start of the week and 20.16 BST at the end

                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                                  • On Saturday there is the possibility of a rare flare up of the Draconid meteor shower. The Draconids are caused by dust from comet 21P-Giocobini-Zimmer a short period (6.5 year)comet. Occasionally the Earth passes through denser dust streams and on Saturday we will encounter the 1900, 1907 and 1980 streams. Draconid (or Giocobinid) metoers are faint and slow, but rates have reached 1000s an hour in the past (1933 and 1946). This year's forecast is for a couple of peaks at 8pm and 9pm, perhaps reaching 10 meteors a minute. These could however occur anytime from 4pm till 10pm local time. Sunset is at 6.30pm and the waxing Gibbous three-quarter lit Moon rises at 5pm and its light will affect the number seen. The Radiant in Draco is NW from UMa and UMi and looking North away fromm the Moon will probably be best. If the evening is not clear, you can listen to the 'ping' of incoming meteors on www.spaceweatherradio.com

                                  • The Sun has had an active week with the most powerful aurorae this cycle. Spot 1302 still could unleash X-class flares and there are several other spot groups on the disc

                                  • There is now a new Space Station to track as the Chinese have successfully launched Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace-1) which will be manned over the next 2 years

                                  • There are no ISS passes this week but Tiangong makes a pass at 18.48.00 BST on Tuesday SSW to SSW reaching 11 degrees altitude. Unlike the ISS, at magnitude +3, this will be less remarkable and will need a keen eye

                                  • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Friday at 18.57.23, 54 degrees altitude in S

                                  Week of 26th September

                                  • The Autumnal Equinox has now passed (Friday) and the Sun is now rising and setting further south each day as nights grow longer than day

                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.49 BST at the start of the week and 20.37 BST at the end

                                  • The Moon is New on Tuesday and will be a slender crescent by the end of the week

                                  • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups. Spot 1302 is enormous at 100,000km total width and has already produced X-class flares. The week should see some strong storm activity. Keep an eye on the Geomagnetic Field Status bar

                                  • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright Iridium flares

                                    Week of 19th September

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.08 BST at the start of the week and 20.49 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is Last Quarter on Tuesday and will then wane to New at the start of next week

                                    • Jupiter is rising at 8.30pm and will give good observing opportunities this autumn as it is higher altitude than in the last couple of years

                                    • The Sun has 6 sunspot groups. Spot 1295 is currently active and could give rise to Earthbound class-C flares

                                    • Bright orange Arcturus is now setting in the west in the early evening, a sure sign of Autumn

                                    • There are no ISS passes this week

                                    • There is one superbright bright Iridium flare on Saturday at 19.57.31, 62 degrees altitude in SE

                                    Week of 12th September

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.03 BST at the start of the week and 20.42 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is Full on Monday and will then wane

                                    • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups. Spot 1283 is currently active and more activity is likely during the week, though none are currently active

                                    • The Type 1a supernova 2011fe which has hit the news is in Messier M101 a nearby galaxy a mere 21 million light years away. The galaxy is just visible in good binoculars or small telescope at magnitude 7.7just a couple of fingers width (at arms length) north of the handle of the saucepan (Plough) between Alkaid and Mizar, but you need a larger telescope to make out the supernova especially by eye

                                    • There are no ISS passes this week

                                    • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                    Week of 5th September

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.47 BST at the start of the week and 21.29 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is waxing and will be Full next Monday

                                    • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, though none are currently active, 1283 may develop

                                    • Jupiter is beginning to dominate the SE sky in the late evening, its moons changing positions visibly in Biblios night by night

                                    • There are no ISS passes this week

                                    • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 21.31.49 at 49 degrees altitude in NE

                                    Week of 29th August

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.07 BST at the start of the week and 21.50 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is New on Monday and will be visible as a slender crescent mid-week. It will be First Quarter on Sunday

                                    • The Sun has a number of small sunspot groups, though none are currently activ

                                    • .The ISS makes 5 last evening visits this week: Monday 20.25.37 W to SE reachiing 48 degrees and 22.02.48 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees. Tuesday 21.03.45 W to SSE to 21 degrees. Wednesday 20.05.14 W to SE to 33 degrees and Thursday 20.43.47 WSW to S to 14 degrees

                                    • There is on super bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 21.57.30 at 45 degrees altitude in ENE

                                    Week of 22nd August

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.29 BST at the start of the week and 22.07 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                                    • The Sun has a number of active regions, the largest number 1271 is Jupiter sized and likely to give rise to M-class flares

                                    • The ISS makes more evening visits this week with some super bright near Zenith passes: Tuesday 21.26.29 W to E to 487 degrees and 23.02.37W to W to 24 degrees. Wednesday 20.28.20 W to E to 84 degrees and 22.04.26 W to SSE to 60 degrees. Thursday 21.06.16 W to ESE to 82 degrees and 22.42.30 W to WSW to 23 degrees. Friday 21.44.12 S to SSE to 43 degrees. Saturday 20.45.59 W to ESE to 65 degrees and 22.22.29 W to SW to 18 degrees and Sunday 21.23.58 W to SSE to 30 degrees

                                    • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                    Week of 15th August

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.52 BST at the start of the week and 22.33 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                                    • The Sun is currently blank but a new spot is emerging on the Eastern limb

                                    • The ISS makes numerous evening visits this week with some super bright Zenith passes: Monday at 21.11.54 SSW to E reaching 19 degrees and 22.46.49 WSW to S reaching 66 degrees. Tuesday 21.48.58 SW to E to 45 degrees and 23.24.50 W to W to 33 degrees. Wednesday 20.51.19 SSW to E to 28 degrees and 22.26.47 WSW to E to 83 degrees. Thursday 20.28.48 WSW to E to 62 degrees and 23.04.50 W to WNW to 60 degrees. Friday 20.30.58 SW to E to 41 degrees and 22.06.45 W to E to 87 degrees and 22.42.52 W to W to 18 degrees. Saturday 21.08.42 WSW to E to 79 degrees and 22.44.48 W to W to 85 degrees and Sunday 21.46.42 W to E to 83 degrees and 23.22.48 W to W to 22 degrees

                                    • There is one bright evening Iridium flare; On Friday at 22.39.07 at 33 degrees altitude in NE

                                    Week of 8th August

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.17 BST at the start of the week and 22.56 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Saturday

                                    • The Perseid meteor shower peaks at 5am on Saturday but will be greatly affected by the moonlight

                                    • The Sun has active sunspot groups, which could give rise to X-Class flares. Spot number 1263 has a 50,000km active region

                                    • The ISS returns this week with evening passes: Tuesday at 22.25.28 SSW to SSW reaching 48 degrees. Wednesday 21.28.14 S to ENE to 21 degrees and 23.06.24 WNW to NW to 10 degrees. Thursday 22.05.48 WSW to N to 32 degrees. Friday 21.47.08 W to NNW to 13 degrees

                                    • There are two superbright evening Iridium flares; On Wednesday at 22.10.17 at 54 degrees altitude in SE and Thursday 22.04.11 at 56 degrees in SE

                                    Week of 1st August

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.45 BST at the start of the week and 23.25 BST at the end

                                    • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

                                    • The Sun has 3 active sunspot groups, which could give rise to X-Class flares. One spot number 1263 covers an area 65,000km wide

                                    • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                    • There is one bright evening Iridium flares; On Saturday at 23.27.46 at 13 degrees altitude in NNE

                                    Week of 25th July

                                    • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.18BST. By the end of the week it will be 23.49BST

                                    • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                                    • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups, none of which is currently active

                                    • Saturn is now setting in the West by 22.00BST. No other planets are visible till Uranus rises due E at 23.00BST

                                    • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                    • There are three super bright evening Iridium flares; On Tuesday at 21.16.42 at 67 degrees altitude in ENE, Wednesday at 21.11.33 at 69 degrees altitude in ENE and Friday 22.42.45 at 38 degrees altitude in NE

                                      Week of 18th July

                                      • True Astronomical darkness returns on Friday as twilight ends at 00.49UT. By the end of the week it will be 00.25UT

                                      • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

                                      • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups and a new one emerging

                                      • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                      • There are two super bright evening Iridium flare; On Tuesday at 21.49.44 at 58 degrees altitude in NE and on Wednesday at 21.44.35 at 59 degrees altitude in NE

                                        Week of 11th July

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Friday

                                        • The Sun has 4 sunspot groups, one of which is active with C-Class flares. A CME was realeed on Saturday towards Earth and is due to hit on Monday or Tuesday. Though not severe there may be some magnetic storm effects

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare; On Thursday at 23.47.05 at 16 degrees altitude in NNE

                                        Week of 4th July

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                                        • .On Monday and Tuesday the first UK Space Conference takes place in Warwick University and will address Space in education via ESERO-UK (part of the STEM initiative)and the recently launched UK Space Agency (UKSA)

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week.

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flares; On Thursday at 22.05.43 at 23 degrees altitude in N

                                        Week of 27th June

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday

                                        • On Monday at 14.30 BST the Earth will experience a once in 6 year close approach by an asteroid 2011MD. The roughly 10m sized rock will pass less than an Earth diameter (12,000km) away and will have its orbit significantly altered by Earth's gravity. The Sun has several inactive sunspot groups

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                        • There are four bright evening Iridium flares; On Monday at 23.24.26 at 23 degrees altitude in NNE and Thursday at 21.48.37 19 degrees altitude in NNW and on Friday at 21.48.37 at 19 degrees altitude in NNW and 22.59.47 12 degrees altitude in WNW

                                        Week of 20th June

                                        • The Moon is waning and will beLast Quarter on Thursday

                                        • The Solstice occurs on Tuesday when the Sun reaches its furthest North rising and setting points. From the end of the week the Sun will rise progressively further south and day length will reduce slowly

                                        • The Sun has several inactive sunspot groups

                                        • The ISS makes evening passes this week: Saturday 22.03.31 WSW to E reaching 66 degrees and Sunday 22.33.28 W to E reaching 87 degrees. Times for later in the week are currently unavlaible

                                        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares; On Thursday at 22.39.57 at 42 degrees altitude in NE and again at 23.09.38 34 degrees altitude in W and on Friday at 22.32.05 43 degrees altitude in NE

                                        Week of 13th June

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Solstice Moon) on Wednesday

                                        • As heralded by the partial solar eclipse viisble from arctic latitubes 2 weeks ago, the Earth, Moon and Sun will again be exactly aligned and the Moon will move through he Earth's shadow. The eclipse will be the deepest for 11 years with Totality lasting 100 minutes. The Moon will rise totally eclipsed at 21.20 BST, with maximum eclipse at 21.13 BST before it rises. Total eclipse ends at 22.04 BST (the Moon will only be 5.5 degrees above the SE horizon however) and then the Moon will be partially eclipsed till 23.04 BST and the Full Moon will be visible at normal brightness at 00.03 BST

                                        • The Sun two small inactive sunspot groups but prominence activity is currently high

                                        • The ISS makes evening passes this week: Thursday 22.38.40 WSW to E reaching 58 degrees. Friday 23.08.54 W to E reaching 89 degrees. Saturday 22.03.31 WSW to E reaching 66 degrees and Sunday 22.33.28 W to E reaching 87 degrees

                                        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares; On Thursday at 22.39.57 at 42 degrees altitude in NE and again at 23.09.38 34 degrees altitude in W and on Friday at 22.32.05 43 degrees altitude in NE

                                        Week of 6th June

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                        • Notilucent clouds appeared at the end of last week for the first time this year and for the next couple of months over the Summer Solstice, these 80km high electric blue whispy clouds may be seen after sunset when the Sun is around 6 to 16 degrees below the horizon, though the brightest displays may be viewed just as the Sun sets

                                        • The Sun has five sunspot groups but activity is currently low

                                        • The ISS returns making a couple of late evening passes this week: Saturday 23.26.55 ESE to E reaching 13 degrees and Sunday 23.46.32 SW to E reaching 39 degrees. It will be visible each night next week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare; On Tuesday at 22.47.47 at 15 degrees altitude in WNW

                                        Week of 30th May

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday and visible as a slender crescent at the end of the week

                                        • The Sun is waking up and a new spot 1226 is already producing C-class flares

                                        • Before sunrise Jupiter continues to herald the rising of Mercury, Venus and Mars in a close triangle to be followed by the glow of the rising Sun

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares; On Monday at 00.15.32 48 degrees altitude in SW. Tuesday at 22.52.33 25 degrees in W and Thursday 23.33.26 18 degrees in NNE

                                        Week of 23rd May

                                        • The nights are now no longer truly dark and the Sun never dips more than 18 degrees below the horizon

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun is still relatively quiet, though large prominences are still being seen

                                        • Before sunrise Jupiter continues to herald the rising of Mercury, Venus and Mars in a close triangle to be followed by the glow of the rising Sun

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week are at the start of this week

                                        • There are three bright evening Iridium flares; On Tuesday at 23.10.48 32 degres altitude in W. Wednesday at 23.10.07 32 degrees in W and 00.36.37 50 degrees in SW

                                        Week of 16th May

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.59 BST at the start of the week and 00.45 BST on Sunday after which astronomical twilight does not end till 21st July

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet, though a new spot is emerging in the centre of the disc

                                        • Mercury, Venus and Venus are now forming an impressive triangle in the pre-dawn sky

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week are at the start of this week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare; on Friday at 21.12.57 at 26 degrees altitude in NNW

                                        Week of 9th May

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.27 BST at the start of the week and 23.49 BST at the end

                                        • The Moon is waxing and is will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet, though a new spot is emerging on the Eastern limb

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week are at the start of this week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare; on Friday at 23.54.57 at 40 degrees altitude in WSW

                                        Week of 2nd May

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.36 BST at the start of the week and 22.45 BST at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and is will be New on Tuesday and visible as a slender crescent by the end of the week

                                        • The Sun has several sunspots, though none are yet active

                                        • The last few ISS passes are at the start of this week. On Monday at 21.09.44 W to SSE reaching 26 degrees. Tuesday 21.34.50 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees and Thursady 20.47.58 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

                                        • There are two bright evening Iridium flares; on Tuesday at 23.19.37 at 24 degrees altitude in W and on Friday at 23.10.50, 22 degrees altitude in W

                                        Week of 25th April

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.23 BST at the start of the week and 22.36 BST at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and is Last Quarter on Monday

                                        • The Sun has several active regions and spot 1195 may give rise to flares

                                        • The ISS continues to make excellent passes (times BST): Monday 21.28.37 W to E reaching 83 degrees and 23.03.51 W to W to 30 degrees. Tuesday 21.53.19 W to ESE reaching 84 degrees and 23.28.40 W to W to 13 degrees. Wednesday 20.42.44 W to E to 83 degrees and 22.17.58 W to SSE to 53 degrees. Thursday 21.07.20 W to ESE to 83 degrees and 22.42.42 W to SW to 26 degrees. Friday 21.31.52 W to SE to 51 degrees and 23.07.59 WSW to WSW reaching 11 degrees. Saturday 21.56.31 W to S to 26 degrees and Sunday 20.45.36 W to SE to 50 degrees and 22.22.46 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees

                                        • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

                                        Week of 11th April

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.01 BST at the start of the week and 22.17 BST at the end

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week (Pascal Moon) on Sunday

                                        • The Sun has 5 small spot groups and 1176, though on the far side is still very active

                                        • There are no ISS evening passesthis week> The ISS returns next Monday

                                        • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

                                        Week of 28th March

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.29 BST at the start of the week and 21.45 BST at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday

                                        • The Sun has several spot groups and 1176 may release M-class flares over the week-end

                                        • One bright Iridium flare occurs on Monday at 22.42.56 BST, 15 degrees altitude in N

                                        Week of 21st March

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.15 UT at the start of the week and 20.27 UT at the end and the days are now lengtheneing at their fastest rate

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

                                        • The Sun has quietened slightly though one of the largest prominences seen for ages erupted on Saturday (not Earth directed) Cycle 24 is warming up

                                        • Saturn is now rising at 7.30pm and on Monday will be only a few degrees from the large waning Gibbous Full Moon. Over the next weeks Saturn will become a prominent yellow evening 'star' in the SE, slightly lower and to the South of the brighter 'Spring marker' orange giant Arcturus

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • One bright Iridium flare occurs on Tuesday at 18.54.26, 49 degrees altitude in N

                                        Week of 14th March

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.01 UT at the start of the week and 20.13 UT at the end

                                        • Next Sunday 20th is the Vernal Equinox. One of only 2 days in the year when the Sun rises due East and sets due West. Time to check alignments. From Monday the hours of daylight will exceed those of dark and each day the Sun will moves North along the Horizon at rising and setting

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Equinox Moon) on Saturday

                                        • Tuesday and Wednesday are excellent for spotting Mercury in the twilight. Just after sunset Jupiter and Mercury are in Conjunction and only 2 degrees appart

                                        • The Sun has quietened slightly and the active regions of this last week are rotating out of sight

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week nor any bright Iridium flares

                                        Week of 7th March

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.48 UT at the start of the week and 20.01 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

                                        • The Sun has two massive sunspot groups 1164 and 1166 (easily visible in projection boxes and indeed through Solar goggles (DO NOT try to look directly wwithout proper protection) There is a good chance that we will see powerful X-Class flares over the next few days

                                        • The ISS makes its last passes at the start of the week: Monday 19.22.27 W to SSE reaching 19 degrees. Tuesday 18.13.11 W to SE to 36 degrees and Wednesday 18.39.56 W to S to 17 degrees

                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 28th February

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.36 UT at the start of the week and 19.48 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday and visible as a slender crescent at the start of next week

                                        • The Sun has the potential for further actvity and flares as new sunspot groups emerge over the Eastern limb

                                        • The ISS will be bigger and brighter this week as it is joined by Space Shuttle Discovery on its last visit: Monday 17.53.06 WSW to E reaching 62 degrees and 19.28.23 W to ENE to 83 degrees. Tuesday 18.19.18 W to E to 89 degrees and 19.54.38 W to W reaching 48 degrees. Wednesday 18.45.35 W to E to 84 degrees and 20.20.56 W to W reaching 22 degreess. Thursday 19.11.52 W to ESE to 75 degrees and 20.47.27 W to W to 11 degrees. Friday 18.02.50 W to E reaching 85 degrees and 19.38.11 W to S reaching 42 degrees. Saturday 18.29.07 W to ESE reaching 71 degrees and 20.04.46 W to SW to 20 degrees and Sunday 18.55.28 W to SE to 39 degrees

                                        • There are two bright evening Iridium flares: Tuesday 18.41.15 54 degrees altitude in SSE and Friday 18.26.48 54 degrees altitud in S

                                        Week of 21st February

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.24 UT at the start of the week and 19.36 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                        • The Sun has growing activity again and after the X2 class flare last week from 1158, 2 new spot groups 1161 and 1162 are now active and giving M-class flares and there is the potential for another X-class flare during the week. Increased sunspot activity is now expected as the new Cycle at last seems to be well under way

                                        • The ISS returns this week: Monday 19.36.50 SSW to SSW to 16 degrees. Tuesday 18.28.53 S to ESE to 13 degrees and 20.02.20 WSW to SW reaching 16 degrees. Wednesday 18.53.29 SSW to ESE to 28 degrees and 20.28.12 WSW to WSW reaching 11 degreess. Thursday 19.18.58 WSW to SE to 55 degrees . Friday 18.10.00 SW to E reaching 30 degrees and 19.44.46 W to WSW reaching 51 degrees. Saturday 18.35.26 WSW to E reaching 58 degrees and 20.10.39 W to W to 25 degrees and the best on Sunday 19.01.10 W to E to 85 degrees and 20.36.29 W to W to 14 degrees

                                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Tuesday 19.09.12 50 degrees altitude in SSE

                                        Week of 14th February

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.12 UT at the start of the week and 19.24 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Sap Moon) on Friday

                                        • The Sun has 5 sunspot regions. One, number 1158 is growing in activity, so far no eruption has been in our direction

                                        • The ISS returns next week

                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 7th February

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.01 UT at the start of the week and 19.10 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                        • The Sun has one fading sunspot

                                        • Close approach of an asteroid: A 1 meter asteroid 2011 CQ1, discovered on 4th February, passed only 5480km (less than 1 Earth radius) over the Pacific late on Saturday. The object was part of the Apollo class of asteroids, but Earth's gravity deflected it 60 degrees into an orbit similar to an Aten class object

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Tuesday at 18.30.57, 44 degrees altitude in SSE

                                        Week of 31st January

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.50 UT at the start of the week and 19.01 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday and should be visible as a crescent at the week-end

                                        • The Sun has a couple of inactive sunspot regions

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 17.19.49, 29 degrees altitude in SSW

                                        Week of 24th January

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.39 UT at the start of the week and 18.48 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun has one active sunspot region 1149, which is giving C-class flares

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 17.43.48, 34 degrees altitude in S

                                        Week of 17th January

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.30 UT at the start of the week and 18.39 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Snow Moon) on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun has one sunspot region rotating into view which has the potential for storms over the next few days

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There are a number of bright evening Iridium flares. On Thursday at 17.47.56, 16 degrees altitude in WNW and 18.15.25, 36 degrees in S. Also on Friday at 17.16.06, 22 degrees in WNW and 17.32.56, 19 degrees in WNW

                                        Week of 3rd January 2011.

                                        • The new year starts with a flurry of astronomical events. On Monday night the Quadrantid meteor shower peaks. The Quadrantids are one of the least well known showers and yet now the second best in the year. The shower is named after the radiant in the now redistributed old constellation of Quadrans Muralis (the mural quadrant) and now is placed in Bootes, just above the end of the handle of the Saucepan (Plough). The shower is caused by object 2003 EH1 an asteroidal (or dead comet) body with a 5.5 year orbit. Quadrantids are slow meteors and often coloured and bright. The peak is narrow (one hour only) and is forecast around 00.00hrs. With no Moon this is very favourable and over 120 per hour are forecast. It is worth looking out for early meteors from Sunday. If cloud prevents visual sightiongs, you can hear the Quadrantids as they enter the atmosphre via their RADAR signal (you hear a 'ping' on www.spaceweatherradio.com.

                                        • The Sun rises on Tuesday morning in partial eclipse. From here it should be visible about 67% eclipsed at 8.13am (sunrise) and the final contact at the end of the eclipse occuring at 09.36 UT. ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD YOU LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITH OPTICAL INSTRUMENTS OR EVEN BY EYE ALONE (ONLY OFFICIAL SOLAR GOGGLES OR SOLAR FILTERS ARE SAFE). It is possible with care to project the eclipsed Sun through a hole (a couple of mm in a piece of cardboard) onto a piece or cardboard. But always face away from the Sun.

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.13 UT at the start of the week and 18.20 UT at the end.

                                        • The Moon is waxing from New on Tuesday and will be First Quarter on 12th.

                                        • The Sun has five new active regions.

                                        • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at 16.31.39 WSW to E reaching 55 degrees and 18.06.53 W to ENE to 83 degrees. Tuesday 16.57.47 W to E to 86 degrees and 18.33.07 W to W to 46 degrees. Wednesday 17.23.59 W to E to 83 degrees and 18.59.19 W to W to 22 degrees. Thursday 17.50.09 W to ESE to 81 degrees and 19.25.38 W to W to 12 degrees. Friday 16.40.57 W to E to 83 degrees and 18.16.18 W to SSE to 48 degrees. Saturday 17.07.03 W to ESE to 79 degrees and 18.42.34 W to SSW to 24 degrees and Sunday 17.33.07 W to SE to 45 degrees and 19.09.46 WSW to SW to 11 degrees.

                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 27th December.

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.08 UT at the start of the week and 18.12 UT at the end.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on 28th.

                                        • The Sun is currently still blank, though a sunspot is emerging.
                                        • The ISS returns on Monday at 18.13.50 SSW to S reaching 20 degrees altitude. Tuesday at 17.6.56 SSE to SE reaching 11 degrees and 18.39.36 SW to SW to 24 degrees. Wednesday 17.31.18 SSW to ESE to 24 degrees and 19.05.52 WSW to WSW to 16 degrees. Thursday 16.23.59 SSE to ESE to 12 degrees and 17.57.07 SW to SE to 48 degrees. Friday 16.48.43 SSW to E to 26 degrees and 18.23.21 WSW to WSW to 58 degrees. Saturday 17.14.32 WSW to E to 51 degrees and 18.49.45 W to W to 26 degrees and Sunday 17.40.46 WSW to E to 84 degrees and 19.16.06 W to W to 13 degrees.

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares on Tuesday at 18.03.03, 12 degrees altitude in WNW. Thursday at 17.33.12, 18 degrees altitude in WNW and Friday 17.18.10, 20 degrees altitude in WNW

                                        Week of 20th December

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.04 UT at the start of the week and 18.07 UT at the end. The Winter Solstice occurs on Tuesday, when the Sun rises and sets at its southernmost extremes and traces the shortest arc across the sky. There is then little perceptable change in sunrise/set position till the northwood journey starts on 25th

                                        • The Moon is waxing and is Full (Solsicial Moon) on 21st when it is totally eclipsed (it is rare for the eclipse to coincide with the Solstice in fact it was last seen in 1638 AD and will next occur in 2094 AD. The umbral phase starts at 07.40UT and maximum eclipse is at 08.17UT. From here the Moon will be setting low in the West as the Sun rises. This will provide an unusual double act for Solstice observers

                                        • The Sun is currently blank

                                        • The ISS returns at the start of next week and there are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 13th December

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.04 UT at the end. There is very little change as we approach the Winter Solstice

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week

                                        • The Geminid meteor shower peaks next Tuesday at 08.00 UT. However, rates are already building to 10 per hour and are expected to peak at 120 per hour. It is worth watching out over the next few nights, especially on 13th after the Moon has set (00.00UT). The Geminids are unusual in that they are asteroidal (3200 Phaethon) in origin, perhaps due to thermal heating causing shattering of the surface. The shower can produce fireballs. Ideally observe in groups and look especailly NE and SE. The radiant is just above Castor (the uppermost 'twin')

                                        • The Sun has quietened with 2 mature sunspots producing little activity

                                        • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 6th December

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end. There is very little change as we approach the Winter Solstice

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on 13th

                                        • The Sun has a growing sunspot 1131 and another emerging

                                        • There are no ISS passes but there are 5 bright evening Iridium flares: on Monday at 16.55.41, 16 degrees altitude in SSW. Wednesday 17.42.40, 14 degrees in WNW. Thursday 17.27.43, 17 degrees in WNW and Friday 17.12.43 at 20 degrees in WNW

                                        Week of 29th November

                                        • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.38 UT at the start of the week and 18.27 UT at the end

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday

                                        • For early risers, especially in these cold clear dawns, Venus is a spectacular sight

                                        • The Sun has a fading sunspot region, but active regions on the far side
                                          ,br>
                                        • There are no ISS passes but there is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 17.09.55, 27 degrees altitude in SSW

                                          Week of 22nd November

                                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.08 UT at the start of the week and 18.04 UT at the end

                                          • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                                          • Orion is now a good evening sight with red Betelgeuse at the top left 'shoulder'

                                          • The Sun has a couple of sunspot regions

                                          • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares

                                          Week of 15th November

                                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.15 UT at the start of the week and 18.09 UT at the end

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Frosty Moon) on Sunday

                                          • The Leonid meteor shower peaks on Wednesday night at midnight next week but is not expeted to produce more than 20 per hour

                                          • The Winter Sky is now a mid-evening sight, with the Pleiades at mid altitude and superb in Binoculars and Gemini, Canis Minor and Orion all appearing in the East by 9pm The Sun has several active regions. Watch the Storm warnings on the right hand panel

                                          • The ISS makes 1 more pass: Monday 17.00.55, W to SSE reaching 19 degrees

                                          • There is one super bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 16.58.11,68 degrees altitude in NE

                                          Week of 8th November

                                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.23 UT at the start of the week and 18.16 UT at the end

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

                                          • The Leonid meteor shower peaks next week, but early meteors may be seen from next week-end

                                          • The Sun has an new active region 1121

                                          • The ISS makes good passes as follows: Monday 17.08.59, W to E reaching 84 degrees and 18.44.20 W to WSW to 39 degrees. Tuesday 17.35.10 W to ESE to 77 degrees and 19.10.42 W to WSW to 17 degrees. Wednesday 18.01.19 W to SE to 44 degrees. Thursday 16.52.01 W to ESE to 74 degrees and 18.27.36 W to S to 22 degrees. Friday 17.18.04 W to SE to 42 degrees. Saturday 17.44.20 W to SSE to 20 degrees and Sunday 16.34.39 W to SE to 39 degrees

                                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                          Week of 1st November

                                          • We are now back on Universal Time (UT/GMT). Astronomical twilight ends at 18.33 UT at the start of the week and 18.25 UT at the end

                                          • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                                          • The Taurid meteor shower peaks on Thursday, but this normally only produces a few slow meteors and hour

                                          • The Sun has one old active region 1117 and a new region emerging over the eastern limb

                                          • The ISS makes good asses as follows: Monday 17.15.46, SSW to E reaching 26 degrees and 18.50.27 WSW to WSW to 46 degrees. Tuesday 17.41.46 WSW to E to 52 degrees and 19.16.59 W to W to 21 degrees. Wednesday 18.08.08 WSW to E to 85 degrees and 19.43.30 W to W to 10 degrees. Thursday 16.59.21 WSW to E to 56 degrees and 18.34.36 W to WSW to 72 degrees. Friday 17.25.40 W to E to 87 degrees and 19.01.01 W to W to 29 degrees. Saturday 17.52.04 W to E to 83 degrees and 19.27.25 W to W to 14 degrees. Sunday 16.43.03 W to E to 89 degrees and 18.18.24 W to SE to 80 degrees

                                          • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Tuesday at 18.57.22, 43 degrees altitude in SE

                                          Week of 25th October

                                          • British Sunmmer Time ends next Saturday night so from Sunday 31st we return to Universal Time (UT) so, Astronomical twilight ends at 19.45 BST at the start of the week and 18.37 UT at the end

                                          • The Sun has 3 active regions and solar storms are expected, watch the right hand panel

                                          • The ISS returns with passes as follows: Thursday at 19.39.47 SSW to S reaching 18 degrees altitude. Friday 18.32.50 SSE to ESE to 11 degrees and 20.05.35 SW to SW to 21 degrees. Saturday 18.57.16 SSW to ESE to 24 degrees and 20.31.49 WSW to WSW to 14 degrees and Sunday 18.23.04 SW to SE to 48 degrees

                                          • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Saturday at 19.33.23, 44 degrees altitude in NNE

                                          Week of 18th October

                                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.59 BST at the start of the week and 19.47 BST at the end

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Saturday (Hunter's Moon)

                                          • Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is currently just north of Capella and is just visible to the naked eye, but clear in binos, making its closest approach to Earth (11 million km) on Wednesday when it will be brightest and within a couple of degrees of the bright star

                                          • The Sun has 3 active regions and a strong M3 class solar flare errupted on 16th

                                          • There are no ISS passes this week but there is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 18.23.22, 67 degrees altitude in NNE

                                          Week of 11th October

                                          • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.13 BST at the start of the week and 20.01 BST at the end

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                          • Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is currently just west of gamma Persei, having passed the double cluster and will be just east of Capella at closest approach next week. It is relatively easy in Binos at magnitude 7, where it looks greenish, however the very crowded Milky Way field makes it hard to spot. It may reach naked eye visibility at closest approach

                                          • The Sun is currently blank

                                          • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 4th October

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.29 BST at the start of the week and 20.13 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday and a thin crescent at the week-end

                                            • Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is entering the inner Solar System and on 20th October will pass just 11 million miles from Earth. It is currently moving East just South of the right hand v of Cassiopeia and is magnitude 7 (easy in Binos, where it looks greenish). It may reach naked eye visibility at closest approach

                                            • The Sun has 3 sunspot groups

                                            • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 27th September

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.48 BST at the start of the week and 21.32 BST at the end

                                            • The Harvest Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                            • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups

                                            • Jupiter remains the dominent object in the evening skies and is showing good detail in small telescopes

                                            • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 20th September

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.58 BST at the start of the week and 21.51 BST at the end

                                            • Thursday is the Autumnal Equinox with the Sun rising due East and setting due West

                                            • The Moon will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Thursday

                                            • The Sun has an active sunspot group 1108

                                            • Jupiter reaches Opposition on Thursday with Uranus also at Opposition less than 2 degrees away and its colour evenb effected by Jupiter's glow

                                            • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 13th September

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.23 BST at the start of the week and 21.07 BST at the end. Daylight length is now changing at its fastest as the Autumn Equinox approaches on 23rd September

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

                                            • The Sun has one spot group

                                            • Jupiter is now rising bright yellow in the East by 9pm and is in conjunction with Uranus. Uranus can be found a degrees away at'1 o'clock' from Jupiter. It is just visible by eye from a very dark location, but its pale blue disc should be possible in good binoculars or small telescopes

                                            • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 6th September

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.46 BST at the start of the week and 21.23 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday and visible as a thin crescent with bright Venus in the West at the end of the week

                                            • The Sun has several spot groups and has been active with CME's over the week-end

                                            • Jupiter is now rising bright yellow in the East late evening. Orange Arcturus is now setting into the western twighlight, a sure sign of Autumn. Red Antares and Scorpio dominates the Southern horizon as do the dense clouds of the Milky Way in Sagittarius (from a dark site)

                                            • The ISS makes its final evening passes of this session as follows: Monday at 21.04.16 W to SE reaching 59 degrees. Tuesday 19.56.03 W to ESE to 86 degrees and 21.31.32 W to SSW to 30 degrees. Wednesday 2.23.11 W to ESE to 54 degrees and 21.59.20 WSW to SW to 13 degrees. Thursday 20.50.27 W to SSE to 27 degrees. Friday 19.42.01 W to SE to 49 degrees and 21.18.24 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees. Saturday 20.09.17 W to SSE to 25 degrees and Sunday 20.37.31 WSW to SSW reaching 11 degrees

                                            • There are no especially bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 23rd August

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.25 BST at the start of the week and 22.07 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Tuesday (Sturgeon Moon)

                                            • The Sun is blank but a sunspot is appearing over the limb

                                            • The ISS is back making evening passes as follows: Wednesday at 21.58.56 SW to SSW reaching 18 degrees. Thursday 20.52.02 S to ESE to 15 degrees and 22.25.54 WSW to SW to 24 degrees. Friday 21.18.16 SW to ESE to 33 degrees and 22.53.13 W to W to 18 degrees. Saturday 21.45.16 WSW to E to 63 degrees and 23.20.37 W to W to 10 degrees. Sunday 20.37.33 SW to E to 36 degrees and the brightest 22.12.35 W to W to 77 degrees

                                            • There is one bright Iridium flare on Sunday at 21.54.25 at 13 degrees altitude in N

                                            Week of 16th August

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.48 BST at the start of the week and 22.29 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Monday and Full at the start of next week

                                            • The Sun has 3 sunspot regions

                                            • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                            • There are two bright evening Iridium flares: on Wednesday at 23.37.20, 19 degrees altitude in W and Friday at 23.38.08, 16 degrees altitude in W

                                            Week of 9th August

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.13 BST at the start of the week and 22.52 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon will be New on Tuesday and visible as a slender crescent by the end of the week. The Moon will have set before the first Perseids on Thursday, making even the faintest visible

                                            • The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Thursday night. Current predictions are for a later peak sometime around midnight. Conditions and timings are perfect this year. All we need is a clear sky. Perseid numbers are already rising with bright fireballs being seen (it is worth watching any night from now on) and indicates a good debris stream from Comet Temple-Tuttle which last came close in 1992

                                            • The planetary conjunction continues after sunset with first Venus, then Saturn and then Mars forming a triangle within a 10 degree circle

                                            • The Sun now has four sunspot regions, two are potentially active

                                            • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                            • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 23.43.52, 27 degrees altitude in WSW

                                            Week of 2nd August

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.39 BST at the start of the week and 23.13 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday and New at the start of next week.

                                            • After sunset in the West first Venus, then Saturn and then Mars appear forming a triangle. Thde internal angles will change from night to night over the week.

                                            • The Sun has a highly active sunspot region 1092 which has giving strong CMEs. Aurorae are being recorded over North America and Northern Europe. See the Storm warnings on the right-hand panel

                                            • There are no ISS evening passes this week

                                            • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: Wednesday at 22.58.22, 16 degrees altitude in W and Thursday at 00.11.01, 38 degrees altitude in SW

                                            Week of 26th July

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.11 BST at the start of the week and 23.39 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is Full (Thunder Moon) on Monday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                                            • After sunset in the West first Venus, then Saturn and then Mars appear (with Mercury near to Regulus but close to the horizon). Saturn and Mars are within 2 degrees next Friday and Saturday

                                            • The Sun has 2 sunspot regions 1089 and 1090, though large, these are not active at present

                                            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                            • There are two really bright late evening Iridium flares on Wednesday at 23.17.56 BST, 26 degrees altitude in W and Friday 23.15.06, 23 degrees in W

                                            Week of 19th July

                                            • From Wednesday Astronomical twilight starts at 00.47 BST lasting for just less than an hour. By the end of the week it starts at 00.17 BST

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week

                                            • The Sun has still has an active sunspot region 1087 which continues to generate flares. Watch the magnetic storm warning bar on the website front page

                                            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                            • There is one bright late evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 21.29.51 BST, 24 degrees altitude in NNW

                                            Week of 12th July

                                            • Sunset is at 21.20 BST at the start of the week and 21.14 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waxing, visible as a slender crescent by mid-week and and will be First Quarter on Sunday

                                            • Venus and Regulus (alpha Leo) are nicely paired in the West after sunset at the start of the week

                                            • The Sun has active sunspot region 1087 which is already generating flares. Watch the magnetic storm warning bar on the website front page

                                            • The best Noctilucent Cloud display of the year was seen at the end of last week. Watch out during these clear evenings an hour or so after sunset

                                            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                            • There is one bright late evening Iridium flare on Tuesday at 22.55.19 BST, 20 degrees altitude in WNW

                                            Week of 5th July

                                            • Sunset is at 21.26 BST at the start of the week and 21.21 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                                            • The Sun has active sunspot region 1084 and 1086 which may generate flares. Watch the magnetic storm warning bar on the website front page

                                            • The ISS makes further evening passes as follows: On Monday at 22.12.07 W to ESE reaching 77 degrees and 23.47.40 W to SSW to 23 degrees. Tuesday 22.38.34 W to SE to 44 degrees. Wednesday 23.05.13 W to S to 22 degrees. Thursday 21.56.01 W to SE to 40 degrees. Friday 21.22.40 W to SSE to 20 degrees and Sunday 21.40.03 W to SSE to 18 degrees

                                            • There is one bright late evening Iridium flare on Friday at 23.00.52 BST, 27 degrees altitude in W

                                            Week of 28th June

                                            • Sunset is at 21.28 BST at the start of the week and 21.25 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                                            • The Sun has a new active sunspot region which may generate flares. Watch the magnetic storm warning bar on the website front page
                                            • The ISS makes superb overhead evening passes every night for the best week this year as its orbit coincides with the Earth's Terminator (the ISS remains in sunlight each orbit. Passes are as follows: On Monday at 22.17.15 WSW to E reaching 51 degrees and 23.52.27 W to E to 83 degrees. Tuesday 22.43.46 WSW to E to 84 degrees. Wednesday 23.10.25 W to E to 83 degrees. Thursday 22.01.42 W to E to 87 degreess and 23.37.03 W to ESE to 83 degrees. Friday 22.28.20 W to E to 83 degrees. Saturday 22.54.56 W to ESE to 80 degrees and Sunday 21.46.12 W to E to 84 degrees and 23.21.33 W to SE to 47 degrees

                                            • There is one bright late evening Iridium flare on Saturday at 22.418.36 BST, 34 degrees altitude in W

                                            Week of Summer Solstice

                                            • Sunset is at 21.29 BST at the start of the week and 21.29 BST at the end. The Sun rises and sets at its northernmost limits (stationary points) on Monday and is highest in the 2010 sky at Noon, 62.5 degrees altitude

                                            • When the Sun is less active and as we are near the Solstice, keep an eye out for electric blue Noctilucent clouds. best viewed when the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon (around 00.30 BST)

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Saturday

                                            • The Sun has a couple of sunspots

                                            • The ISS is back making late evening passes as follows: On Thursday at 22.08.28 SSE to Se reaching 11 degrees and 23.41.07 SW to E to 44 degrees. Friday 22.33.00 SSW to E to 23 degrees. Saturday 22.59.01 SW to E to 48 degrees and Sunday 21.50.49 SSW to E to 26 degrees and 23.25.28 WSW to E to 81 degrees

                                            • There are three bright late evening Iridium flares; on Monday at 22.46.51 BST, 22 degrees altitude in WNW. Tuesday at 23.57.35 BST at 45 degrees in WSW and Friday at 22.50.47 BST, 15 degrees altitude n WNW

                                            Week of 14th June

                                            • Sunset is at 21.25 BST at the start of the week and 21.28 BST at the end. The Sun is changing rising/setting position on the horizons less each day as the Solstice approaches on 21st

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday, when it is 7 degrees south of Saturn

                                            • The Sun has an active region 1081. Flares at the end of the week have caused magnetic storms, watch the alert on the website for details

                                            • A newly discovered comet, Comet McNaught C/2009 R1(period 130 years), is now in the inner Solar System and easily visble in binoculars. It may become visible (magnitude 4.7)to the unaided eye by next week. Close approach is 100 million miles on Wednesday. It is currently heading East through Perseus and will be close to the bright star Capella by the start of next week

                                            • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                            • There is one bright late evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 22.58.26 BST, 29 degrees altitude in West

                                            Week of 7th June

                                            • Sunset is at 21.20 BST at the start of the week and 21.25 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                                            • The Sun has a small number of sunspots. The Earth is still experiencing magnetic storms, watch the alert on the website for details

                                            • There are no ISS passes this week

                                            • There is one bright late evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 23.16.10 BST, 36 degrees altitude in West

                                            Week of 31st May

                                            • Sunset is at 21.13 BST at the start of the week and 21.19 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                            • The Sun has several groups of small sunspots. The Earth is experiencing strong magnetic storms and aurorae over the bank holiday week-end, watch the alert on the website for details

                                            • There are no ISS passes this week

                                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                            Week of 22nd May

                                            • Sunset is at 21.04 BST at the start of the week and 21.13 BST at the end

                                            • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Grass Moon) on Thursday

                                            • The Sun has an active sunspot grpup 1072 which may give flares this week

                                            • Saturn and Mars dominate the late evening southern sky with Scorpio and red supergiant Antares appearing over the southern horizon around midnight

                                            • There are no ISS passes this week

                                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                            Week of 17th May

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at oo.06 BST at the start of the week and 00.50 BST on Saturday. From 23rd May till 21st July the Sun is never more than 18 degrees below the horizon and conditions for Astronomical Twilight are never reached

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                            • The Sun remains blank

                                            • There are no ISS passes this week

                                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                            Week of 10th May

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.32 BST at the start of the week and 00.00 BST at the end. Astronomical twilight will soon last all night

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday and visible as a crescent at the start of next weekbr>
                                            • The Sun is blank but has been showing considerable C-class flare activity. Watch the X-ray status boxes on the website (click on them for more details and images)

                                            • The ISS makes its last passes for a while; on Monday at 21.30.25 W to ESE reaching 59 degrees and 23.06.16 WSW to SW to 15 degrees; Tuesday 21.55.22 W to SSE reaching 31 degrees; Wednesday 21.20.45 WSW to S reaching 15 degrees; Thursday 21.09.45 W to SE reaching 30 degrees and Friday 21.35.05 WSW to S reaching 14 degrees

                                            • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                            Week of 3rd May

                                            • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.06 BST at the start of the week and 23.28 BST at the end, rising and setting times are now changing at their fastest from one day to the next

                                            • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                            • The Sun is blank but has had some large prominences and there is the possibility of a new group of spots growing during the week

                                            • The ISS makes a couple of passes every day this week, with the best on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (all times are BST): Monday at 21.45.55 WSW to E reaching 77 degrees and 23.21.11 W to W to 63 degrees; Tuesday 22.11.05 W to E reaching 84 degrees and 23.46.22 W to W to 27 degrees; Wednesday 21.01.00 WSW to E reaching 79 degrees and 22.36.16 W to E to 89 degrees; Thursday 21.26.07 W to E reaching 83 degrees and 23.01.24 W to S reaching 62 degrees; Friday 21.51/14 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 23.26.35 W to WSW to 26 degrees: Saturday 22.16.20 W to SE to 60 degrees and 23.52.08 WSW to WSW to 10 degrees and Sunday 21.06.08 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 22.41.29 WSW to S to 32 degrees

                                            • There are two bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 22.58.41 BST at 24 degrees altitude in NE and on Thursday at 22.50.08 at 30 degrees in NE

                                              Week of 26th April

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.43 BST at the start of the week and 23.03 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Seed Moon) on Wednesday

                                              • Venus remains dominent in the Western sky after sunset and is close to the Pleiades at the start of the week

                                              • Saturn, Moon and Mars form a nice arc in the Southern evening sky

                                              • The Sun is blank again but has been showing magnetic disturbances and good aurorae have been recorded in Scadinavia and Alaska

                                              • The ISS returns this week with multiple passes as follows (all times are BST): Wednesday at 21.30.40 S to ESE reaching 18 degrees and 23.04.37 WSW to WSW to 15 degrees; Thursday 21.53.10 SW to E reaching 35 degrees and 23.27.57 W to W to 20 degrees; Friday has 3 passes 20.42.15 S to E reaching 18 degrees and 22.16.12 WSW to E to 65 degrees and 23.51.18 W to W reaching 17 degrees; Saturday 21.04.41 SW to E reaching 35 degrees and the best 22.39.27 W to E reaching 88 degrees and Sunday 21.27.39 WSW to E reaching 65 degrees and 23.02.44 W to ENE to 84 degrees

                                              • There are two super-bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 21.57.32 BST at 48 degrees altitude in ESE and 23.11.33 at 10 degrees in NNE

                                              Week of 19th April

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.23 BST at the start of the week and 22.43 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

                                              • Venus is dominent in the Western sky after sunset

                                              • With the fine particles of ash from the volcano and a lack of clouds (no seeding by contrails of planes) sunsets should be worth attention this week

                                              • The Sun is blank again temporarily

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 20.31.05 BST at 73 degrees altitude in ESE

                                              Week of 12th April

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.05 BST at the start of the week and 22.20 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is New on Tuesday and will be visible as a slender crescent by Thursday at 15 degrees altitude

                                              • Venus is dominent in the Western sky after sunset as Mercury drops down towards the horizon, though it should be visible for the most of the week in the twilight. The Venus at 20 degrees altitude, Mercury at 17 degrees and the crescent Moon at 15 degrees will make a nice line on Thursday and then Moon, Venus, Mercury in descending order on Friday. Look WNW at 20.30 BST The Sun is blank again temporarily

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 22.36.02 BST at 30 degrees altitude in NE
                                              >

                                              Week of 5th April

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.48 BST at the start of the week and 22.02 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

                                              • Venus is now prominent after sunset in the West and for the rest of the week is joined by Mercury (same altitude, slightly closer to the Sun) It should be visible around 20.30 BST given a clear sky. Mercury reaches its Greatest Eastern Elongation of 19 degrees from the Sun on Saturday

                                              • The Sun has two areas 1057 and 1059, neither iof which is currently active

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 29th March

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.32BST at the start of the week and 21.45BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is Full (Pascal Moon) on Tuesday

                                              • The Sun has an active area 1057 which is producing C-class flares, another sunspot gropup 1059 is emerging over the limb

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 22.04.19BST, 39 degrees altitude in ENE
                                              ,/p>

                                              Week of 22nd March

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.17UT at the start of the week and 20.30UT at the end

                                              • Day length is now changing fast and British Summer Time (BST) behins next week-end. Clocks go forward an hour on Saturday night

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                                              • The Sun has a growing active area 1056, which may harbour potential for flares

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 19.50.08, 59 degrees altitude in ESE

                                              Week of 15th March

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.04UT at the start of the week and 20.14UT at the end

                                              • Day length is now changing at its fastest as we approach the Vernal Equinox on Saturday 20th. The Sun will rise due East and set due West and day and night will be equal in length

                                              • The Moon is New on Monday and will be visible as a crescent by mid week

                                              • The Sun has a growing active area 1054, which harbours potential for flares

                                              • The ISS makes more passes this week: On Monday at 19.09.59 W to ESE reaching 67 degrees and 20.45.36 W to WSW to 14 degrees. Tuesday 19.34.47 W to SSE to 36 degrees. Wednesday 19.59.51 W to SSW to 18 degrees. Thursday at 18.48.56 W to SE to 35 degrees. Friday 19.13.59 W to S to 17 degrees. Saturday at 18.27.57 WSW to S to 17 degrees

                                              • There is one super bright evening Iridium flares on Tuesday at 18.56.41 61 degrees altitude in SSE

                                              Week of 8th March

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.51UT at the start of the week and 20.02UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will New at the start of next week

                                              • The Sun is blank again on the Earth side

                                              • The ISS makes good passes this week: On Monday at 19.26.14 WSW to E reaching 69 degrees and 21.01.27 W to W to 10 degrees. Tuesday 18.16.14 SW to E to 39 degrees and 19.51.10 W to N to 86 degrees. Wednesday 18.40.55 WSW to E to 71 degrees and 20.16.08 W to W to 40 degrees. Thursday at 19.05.48 W to E to 85 degrees and 20.41.03 W to W to 21 degrees. Friday 19.30.42 W to E to 86 degrees and 21.05.59 W to W to 11 degrees. Saturday at 18.20.18 W to E to 84 degrees and 19.55.33 W to S to 69 degrees and Sunday 18.45.09 W to E to 85 degrees and 20.20.25 W to WSW to 31 degrees

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 1st March

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.38UT at the start of the week and 19.49UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Sunday

                                              • The Sun has 2 small spot groups 1050 and 1051 but these are not particularly active

                                              • The ISS returns with low passes next week leading to a good ISS week from next Monday: On Thursday at 19.22.29 S to SSE reaching 16 degrees. Friday 19.46.40 SW to SSW to 27 degrees. Saturday 18.37.19 SSW to E to 19 degrees and 20.11.26 WSW to WSW to 26 degrees and Sunday 19.01.30 SW to E to 37 degrees and 20.36.25 W to W to 17 degrees

                                              • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares on Tuesday at 18.18.24 52 degrees altitude in S and 19.54.07 at 48 degrees in ESE

                                              Week of 22nd February

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.26UT at the start of the week and 19.36UT at the end

                                              • The Moon will be First Quarter on 22nd and then waxes to Full (Sap Moon) on Sunday

                                              • The Sun has quietened a little but still has a small sunspot group 1049

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 18.39.35 at 51 degrees altitude in SSE

                                              Week of 15th February

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.14UT at the start of the week and 19.26UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on 22nd

                                              • The Sun is showing continued X-ray flare activity with C and M class flares. It has 2 active sunspot groups 1046 and 1047

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 18.33.23 at 54 degrees altitude in NNE

                                              Week of 8th February

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.03UT at the start of the week and 19.12UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be New next Sunday and visible as a slender cresecent mid-next week

                                              • The Sun is increasing rapidly in activity and already we have seen an M2 class X-ray flare. A large sunspot group 1044 appeared this week-end and promises more flare actvity. Watch the front of the website and for data click on the Solar status box. There is no doubt that Cycle 24 is well underway

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Monday at 19.13.28 at 40 degrees altitude in NNE

                                              Week of 1st February

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.51UT at the start of the week and 19.01UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and Last Quarter on Friday. The Full Moon this week-end was particularly bright as the Moon was at Perigee (closest to Earth in its orbit)

                                              • The Sun has a growing Cycle 24 spot 1043

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes this week, but for the dog-walkers and early risers there is a bright pass next Sunday at 07.09.07UT WSW to E reaching 55 degrees

                                              • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 17.38.48 at 67 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 25th January

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.41UT at the start of the week and 18.50UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Snow Moon) on Saturday

                                              • The Sun has had an active Cycle 24 spot 1041, which is now calming down but has given several M-class X-ray flares.

                                              • Mars reaches -1.28 magnitude at its closest approach (0.66 AU) on Wednesday in Cancer with an apparent disc of 14 seconds of arc. It is at Opposition on Friday, but being at Aphelion (furthest from the Sun) in its orbit, will not be as spectacular as recent Oppositions

                                              • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 18th January

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.32UT at the start of the week and 18.40UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday

                                              • The Sun has had an active group of spots over the week (1040) and some good auroral activity has been seen

                                              • Mars is now brighter than -1 magnitude in Cancer and approaching its closest to Earth (and Opposition) at the end of the month

                                              • The ISS is still on view this week: The best pass is on Monday at 17.00.16 W to E reaching 84 degrees and 18.35.19 W to S to 45 degrees. Tuesday 17.21.32 W to ESE to 79 degrees and 18.56.46 W to SW to 24 degrees. Wednesday 17.42.46 W to SE to 48 degrees and 19.18.55 WSW to SW to 12 degrees. Thursday at 18.04.07 W to SSE to 25 degrees. Friday 16.50.06 W to ESE to 51 degrees and 18.26.04 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees. Saturday at 17.11.20 W to SSE reaching 27 degrees and the last on Sunday at 17.33.04 WSW to S reaching 14 degrees

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 11th January

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.23UT at the start of the week and 18.32UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday, visible as a slender crescent after sunset next week-end

                                              • The Sun has a returning new cycle spot 1040 (was 1035)

                                              • The ISS is on view this week and with clear, cold skies should be worth watching: On Monday at 17.40.42 SW to E reaching 42 degrees and 19.15.29 W to W to 16 degrees. Tuesday 18.02.01 WSW to E to 72 degrees. Wednesday 16.48.45 SW to E to 40 degrees and 18.23.30 W to NNW to 85 degrees. Thursday at 17.10.00 WSW to E to 70 degrees and 18.45.00 W to W to 42 degrees. Friday 17.31.25 W to E to 87 degrees and 19.06.28 W to W to 23 degrees. Saturday sees the best at 17.52.53 W to E reaching 84 degrees but a brilliant -3.5 magnitude, also at 19.27.56 W to W to 14 degrees and Sunday 18.14.17 W to ESE to 76 degrees

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 17.36.30, 61 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 4th January 2010

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.15UT at the start of the week and 18.23UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                              • The Sun has an active new cycle region 1039

                                              • The ISS returns this week from Thursday at 17.51.43, SSE to SE reaching 11 degrees. Friday 18.11.37 SSW to SSE reaching 23 degrees. Saturday 17.00.18 SSE to SE to 11 degrees and 18.32.39 SW to SSW to 35 degrees and Sunday 17.19.53 SSW to E to 22 degrees and 18.54.04 WSW to WSW to 27 degrees

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 28th December

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.09UT at the start of the week and 18.14UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Blue Moon) on New Year's eve. The next Blue Moon (by the definition of being a 2nd Full Moon in a month) will be in August 2012

                                              • The Sun is blank again

                                              • Mars continues to brighten and its disc is growing appreciably in apparent size with a large ice cap discernable in a small telescope

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of the Winter Solstice

                                              • The Winter Solstice, the southernmost rising and setting points of the Sun on the eastern and western horizons respectively, giving the shortest day length, occurs on Monday. Though the Sun only begins to 'move' north perceptively on Friday

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.04UT at the start of the week and 18.08UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                              • The Sun at last has an easily visible sunspot group number 1035

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes or bright Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 14th December

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02UT at the start of the week and 18.04UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is New on Wednesday and should be visible as a slender crescent in the West on Friday

                                              • The Sun has one small cycle 24 sunspot number 1034

                                              • Mars is becoming ever more prominent bright red in the NE sky rising late evening. It appears to change direction on Wednesday and night by night moves backwards (retrograde) against the background stars. This is due to the Earth undertaking it in its orbit. Thus Mars will move from Cancer into Leo and then back again. It is closest in January, however this coincides with it being furthest from the Sun in its elliptical orbit, so it will not appear as large as in 2003 for example

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes this week but there are 2 super bright Iridium flares to watch out for: On Tuesday at 17.58.46 at 51 degrees altitude in NE and Wednesday at 17.52.37, 53 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 7th December

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02UT at the start of the week and at 18.02UT at the end. In fact its earliest value of 18.01UT is reached mid-week, despite being some 2 weeks before the Solstice

                                              • The best meteor shower of the year with predictions of 100-150 per hour, the Geminids, peak in the early hours of 14th December (though tend to be visible from 7th to 16th). Next Sunday night will thus be ideal viewing. Gemini is now well above the horizon in the NE evening sky and the radiant is just above Castor (top of the 2 bright stars at the Northern end of the constellation) The Geminid shower is unusual in that its origin is not cometary and it is a recent shower with the first reports being in 1862, making it nicely contemporary with the Marlborough telescope! The debris streams come instead from an asteroid 3200 Phaethon (this link only being made in 1983) which has a 1.4 year orbit. This gives the meteors a different quality, in that they tend to be slow and are often bright due to the more variable particle sizes. Fingers crossed for clear skies

                                              • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday and new at the start of next week, perfect for the Geminids

                                              • The Sun is blank again

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes or bright iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 30th November

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.03UT at the start of the week and at 18.02UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is Full (the first of two this month) on Wednesday (Wolf Moon). The next Full Moon on New Year's Eve is thus a Blue Moon. The Moon passes next to the Pleiades cluster on Tuesday

                                              • After some brief activity, the Sun is blank again

                                              • Mars is at last making an appearance in the late evening sky between Cancer and Leo. Rising after 10.30pm in the NE. Jupiter is now low in the SW in the evening

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes or bright iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 23rd November

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.07UT at the start of the week and at 18.03UT at the end

                                              • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday

                                              • Cycle 24 may at last be getting underway. The Sun has several active regions. Sunspot number 1033 is in fact a small group

                                              • The ISS continues to make passes with the Shuttle Atlantis attached until next Saturday: The best is on Monday at 16.24.27 W to E reaching 88 degrees and then 17.59.36 W to SSE to 31 degrees. Tuesday 16.46.39 W to ESE to 59 degrees and 18.22.18 WSW to S to 16 degrees. Wednesday at 17.08.55 W to SE to 32 degrees . Thursday 17.31.31 WSW to S to 16 degrees. Friday 16.18.07 W to SE to 33 degrees and Saturday 16.40.38 WSW to S to 17 degrees

                                              • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 17.41.00 at 56 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 16th November

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.13UT at the start of the week and at 18.08UT at the end

                                              • The Leonids meteor shower may peak on Tuesday as early as 18.00UT. Other models predict up to 500 meteors an hour between 21.30 to 21.45UT. Prediction this year of possible high rates follow the rates seen last year when the same debris stream left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle in 1466 was hit. This year we are passing even closer to the centre of the debris cloud. The Leonids typically show a couple of sharp high peaks

                                              • The Moon is New on Monday and should be visible as a slender crescent mid-week, making ideal meteor viewing conditions

                                              • Cycle 24 sunspot number 1029 appears to have survived a rotation and is reappearing, thus bucking the trend of very fleeting spots

                                              • The ISS is a frequent visitor this week with several high passes: Monday at 16.58.23 WSW to E to 55 degrees and 18.33.22 W to W to 41 degrees. Tuesday 17.20.40 WSW to E to 85 degrees and 18.55.45 W to W to 21 degrees. Wednesday 17.43.00 W to E to 83 degrees and 19.18.05 W to W to 11 degrees. Thursday at 16.30.14 WSW to E to 84 degrees and 18.05.18 W to ESE to 86 degress. Friday at 16.52.29 W to E reaching 83 degrees and 18.27.33 W to WSW to 44 degrees. Saturday at 17.14.41 W to E reaching 87 degrees and 18.49.51 W to WSW to 21 degrees and Sunday 17.36.51 W to SE reaching 58 degrees and 19.12.32 WSW to WSW reaching 11 degrees

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 16.25.10 at 74 degrees altitude in ENE

                                              Week of 9th November

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.22UT at the start of the week and at 18.15UT at the end

                                              • The Taurids meteor shower (known for slow bright meteors) will continue till mid-week at low hourly rates, with the Moon becoming more favourable

                                              • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday

                                              • A small Cycle 24 sunspot number 1030 has come and gone

                                              • On 6th a 6m asteroid flew just 14,000 km above the Earth's surface. It was only detected 15 hours in advance and posed no threat

                                              • The ISS returns this week with passes: Tuesday at 17.54.43 S to SE to 16 degrees. Wednesday 18.16.36 SW to S to 30 degrees. Thursday at 17.05.07 S to ESE to 15 degrees and 18.38.42 WSW to SW to 33 degress. Friday at 17.26.40 SW to E to 30 degrees and 19.01.16 W to W to 20 degrees. Saturday at 17.48.54 WSW to E reaching 57 degrees and 19.23.54 W to W to 11 degrees and Sunday 16.36.50 SW to E reaching 30 degrees and the best at 18.11.24 W to ESE reaching 86 degrees

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 2nd November

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.31UT at the start of the week and at 18.23UT at the end

                                              • The Taurids meteor shower (known for slow meteors) peaks on 5th Tuesday, but the Moon will not be favorable as it is just past Full. However it has a broad peak so will be worth watching later in the week. Not more than 10 or so per hour are expected, unlike the prediction for a significant Leonids peak on 17th November

                                              • The Moon is Full (Frosty Moon) on Monday and then wanes to Last Quarter at the start of next week Full

                                              • Cycle 24 sunspot number 1029 is disappearing over the western limb. The remaining disc is blank

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 26th October

                                              • The clocks go back one hour this Saturday night and BST reverts to GMT (Universal Time UT). Astronomical twilight ends at 18.43UT at the start of the week and at 18.33UT at the end

                                              • The Orionids meteor shower has had a long peak this year and continues to give meteors. This debris has been traced to a pass of Halley's comet some 3000 years ago, so the debris is well spread. The Taurids peak on 5th November but the Moon will not be favorable as it is just past Full

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Monday and Full at the start of next week

                                              • The Sun has a cycle 24 suspot ! number 1029. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 19th October

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.56 BST at the start of the week and at 19.45 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be First Quarter on 26th next Sunday

                                              • The Sun is still blank however even a spotless Sun has just released an eartyh directed CME; this will arrive on Monday or Tuesday and will cause high laltitude Aurorae

                                              • Venus is the very bright morning 'star' with Saturn the other last 'star' to disappear in the morning twilight

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 12th October

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.11 BST at the start of the week and at 19.58 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be New next Sunday and visible as a slender crescent early next week

                                              • The Sun is still blank

                                              • Mars is a good morning object in Gemini and close to the Moon at sunrise on 12th

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 5th October

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.26 BST at the start of the week and at 20.13 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Sunday

                                              • The Sun is blank again. The extreme low in activity is as forecast causing an all time high in Cosmic rays hitting the Earth's atmosphere

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 28th September

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.43 BST at the start of the week and at 20.26 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Hunter Moon) next Sunday

                                              • The Sun at last has 2 spot groups (1026, 1027) from new Cycle 24

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Saturday at 19.39.20, 38 degrees altitude in SSE

                                              Week of 21st September

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.01 BST at the start of the week and at 20.43 BST at the end

                                              • The Autumnal Equinox falls on Tuesday 22nd this year as the Sun crosses the Ecliptic (zero degrees Declination and 12 hours Right Ascension) and heads into the Southern sky (negative Declination). The Sun will set due West on Tuesdauy and rise due East on Wednesday, if you want to check local alignments. From Tuesday till March 21st, night is longer than day

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Saturday

                                              • Venus dominates the morning twilight and is very close to the bright star Regulus (alpha Leo)in the East and Jupiter the evening in the South-East

                                              • The ISS continues to make a few more evening passes: On Monday at 20.43.39 W to S reaching 30 degrees. Tuesday at 19.32.52 W to ESE to 57 degrees and 21.08.44 WSW to SW reaching 15 degrees. Wednesday 19.57.28 W to SE reaching 30 degrees. Thursday at 20.22.33 WSW to S up to 14 degrees. Friday 19.11.12 W to SE to 29 degrees. Saturday 19.36.17 WSW to S to 14 degrees

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 14th September

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.23 BST at the start of the week and at 21.10 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning to New on Friday and should be visible as a slender crescent for the Equinox

                                              • Venus dominates the morning twilight in the East and Jupiter the evening in the South-East. Neptune is just E of Jupiter and Uranus just East again, rising around 8pm. Both need a small telescope to make them out and are hard targets as they are not rising to high altitude

                                              • The ISS continues to make very good high passes: On Monday at 21.01.52 W to E reaching 84 degrees. Tuesday at 19.51.18 WSW to E to 79 degrees and 21.26.31 W to W reaching 60 degrees. Wednesday 20.15.55 W to E reaching 83 degrees and 21.51.09 W to W to 24 degrees. Thursday is the best at 20.40.33 W to E up to 89 degrees and at 22.15.51 W t W reaching 11 degrees. Friday 19.29.55 W to E to 83 degrees and 21.05.09 W to SSE to 60 degrees. Saturday 19.54.31 W to E to 88 degrees and 21.29.50 W to WSW to 24 degrees and Sunday 20.19.06 W to SE to 59 degrees and 21.54.56 WSW to WSW to 10 degrees

                                              Week of 7th September

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.39 BST at the start of the week and at 21.23 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Saturday

                                              • The Sun is still totally blank. A new study by 2 researchers, Livingstone and Penn, the States has shown a decline in solar magnetism from a 3200 Gauss peak in 1996 to 2100 now. Extrapolating this would mean solar magnetism would disappear totally by 2015! There is certainly reason to keep monitoring the Sun

                                              • The ISS is back as follows: Monday at 21.20.21 SSW to SSW reaching 12 degrees. Tuesday 21.44.24 SW to SW reaching 17 degrees. Wednesday 20.34.35 SSW to ESE reaching 22 degrees and 22.08.56 WSW to WSW to 15 degrees. Thursday 20.58.39 SW to ESE reaching 43 degrees. Friday 19.48.47 SSW to E to 22 degrees and 21.23.10 WSW to S up to 75 degrees. Saturday 20.12.51 SW to E reaching 45 degrees and 21.47.52 W to W to 37 degrees. The best is on Saturday at 20.37.21 WSW to E reaching 77 degrees and then 22.12.35 W to W reaching 18 degrees

                                              • There is one superbright flare on Monday at 21.39.27 at 48 degrees altitude in ENE

                                              Week of 31st August

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.00 BST at the start of the week and at 21.39 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing to Full (Grain Moon) on Friday

                                              • The Sun is still totally blank

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week, it will return from Monday next week

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 24th August

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.21 BST at the start of the week and at 22.03 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Thursday

                                              • The Sun is still totally blank. Cycle 24 is now well behind schedule

                                              • Jupiter is now at its best in the Southern evening sky. Unfortunatley for observation of cloud detail it does not reach a large altitude and shows significant atmospheric disturbance

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 22.27.07 at 35 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 17th August

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.44 BST at the start of the week and at 22.25 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning to New on Thursday and should be visible as a slender crescent at the week-end

                                              • The Sun is still totally blank

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 22.56.12 at 24 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 10th August

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.08 BST at the start of the week and at 22.47 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning to Last Quarter on Thursday

                                              • The Sun is still totally blank

                                              • The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Wednesday at 15.00 UT. Numbers are already growing to some 20 per hour and may peak at 100ph+ in the early hours of 12th

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 21.57.56 at 50 degrees altitude in ENE

                                              Week of 3rd August

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.34 BST at the start of the week and at 23.12 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waxing to Full (Corn Moon) on Thursday

                                              • The Sun is still totally blank after a continuous 27 days

                                              • The Perseid meteor shower peaks next week at 15.00 UT on 12th. Numbers are already growing to some 10 per hour and may peak at 100ph+ in the early hours of 12th

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one super bright Iridium flare on Friday at 22.24.49 at 43 degrees altitude in NE

                                              Week of 27th July

                                              • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.05 BST at the start of the week and at 23.38 BST at the end.

                                              • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Tuesday.

                                              • The Sun is basically blank, though an old cycle 23 spot is attempting to form.

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week.

                                              • There is one bright Iridium flare on Monday at 21.37.36 at 61 degrees altitude in ENE

                                              Week of 20th July

                                              • Nights are now lengthening and Astronomical twilight ends again, giving a brief period of darkness. Astronomical twilight ends at 00.57 BST at the start of the week and at 00.10 BST at the end

                                              • The Moon is waning to New on Wednesday and will be visible as a slender crescent at the end of the week

                                              • Tuesday 21st at 02.56.15 UT marks the 40th anniversary of 'the first step' on the Moon. Eagle had landed. This Friday NASA released images from the current Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter showing the landing sites and bases of the landers of the Apollo missions for the first time, even the footprint track across the surface..we realy did go there !! (sorry conspiracy theorists!) see http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/apollosites.html. The Apollo program cost $25.4 billion at the time, which is nearly $150 billion in current dollars. There were six landings, but man has not been to the Moon since December 1972. Michael Collins talking this week said, "I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles their outlook could be fundamentally changed," Collins said. "That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified facade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The Earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied." One of the key words Collins uses to describe Earth is "fragile" and he said that 40 years later it is still fragile "and growing more so." "When we flew to the Moon, our population was 3 billion; today it has more than doubled and is headed for 8 billion, the experts say. I do not think this growth is sustainable or healthy. The loss of habitat, the trashing of oceans, the accumulation of waste products - this is no way to treat a planet."

                                              • The Sun is blank again

                                              • The ISS may be visible with the Shuttle Endeavour is docked. Final passes are as follows: on Monday at 22:32:19 W to SSE reaching 28 degrees. Tuesday 21:21:15 W to ESE up to 52 degrees and 22:57:17 WSW to SSW to 13 degrees. Wednesday 21:45:38 W to SSE reaching 27 degrees. Thursday 22:10:37 WSW to S and Saturday 20:23:52 WSW to S up to 13 degrees.

                                              • There is one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 23.26.21 at 20 degrees altitude in NNE

                                              Week of 13th July

                                              • The Moon is waning Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                              • Thursday at 13.32UT marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch

                                              • The Sun's first major sunspot in 2 years has disappeared over the western limb

                                              • The Sarychev volcanic erruption in Russia continues to produce unusual lavender sunsets at all latitudes

                                              • The ISS may be visible with accompanying satellites. This week-end the Russiam Progress 33 ship will practice docking manoevers and on Monday the Shuttle Endeavour is docking. Passes are as follows: on Monday at 22:52:08 W to E reaching 83 degrees. Tuesday 21:41:20 WSW to E up to 84 degrees and 23:16:34 W to ESE to 86 degrees. Wednesday 22:05:45 W to E reaching 83 degrees and 23:40:59 W to SE to 56 degrees. Thursday 22:30:09 W to ESE, to 85 degrees. Friday 21:54:32 W to SE reaching 54 degrees. Saturday 21:43:41 W to ESE up to 84 degrees and 23:19:01 W to S up to 28 degrees and Sunday 22:08:02 W to ESE to 53 degrees and 23.44.03 WSW to SW up to 13 degrees

                                              • There is one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 22.31.23 at 44 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 6th July

                                                  • The Moon is Full on Monday (Thunder Moon) and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                                                  • The Sun now has at last a highly active sunspot 1024 which is from the new Cycle 24

                                                  • The Sarychev volcanic erruption in Russia continues to produce unusual lavender sunsets

                                                  • The ISS is back this week and makes multiple passes each evening: on Monday at 23:11:46 SSW to E reaching 25 degrees, 00:46:17 WSW to E to 80 degrees. On Tuesday 22:02:32 SSE to ESE up to 12 degrees and 23:35:42 SW to E, to 49 degrees. Wednesday 22:25:27 SSW to E reaching 26 degrees and 00:00:00 WSW to E to 81 degrees. Thursday 22:49:22 SW to E, to 50 degrees. Friday 21:39:03 SSWto E reaching 26 degrees and 23:13:38 WSW to E up to 82 degrees. Saturday 22:02:56 WSW to E up to 52 degrees and 23:38:01 W to E up to 83 degrees and Sunday 22:27:09 WSW to E to 83 degrees

                                                  • There are two bright Iridium flares on Monday at 21.32.10 at 63 degrees altitude in NE and Thursday at 22.58.07, 35 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 29th June

                                                  • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday and Full at the start of next week

                                                  • The Sun remains blank

                                                  • Due to the Sarychev volcanic erruption in Russia, plumes of Sulphur Dioxide in the stratosphere may cause deeply coloured sunsets

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week, but there is one bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 23.32.44BST at 19 degrees altitude in NNE

                                                  Week of 22nd June

                                                  • The Moon is New on Monday and will be visible as a slender crescent mid-week. It then waxes to First Quarter on 29th

                                                  • The Summer sky which doesnt leave twilight allows easy spotting of the Summer asterisms. The Summer Traingle of Deneb, Vega (brightest top right corner) and Altair is high in the Eastern sky and the 'hammer-head shark' shape of Scorpius low in the South with bright red Antares twinkling due South (Antares is notable as opne of the largest stars we can see at 2700 times the Diameter of thwe Sun)Arcturus dominates the high SW sky bright orange and following the arc of the saucepan (Plough) to Arcturus and on leads to bright white Spica

                                                  • The Sun is still blank

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week, though as the station nears completion it is now so bright that high passes are visible in daylight

                                                  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 15th June

                                                  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will wane till New at the start of next week

                                                    li>The Summer Solstice occurs at next Sunday morning, when the Sun rises at its furthest North position on the Eastern horizon. The day length is at its longest and it will be a couple of days before the Sun's rising and setting positions change noticeably and days shorten

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 8th June



                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter at the start of next week

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week and just one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 21.41.38 at 59 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 1st June

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Rose Moon) on Sunday

                                                  • The Sun has a small Cycle 24 spot at high altitude in NW quadrant of the disc

                                                  • This is the season for Noctilucent clouds. Irridescent clouds in the stratosphere at very high altitude visible after sunset. They occur each year in a fixed period about a month before Solstice till a couple of months after. Look West a couple of hours after sunset

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 25th May

                                                  • Astronomical twilight continues all night

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter at the start of next week

                                                  • The Sun has had a small spot 1018 which has now disappeared. Current models still expect Cycle 24 to be well under way by the end of the year and to peak in 2013

                                                  • The ISS makes one last pass on Tuesday at 21.21.29 W to SSE reaching 19 degrees

                                                  • There is one bright evening Iridium flares as follows: Monday at 22.44.13 36 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 18th May

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.13 BST but by the end of the week will not return till 20th July

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday

                                                  • The Sun at last has a small sunspot group number 1017 which is from the new cycle 24..perhaps we are off ?

                                                  • The ISS makes passes all this week the best on Tuesday, as follows: Monday at 22.41.07 W to ESE. Tuesday at 21.31.39 W to E and 23.06.58 W to SSE. Wednesday 21.57.28 W to ESE and 23.32.59 W to SW. Thursday 22.23.17 W to SE. Friday 21.13.44 W to ESE and 22.49.17 W to S. Saturday 21.39.30 W to SE and Sunday 22.05.31 W to SSE

                                                  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare as follows: Monday at 21.53.40 17 degrees altitude in WNW

                                                  Week of 11th May

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.38 BST at the start of the week and at 00.13 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Last Quarter on Sunday

                                                  • The Sun remains blank, even still the NOAA are predicting the next (very weak maximum) will occur in May 2013 after one small spot. But when will Cycle 24 start ?

                                                  • The ISS returns this week with some of the best nightly passes for a long time, reaching very high altitudes as follows: Monday at 21.17.15 SSE to ESE reaching 16 degrees and 22.50.23 SW to E reaching 47 degrees. Tuesday at 21.41.35 SSW to E reaching 25 degrees and 23.16.11 WSW to E reaching 7 degrees. Wednesday 22.06.59 WSW to E reaching 49 degrees and 23.42.06 W to E reaching 89 degrees. Thursday 22.32.45 WSW to E reaching 79 degrees. Friday 21.23.29 WSW to E reaching 52 degrees. Saturday 21.49.15 W to E reaching 81 degrees and 23.24.32 W to ESE reaching 77 degrees and Sunday 22.15.05 W to E reaching 88 degrees and 23.50.23 W to SW reaching 42 degrees

                                                  • There is one bright evening Iridium flares on Thusday at 22.59.05, 22 degrees altitude in W

                                                  Week of 4th May

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.10 BST at the start of the week and at 23.33 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Saturday

                                                  • The Sun is again blank after one small spot, but not of the new cycle, came and went

                                                  • The ISS returns at the start of next week, though the first is next Sunday at 22.24.49, SSW to S

                                                  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 22.42.06, 33 degrees altitude in N and Friday at 22.27.23, 39 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 27th April

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.47 BST at the start of the week and at 23.00 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                                                  • Mercury is well placed for viewing just below the Pleiades, low in the West after sunset

                                                  • The Sun is still blank

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                  • There are several bright evening Iridium flares this week on Tuesday at 21.41.36, 18 degrees altitude in N and 22.59.14, 23 degrees altitude in NE and Wednesday at 21.35.20, 20 degrees altitude in N

                                                  Week of 20th April

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.26 BST at the start of the week and at 22.44 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday. It should be visible as a slender crescent at the start of next week

                                                  • The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Wednesday. Up to 10 meteors per hour may be seen from 23.00 BST on Tuesday and the Moon rises late so skies will be dark

                                                  • The Sun is still blank

                                                  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Tuesday at 23.41.54, 10 degrees altitude in West

                                                  Week of 13th April

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.08 BST at the start of the week and at 22.24 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                                  • The Sun is still blank

                                                  • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                                  Week of 6th April

                                                  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.55 BST at the start of the week and at 22.05 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Pascal Moon; first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox, which determines Easter Sunday) on Thursday

                                                  • The Sun is still blank

                                                  • There are no ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares this week What's Up - Week of 6th April

                                                  Week of 30th March

                                                  • All times will now be given in British Summer Time (BST or UT+1). Astronomical twilight ends at 21.35 BST at the start of the week and at 21.48 BST at the end

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                                  • On Friday CEB will be part of the International Year of Astronomy 24 hour broadcast from Observatories around the World and should be live from the William Herschel Telecope on La Palma see http://www.100hoursofastronomy.org/program/75-live-24-hour-research-observatory-webcast

                                                  • The Sun is still blank

                                                  • Venus is now a morning object low in the East at sunrise

                                                  • The ISS (now brighter and larger due to the newly extended extra solar panels) makes its last decent evening pass on Tuesday at 21.04.33 W to ESE reaching 22 degrees

                                                  • There are no evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 23rd March

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday, visible as a slender crescnet next week-end

                                                  • The Sun is still blank..for how much longer?

                                                  • Venus is now low in the West at sunset but is worth viewing. Even in Binos its crescent phase should be obvious

                                                  • The ISS (now brighter and larger due to the newly unfurled extra solar panels) makes evening passes as follows: On Monday at 18.39.11 WSW to E and 20.14.35W to ESE. Tuesday at 19.06.10 W to E and 20.41.34 W to WSW. Wednesday at 19.33.06 W to ESE and 21.08.35 W to W. Thursday 19.59.58 W to SE. Friday 18.51.22 W to ESE and 20.26.53 W to WSW. Saturday 19.18.07 W to SE and 20.54.25 WSW to SW and Sunday 20.44.57 W to SSE

                                                  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 16th March

                                                  • From Thursday (Vernal Equinox) when the Sun rises and sets due East and West respectively, the Sun will rise and set progressively further North and the day length will exceed that of the night, marking the start of the Astronomical year and the Northern hemisphere summer season

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • The ISS returns to the evening skies as follows: Monday at 20.15.39 SW to SSW. Tuesday 19.08.16 SSW to ESE and 20.42.30 WSW to WSW. Wednesday at 19.34.32 SW to ESE and 21.09.36 W to W. Thursday 18.27.00 SSW to E and 20.01.25 WSW to ESE. Friday 18.53.22 SW to E and 20.28.29 W to W. The best is on Saturday 19.20.15 WSW to E and 20.55.36 W to W. Sunday at 19.47.18 W to E and then 21.22.42 W to W

                                                  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 9th March

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Sap Moon) on Wednesday

                                                  • On Monday the Moon will only be a degree from alpha Leo (Regulus)

                                                  • The Sun has a tiny spot 1014, but it is not from the awaited new cycle

                                                  • Comet Lulin is receding fast from the inner solar system and dimming rapidly now well beyond naked eye visibility in Cancer

                                                  • Visible ISS passes kick off again next week-end on Sunday with a low pass at 19.49.19. there are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 2nd March

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

                                                  • The Sun still remains blank. Solar astrophysicsits are still confident of an end to the mimimum but are expecting a rise in sunspots by the end of the month, otherwise they will have to change their predicitons

                                                  • Comet Lulin is still viisble by eye in dark sites. Locate yellow Saturn and then follow a line to Regulus and beyond. The comet is moving noticeably night by night from Leo into Cancer

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes or bright Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 23rd February

                                                  • The Moon is New on Wednesday and should be visible as a slender crescent at sunset by the end of the week

                                                  • The Sun remains blank

                                                  • Comet Lulin is visible by eye from dark sites just less than magnitude 6. Best viewed before dawn to the East of Saturn on a line joining Regulus in Leo with Spica in Virgo

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes or bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 16th February

                                                  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and will then wane to New on 25th

                                                  • The Sun remains blank

                                                  • Venus reaches its greatest brilliance on Thursday

                                                  • There are no visible ISS passes. There is one superbright Iridium flare to watch out for at 18.00.18 on Wednesday, 64 degrees altitude in NNE

                                                      Week of 9th February

                                                      • The Moon is Full (Snow Moon!) on Monday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3 Lulin discovered in 2007) is approaching the inner Solar System and will pass only 0.41 AU from the Earth on 24th February. Currently at magnitude 6, it will pass just SW of Saturn on 23rd February and then within a degree of Regulus (alpha Leo) on 27th. Currentky moving at 2 degrees a day it is a good binocular object, though currenetly effected by the Moon

                                                      • There are no ISS passes visible this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                      Week of 2nd February

                                                      • The Moon is waxing from First Quarter on Monday to Full at the start of next week

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • Venus remains dominent in the West after sunset, but, though dim in comparison, yellow Saturn returns to the evenuing skies rising in the East in Leo, near the bright star Regulus (at the base of he 'backwards question mark')

                                                      • The ISS makes its last passes: On Monday at 17.50.07 W to SE. Tuesday 18.18.31 WSW to S and the last on Thursday at 17.39.01 WSW to S

                                                      Week of 26th January

                                                      • The Moon is New on Monday and should be visible as a slender crescent on Wednesday. It will then wax to First Quarter at the start of next week

                                                      • The Sun is blank again

                                                      • Venus continues to brighten in the SW evening sky

                                                      • The ISS makes very bright passes this week (though in twilight skies): On Monday at 17.45.01 W to E and 19.20.27 W to W. Tuesday 18.13.04 W to E and 19.48.30 W to W. Wednesday 17.05.36 W to E and 18.41.05 W to SE. Thursday 17.33.35 W to E and 19.09.04 W to SW. Friday 18.01.35 W to ESE and 19.37.19 W to WSW. Saturday 18.29.33 W to SE and Sunday 17.21.59 W to ESE and 18.57.54 W to S

                                                      Week of 19th January

                                                      • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                                                      • The Sun is blank again

                                                      • The ISS makes two passes a day this week in the early evening, though only second passes will be properly dark, as follows: On Monday at 17.42.17 SSE to SE and 19.14.43 SW to SW. Tuesday 18.08.02 SSW to SE and 19.42.38 WSW to WSW. Wednesday 17.02.16 SSE to ESE and 18.35.29 SW to S. Thursday at 17.28.39 SSW to E and 19.03.22 WSW to WSW. Friday at 17.56.08 WSW to E and 19.31.25 W to W. Saturday at 16.49.09 SW to E and the best at 18.24.01 WSW to E and Sunday at 17.16.41 WSW to E and 18.52.00 W to W

                                                      • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                                      Week of 12th January

                                                      • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Sunday

                                                      • The Sun has a new Cycle 24 sunspot! Number 2010, but it is very small, not convincing evidence of a rise in activity from the current deep low

                                                      • Venus continues to brighten and will reach Greatest Elongation (biggest angle for the Sun as seen from here) On Wednesday. It will stay in the sky for 4 hours after sunset

                                                      • The ISS will return to our skies next week

                                                      Week of 5th January

                                                      • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Monday and Full next Sunday (Wolf Moon). The Moon is at Perigee, closest to Earth in its orbit and wil appear the largest Full Moon of the year

                                                      • The Moon will pass in front of the Pleiades Open Cluster (M45) on Wednesday. Alcyone will undergo a grazing occultation at 5.45pm

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • There are no ISS passes or bright Iridium flares this week

                                                      Week of 29th December

                                                      • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Sunday

                                                      • Mercury reaches Greatest Elongation next Sunday and will set as much as 90 minutes after the Sun in SW (care when searching due to the Sun's proximity)

                                                      • The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks early on Saturday morning but, if clear, it is worth watching out from the end of he week. Th Radiant is in Bootes, below UMa (the saucepan/plough). The old constellation of Quadrans Muralis, the mural quadrant, having been scrapped with the demise of that astronomical instrument

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • There are no ISS passes or Iridium flares this week

                                                      Week of 22nd December

                                                      • The Moon is waning and will be New next Saturday

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • Venus continues to brighten and is waning in phase

                                                      • There are no ISS passes or evening Iridium flares this week

                                                      Week of 15th December

                                                      • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • Next Saturday, 21st is officially the shortest day, the Winter Solstice, however more important is when the Sun starts to move noticeably north, making the days lengthen, this occurs on Christmas Day

                                                      • Venus is brightening and dominates the twilight sky. Orion is now high in the southern sky and the Belt points down to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius in the SE

                                                      • There are no ISS passes, but there is one bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 17.03.26, 22 degrees altitude in WNW

                                                      Week of 8th December

                                                      • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Wolf Moon)on Friday

                                                      • The Sun remains blank, though there is strong prominence acticity

                                                      • Jupiter is now further West than brighter Venus, both dominate the twilight sky

                                                      • There are 2 more ISS passes: On Monday at 17.14.58 W to S and Wednesday 16.33.30 WSW to S. The tool-kit is visible in Binos on Monday 16,48,56 W to SSE, Tuesday 17.14.48 WSW to SSW and Tursday 16.29.25 WSW to SSW

                                                      • There is one bright Iridium flare at 17.01.09, 20 degrees altitude in SSW

                                                        Week of 1st December

                                                        • The most spectacular naked-eye event this year will occur on Monday. Jupiter, Venus and the new crescent Moon will form a triple Conjunction within 2 degrees in the SW sky (in Sagittarius) just after sunset. From 3.45pm till 5.15pm, the Moon will pass in front of Venus in an Occultation.

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be first Quarter on Friday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • This is a week of good ISS passes and the tool-bag dropped by Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper is visble in binoculars some 20 minutes ahead of th ISS in exactly the same orbit. The passes are as follows Tool-bag times are in brackets): Monday 17.16.41 W to E (17.03.12). Tuesday 17.43.46 W to ESE (17.28.42). Wednesday 16.35.28 W to E (16.18.48) and 18.10.52 W to SSW (17.54.06). Thursday 17.02.32 (16.44.10) and 18.38.10 (18.19.33). Friday 17.29.38 (17.09.27). Saturday 16.21.16 W to ESE and 17.56.59 W to SSE (17.34.50) and Sunday 16.48.22 W to SE (16.20.37)

                                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 17.11.13, 28 degrees altitude in SSW

                                                        Week of 24th November

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday. It should be visible as a slim crescent next week-end

                                                        • A rare conjunction is about to occur at the start of December between the crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus. All this week Jupiter and Venus are getting noticeably closer day by day if you look West after sunset.On Monday 1st December, just as it is getting dark, the Moon will pass in front of Venus accurate times to follow next week-end) and all three will be within 2 degrees

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • The ISS makes multiple early evening passes as follows: Monday at 17.16.25 SSW to ESE and 18.50.47 WSW to WSW. Tuesday 17.41.51 SW to ESE and 19.16.54 W to W. Wednesday 16.33.18 SSW to E and 18.07.45 WSW to SSW. Thursday 16.58.45 SW to E and 18.33.51 W to W. Friday 17.24.40 WSW to E and 18.59.57 W to W. Saturday 16.15.36 SW to E and 17.50.44 W to ENE and finally Sunday 16.41.31 WSW to E and 18.16.49 W to W

                                                        • There is one bright evening iridium flare on Tuesday at 17.42.26, 34 degrees altitude in S

                                                        Week of 17th November

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                                        • The Leonid meteor shower peaks at 18.00 UT on Monday. We are now well past the high rates seen several years ago and a modest 20 or so an hour are expected

                                                        • The western sky after sunset is now dominated by Jupiter and Venus, which are moving closer together to an unusual conjunction with the Moon on 1st December

                                                        • The Sun has a disappearing spot 1008 and will soon be blank again

                                                        • The ISS returns to the evening skies at the end of the week as follows: Saturday 17.58.38 UT SSW to SSE and Sunday 18.23.44 UT SW to SSW. Next week will be much better. The Shuttle Endeavour has just launched to the ISS and we should see an extended shape in Binos

                                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares to watch out for: On Thursday 18.02.59, 38 degrees altitude in SSE. Friday 17.57.20 UT, 37 degrees in SSE and Saturday at 17.43.14 UT, 12 degrees in WNW

                                                        Week of 10th November

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Frosty Moon) on Thursday

                                                        • The Sun is blank again

                                                        • Venus is now prominent and bright in the western evening sky some 20 degrees from Jupiter

                                                        • The Taurid meteor shower had produced some bright fireballs and may contiue at a low rate for the first part of the week. Look out also for early Leonids

                                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week but there is one brigt evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 18.34.06 UT, 41 degrees altitude in SSE

                                                        Week of 3rd November

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                                        • The Sun has one a small spot no. 1007 (cycle 24)

                                                        • The Moon, Jupiet and Venus are now all visible in the South West just after sunset and on Monday the Moon will be within 3 degrees of Jupiter

                                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week but there is one bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 16.53.21, 19 degrees altitude in W

                                                        Week of 27th October

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday. It may be visible as a new crescent on Wednesday when Venus will also be low on the Western horizon

                                                        • The Sun is blank

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 20th October

                                                        • British Summer Time ends next Sunday morning and the clocks go back one hour to Universal Time (UT) or GMT

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

                                                        • The Orionid meteor shower (max 25 per hour) peaks early on Tuesday morning, the radiant in Orion does not rise till around midnight. This debris stream is left over from Halley's comet and usually produces fast meteors with lingering trains

                                                        • The Sun is blank again

                                                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Saturday at 19.19.30 BST, 48 degrees altitude in SSE

                                                        Week of 13th october

                                                        • The Moon will be Full (Hunter Moon) on Tuesday

                                                        • The Sun has a new cycle sunspot! (number 1005) after a 50 year low in sunspot count with 200 days of blank Sun, there have now been 3 new spots in the last 3 weeks. It looks as though Cycle 24 is beginning as normal and we are not stuck in a deep minimum

                                                        • An asteroid (about 3m) airburst over Sudan (about 1kT) at the start pf last week was witnessed by a KLM flight. The asteroid had been picked up 24 hours earlier when the collision was predicted. Next week on 22nd, The eath will have a 0.19 AU (18 million mile) pass by comet P/2008 T3 Barnard-Boattini. However at Magnitude 16, it is 10,000 times too dim to be seen by eye

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week and no Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 6th October

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday with Jupiter within a couple of degrees

                                                        • The Sun is attepting to wake from its lengthy miminum and spot 1003 of the new cycle 24 is struggling to maintain an umbra

                                                        • Venus has returned to the evening sky but is barely perceptable low in the western twilight

                                                        • The ISS makes its last passes for a while: On Monday at 19.59.24 WSW to S. Tuesday at 18.49.48 W to SE. Wednesday 19.16.32 WSW to S and Thursday 18.33.35 WSW to S

                                                          ,li>There are 3 bright Iridium flares: The brightest on Tuesday at 20.39.29 48 degrees altitude in ESE and Wednesday at 18.57.51 54 degrees altitude in S and at 20.33.29 48 degrees altitude in ESE

                                                        Week of 29th September

                                                        • The Moon is New on Monday and should be visible as a slender crescent on Wednesday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • There are good ISS passes this week as follows: The best on Monday at 20.05.25 W to E and 21.40.48 W to W. Tuesday 18.56.28 W to E and 20.31.48 W to S. Wednesday 19.22.51 W to E and 20.58.13 W to WSW. Thursday 19.49.12 W to ESE and 21.24.56 W to WSW. Friday 20.15.35 W to SSE. Saturday 19.06.30 W to ESE and 20.42.18 W to SW and Sunday 19.32.53 W to SE

                                                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Thursday at 19.24.53, 58 degrees altitude in SSE

                                                        Week of 22nd September

                                                        • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Monday

                                                        • Monday is the Autumnal equinox. The Sun will rise due East and set due West and day length becomes shorter than night time

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • The ISS is back: On Monday at 21.11.26 SSW to ESE and 21.46.09 WSW to WSW. Tuesday 20.37.31 WSW to SE. Wednesday 19.29.09 SW to E and 21.03.57 WSW to WSW. Thursday at 19.55.18 WSW to E and 21.30.32 W to W. Friday 20.21.47 W to E and 21.57.07 W to W. Saturday 19.13.06 WSW to E and 20.48.21 W to W and Sunday the best is at 19.39.36 W to E and 21.14.57 W to W

                                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 15th September

                                                        • The Moon is Full on Monday (Harvest Moon, the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox)

                                                        • The Sun is still blanks..one begins to wonder when this will change

                                                        • The ISS returns to our evening skies: On Saturady at 20.53.44 BST SSW to SSW and Sunday 19.46.18 BST S to ESE and 21.19.42 SW to SW

                                                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Friday at 20.24.58 BST, at 60 degrees in ESE

                                                        Week of 8th September

                                                        The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week

                                                      • The Sun is still blank

                                                      • Jupiter is Stationary in its orbit on Tuesday and Uranus at opposition on Saturday when Neptune is within 1 degree of the Moon

                                                      • There are no evening ISS passes this week but there are 3 bright Iridium flares: On Wednesday at 22.26.13, 24 degrees altitude in NE. On Friday at 20.58.00, 57 degrees in E and Saturday at 22.17.35, 28 degrees altitude in ENE

                                                        Week of 1st September

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Sunday with bright red supergiant star Antares less than a degree to the North

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                                        • There are no particulalrly bright evening Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 25th August

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • There are no ISS passes

                                                        • There are two Iridium flares to catch: On Monday at 22.18.42 BST, 40 degrees altitude in ENE and on Tuesday at 23.56.07 BST, 10 degrees altitude in W

                                                        Week of 18th August

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Saturday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • There are no ISS passes but 2 bright Iridium flares: On Wednesday at 22.39.22, 33 degrees altitude in NE and on Saturday at 20.33.30 at 37 degrees altitude in N

                                                        Week of 11th August

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Corn Moon) on Friday. Following 2 weeks from the partial Solar eclipse, the Moon will be partially eclipsed on Friday. Rising already in the penumbral shadow of the Earth and entering the darker umbra at 20.40 BST. It will be 80% eclipsed at maximum. The umbral eclipse ends at 23.44 BST

                                                        • The Perseid meter shower peaks in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It will be worth watching on Monday and Tuesday nights but the waxing Moon will render observation less good till the small hours

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • Jupiter will be 3 degrees N of the Moon on Wednesday

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week but there are several bright Iridium flares to look out for: On Tuesday at 22.00.47 BST, 15 degress altitude in N and at 23.08.15 BST, 21 degrees altitude in NNE. Thursday at 21.32.29 BST, 22 degrees altitude in N and Friday at 22.53.56, 27 degrees altitude in NE

                                                        Week of 4th August

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                                                          ,li>The Sun remians blank

                                                        • There are no ISS evening passes and no bright Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 28th July

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday when it passes in front of the Sun. The Eclipse which is Total from China will be Partial from the UK (max 22%, only 12% from Oxford). The eclipse will not be noticeable and should only be viewed using projection and never directly unless through approved Solar filters. The Eclipse starts at 9.33 BST and is maximum at 10.18 BST.

                                                        • The Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks early on Tuesday morning. looking South, the Radiant is close to the horizon but up to 10 per hour may be seen heading upwards to E, N and W.

                                                        • The Sun remains blank, though there has been some prominence activity on the NW limb

                                                        • The ISS makes its last passes for a while this week: On Monday at 21.29.36 and 23.14.56 W to S. Tuesday 22.05.37 W to ESE. Wednesday 22.31.38 W to SSE. Thursday 21.22.17 W to ESE. Friday 21.48.18 W to SE. Saturday 22.14.38 W to S and Sunday 21.04.55 W to SE

                                                        • There is one evening Iridium flare of note; on Tuesday at 23.29.45, 31 degrees altitude in WSW

                                                        Week of 21st July

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                                        • The Sun has one tiny sunspot no.1000

                                                        • Uranus will be 4 degrees south of the Moon on Tuesday

                                                        • The ISS makes some excellent passes, almost directly overhead as follows: On Monday at 23.27.30 WSW to E. Tuesday 22.16.05 WSW to E. Wednesday 22.39.34 WSW to E. Thursday at 21.28.08 WSW to E. Friday at 21.51.35 WSW to E and 23.26.43 W to ESE. Saturday at 23.50.18 W to SW and Sunday 22.38.41 W to ESE

                                                        • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 23.47.45, 38 degrees altitude in WSW

                                                        Week of 14th July

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Friday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • Jupiter will be 3 degrees North of the Moon on Thursday and Neptune less than a degrees to the South of the Moon on Saturday

                                                        • The ISS returns to the evening skies from Friday. 23.51.52 WSW to E. Saturday 22.40.50 SSW to E and 00.15.24 WSW to E and Sunday 21.30.34 S to ESE, 23.04.01 WSW to E and 00.39.02 W to E

                                                        • There are 2 bright Iridium flares on Tuesday at 23.00.53, 25 degrees altitude in W and at 00.17.55, 47 degrees altitude in SW

                                                        Week of 7th July

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                                        • The Sun is totally blank

                                                        • Jupiter is at Oppostion on Wednesday. Though at its brightest it is still only at a low altitude above the Southern horizon even at its highest at midnight

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 30th June

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday and visible as a crescent on Saturday

                                                        • The Earth reaches aphelion on Friday. Thus is the furthest distance from the Sun during its annual orbit. The Sun thus appears at its smallest (Do not attemtp to view the disc unless using approved Solar filters)

                                                        • Monday sees the 100 year anniversary of the last large confirmed Asteroid impact on the Earth. At 7.17am local time on 30th June 1908 a 30m Asteroid exploded some 8km above the Siberian tundra near Tunguska, wiping out and area equivalent to London within the M25

                                                        • The Sun is totally blank again

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week. There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 21.42.56, 20 degrees altitude in NNW

                                                        Week of 23rd June

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                                        • From Tuesday the length of the day will be shorter with the Sun rising and setting further South on the horizon each day

                                                        • There is one small sunspot number 999. There has been some significant prominence activity which may herald new spots this week

                                                        • This is the season for Noctilucent clouds. Electric blue clouds which form high in the atmosphere under the right conditions. On a clear night it is worth looking West 30 minutes to an hour after sunset, when the Sun is between 6 and 16 degrees below the horizon

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 22.52.28, 28 degrees altitude in W. On Wednesday at 22.49.40, 24 degrees altitude in WNW and Friday at 22.46.55, 21 degrees altitude in WNW

                                                        Week of 16th June

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Solstice Moon) on Tuesday

                                                        • The Summer Solstice (longest day) occurs on Saturday, though the position of the Sun on the horizon at rising and setting barely changes fro 4 days, eventually reversing direction and heading Souith (for shorter days) on 24th

                                                        • The Sun is blank

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 9th June

                                                        • The Moon is now waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                                                        • On Monday Saturn will be 3 degrees north of the Moon


                                                        • The ISS has finished evening passes, but with the new modules attached it is now bright enough to be visible in daylight. The many reflective surfaces are causing it to flare as well. I will begin to put up any daytime passes

                                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                                        Week of 2nd June

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday and visible as a slender crescent on Wednesday

                                                        • The Sun is blank

                                                        • The last few ISS passes for a while occur this week: On Monday at 22.54.03 W to S. Tuesday 21.40.57 W to SE and Wednesday 22.03.21 W to SSE

                                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 26th May

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                                        • The Moon passes less than 1 degree N of Neptune on Tuesday and less than 5 degrees N of Uranus on Thursday

                                                        • The Sun is totally blank

                                                        • The next launch of the Space Shuttle is scheduled for Saturday

                                                        • This week is ideal for ISS passes, though they are rather late evening events. On Monday at 22.52.59 WSW to E and 00.28.00 W to E. Tuesday 23.15.15 W to E. Wednesday 23.37.34 W to E. Thursday 22.24.45 W to E and 23.59.50 W to ESE. Friday 22.47.01 W to E. Saturday 23.09.16 W to ESE and Sunday at 23.31.30 W to SE

                                                        • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                        Week of 19th May

                                                        • The Moon will be Full (Rose Moon) on Tuesday

                                                        • The Sun has 3 small spots from the old cycle

                                                        • Jupiter is back in the evening skies and will be 2 degrees North of the Moon on Saturday

                                                        • The ISS is back making late evening passes as follows: On Wednesday at 23.11.27 SW to E. Thursday 21.59.34 SSW to E and 23.33.38 WSW to E. Friday 22.21.14 SW to E and 23.55.58 W to E (almost through Zenith). Saturday 22.43.20 WSW to E and Sunday 21.30.55 SW to E and 23.05.39 W to E

                                                        • There is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 23.19.40, 35 degrees altitude in WSW

                                                        Week of 12th May

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Monday, when it will be just South of the bright star Regulus (alpha Leo). On Tuesday it will be just North of Saturn

                                                        • On Wednesday the planet Mercury reaches Greatest Elongation (largest angular separation from the Sun as viewed from Earth)

                                                        • After a short lived cycle 24 spot, the Sun is again blank

                                                        • There are no evening ISS passes

                                                        • There are two bright Iridium flares: On Monday at 23.00.06, 18 degrees altitude in W and Wednesday at 22.57.25, 16 degrees in WNW

                                                        Week of 5th May

                                                        • The Moon is New on Monday and should be visible as a slender crescent next to planet Mercury on Tuesday, with red Aldeberan to East and Pleiades to West. It should be visible from about 21.15 and will set in NW at 22.30. In fact Mercury is at its best for viewing this year (a pinbkish dot) in the evening twilight

                                                        • The Sun is still blank

                                                        • There are no evening ISS passes, but there are 2 bright iridium flares; on Monday at 23.14.23 BST, 25 degrees altitude in W and Thursday at 23.05.40, 23 degrees in W

                                                        Week of 28th April

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                                                        • The Sun is blank again

                                                        • Saturn will be stationary on Thursday

                                                        • Thursday is also the Celtic feast of Beltaine. One of the cross-quarter days, roughly half-way between the Equinox and Solstice

                                                        • There are no ISS passes but there is one bright Iridium flare on Monday at 23.38.06, 29 degrees altitude in WSW

                                                        Week of 21st April

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter at the start of the week

                                                        • The Sun is blank again

                                                        • There is no ISS pass this week but there is one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 23.53.05, 30 degrees altitude in WSW

                                                        Week of 14th April

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full next Sunday (Flower Moon)

                                                        • The second sunspot of cycle 24 is making an appearance on the Sun's eastern limb

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                        • There is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 21.39.59, 59 degrees altitude in SSE

                                                        Week of 7th April

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Saturday. The slender crescent Moon will be almost directly in front of the Open cluster the Pleiades (M45) on Tuedsay

                                                        • The Sun is blank again

                                                        • The ISS (the ATV is safely docked) makes its final passes as follows (times BST): Monday at 20.32.40 W to ESE and 22.08.10 W to SW. Tuesday 20.54.26 W to SE. Wednesday 21.16.26 W to S and Friday 20.24.29 W to SSE

                                                        • There is one bright evening Irium flare on Monday at 21.58.01 BST at 67 degrees in ENE

                                                        Week of 31st March

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New next weekend. There is a chance of a very slender crescent shortly following the Sun down in the West on Sunday

                                                        • The Sun has become significantly active again with 3 large spots traversing the disc. These are leading to mid-lattitude auroral displays. The spots are remnants of the old cycle 23 and are at low altitude

                                                        • The ISS is visible this week and the ATV Jules Verne ESA module is in close proximity and will undergo a trial docking at the end of the week. Two spots of light should therefore be visible (times for ATV in brackets): On Monday at 21.09.38 BST (21.07.08 BST) from WSW to E. Tuesday at 19.56.49 BST(19.49.14 BST) SW to E and 21.31.40 BST (21.23.40 BST) W to ENE. Wednesday at 20.18.39 BST (20.05.34 BST)WSW to E and 21.53.41 BST (21.40.12 BST) W to W. Thursday at 20.40.36 (21.56.41 BST) W to E. Friday at 21.02.31 BST W to E (22.13.09 BST). Saturday 21.24.24 BST (20.54.50 BST) W to SE and Sunday 21.11.11 BST (21.11.12 BST) W to E and 21.46.18 BST W to SSW

                                                        • There are two bright Iridium flares on Wednesday at 20.43.47 BST, 63 degrees altitude in ESE and a superbright flare on Thursday at 22.12.58, 37 degrees in ENE

                                                        Week of 24th March

                                                        • Note all times will change (forward 1 hour) next week-end at 1am on Sunday 30th March to British Summer Time (BST = UT+1)

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter next Saturday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • The ISS returns this week at is visible as follows: On Thursday at 20.17.05 UT SSW to SSW. On Friday at 20.39.00 UT WSW to SW. On Saturday at 19.26.49 UT SSW to E and 21.01.13 UT WSW to WSW and the best on Sunday at 20.48.40 BST SW to E. The Shuttle Endeavour remains docked to the ISS till Tuesday. Visible 4.5 minutes (in fact 2000km!) ahead of the ISS, the Jules Verne module (ESA) can be observed and will connect to the ISS after next week-end

                                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 20.04.54 UT, 56 degrees altitude in E

                                                        Week of 17th March

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Paschal/Chaste or Pink Moon) on the 21st, the Vernal Equinox itself, making Easter as early as it can be

                                                        • The Sun is blank and on Friday will rise due E and set due W

                                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                        • There are 2 Iridium flares to look out for: On Wednesday at 20.41.02, 44 degrees altitude in E and on Thursday at 21.31.20, 11 degrees altitude in NE

                                                        Week of 10th March

                                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                                                        • Mars will be less than 2 degrees from the Moon on Saturday

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week. There is another scheduled Shuttle launch STS-123 (Endeavour) on Tuesday morning

                                                        • There is one Iridium flare to watch out for on Friday at 19.26.37, 58 degrees altitude in SE

                                                        Week of 3rd March

                                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday and a slender crescent at the start of next week

                                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                                        • Mercury is close to Venus and with Jupiter, the pre dawn sky just before sunrise is the time for Planet watching. But they are very low in the SE

                                                        • There is one very bright Iridium flare to look out for on Thursday at 18.27.07, 55 degrees altitude in S

                                                        There are no evening ISS passes

                                                      • Week of 25th February

                                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                                        • The Sun remians blank

                                                        • Mercury may be seen in the East before sunrise on Tuesday just over a degree North of bright Venus

                                                        • There are no ISS passes

                                                        • There is one bright iridium flare on Friday at 18.48.15, 54 degrees altitude in SSE

                                                        Week of 18th February

                                                        Monday sees the second in the Green College Public Engagement with Science and Technology Lectures: 'De-mystifying the night sky' given by C.E Barclay, Director, Blackett Observatory, Marlborough College, visitor at Oxford Astrophysics. Entry is free. Lecture starts at 6.30pm in E.P. Abraham lecture theatre , Green College on Woodstock Road. In addition, Roberto Trotta (who gave the first lecture) and Charles Barclay will co-host the Bill Heine show on Radio Oxford from 4pm on Monday

                                                      • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Lenten or Storm Moon) on Thursday, when it will undergo a Total Lunar Eclipse (the next one will not be till December 2010). The partial phase of the eclipse will start at 01.43 UT on the morning of Thursday 21st and the Moon will enter the umbra of the Earth's shadow (start of Totallity) at 03.01 UT with mid eclipse occuruing at 03.26 UT. Totallity will end at 03.51 UT and the Moon wil be back to full brightness at 05.09 UT. If the clear weather holds this might rival the March 4th 2007 Total eclipse, however this one is not really well placed for all but insomniacs!

                                                      • The Sun remains blank

                                                      • Saturn will reach Opposition next Sunday and with the Moon then to its East will be well placed for observation

                                                      • The ISS has left our Oxfordshire skies

                                                      • The American spy satellite USA 193 continues to descend and should burn up before the end of March. It is now easily visible as follows (best): On Wednesday at 18.43.18 SSW to ESE reaching 38 degrees altitude. Thursday at 18.36.04, SW to ENE reaching 58 degrees. Friday at 20.01.51 SW to ENE reaching 87 degrees. Saturday at 18.20.46 WSW to NE reaching 65 degrees and Sunday at 18.12.42 WSW to NE reaching 46 degrees

                                                      • There are 2 bright Iridium flares to spot this week: On Tuesday at 17.55.02, 44 degrees altitude in S. Wednesday at 19.28.28, 49 degrees altitude in SE

                                                      Week of 11th February

                                                      The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday when it will also be at Perigee and only just over 370,000 km, this will be a great night for terminator observations

                                                    • Mars will be within 2 degrees of the Moon next Saturday

                                                    • The Sun is blank again

                                                    • The ISS (now bigger and brighter as Shuttle Atlantis is docked and delivering the European Space Agency Columbus laboratory) continues to make passes: On Monday at 18.55.04 W to SSE. The best is on Tuesday at 17.40.40 W to ESE and 19.15.46 W to SSW. Wednesday at 18.01.12 W to ESE and 19.36.57 WSW to SW. Thursday at 18.21.44 W to SE. Friday at 18.42.43 WSW to S and the last on Saturday at 17.48.16 WSW to S

                                                    • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares. On Monday at 18.00.37, 12 degrees in WNW. Tuesday at 17.45.39, 14 degrees in W and Wednesday 17.30.38, 17 degrees in W

                                                    Week of 4th February

                                                    The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday, we are entering a phase of Sun, Earth, Moon alignment, so it will cause an Annular Solar Eclipse (not visible form UK) and then when Full a Total Lunar Eclipse on 21st February (more details to follow). It should reappear this week in our evening skies as a slender crescent on Saturday

                                                  • The small sunspot 982 is breaking up

                                                  • Saturn is now reaching 15 degrees altitude around 9pm in SE and in a small telescope it is evident how much the Rings have tilted into our line of sight. They appear more like a band across the Planet

                                                  • The ISS makes good passes this week: On Monday at 18.04.57 SW to E. Tuesday 18.25.39 WSW to E. Wednesday 18.46.34 W to ENE. Thursday 17.32.29 WSW to E and 19.07.26 W to WNW. The best is on Friday at 17.53.16 W to E and then 19.28.15 W to W. Saturday 18.14.03 W to E and then Sunday 18.34.47 W to ESE

                                                  • There are no bright Iridium flares. However, an American spy satellite USA 193 (launched in 2006 after which control was lost) is decaying in its orbit by some 20km per month and when it reaches 100km altitude will undergo r-eentry. The time and location of this are uncertain. It is visible by eye in the early morning and can best be seen on Monday at 06.45.55 UT WNW to SE reachng 64 degrees altitude

                                                  Week of 28th January

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday


                                                  • Venus and Jupiter are converging in the dawn sky in Sagitarius. On Friday 1st they will be less than a degree appart

                                                  • On Tuesday thre is a rare cahnce to see a Near Earth Asteroid 2007 TU34. This ia a rock some 200 - 500m in size which will reach a close approach of some 1.4 LD (Lunar Distances) ie ony about 0.5 Mkm. It should reach Magnitude 10 (possible in small to medium telescopes) and will move from right to left across the top of the Plough (Saucepan) covering some 2 degrees per hour

                                                  • The ISS returns to the Oxfordshire skies at the end of the week. On Friday at 18.37.44 SSW to SSE. Saturday at 18.58.19 SW to SSW and Sunday 17.45.13 SSW to E and 19.19.16 WSW to WSW. Next week will see better, brighter passes reaching higher altitude and lasting longer

                                                  • There is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 19.07.33 41 degrees altitude in SE

                                                  Week of 21st January

                                                  • The Moon will be Full on Tuesday (Wolf Moon)

                                                  • The Sun remains blank

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                  • There are two evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 17.18.01, 68 degrees altitude in NE and on Tuesday at 18.14.27, 37 degrees altitude in S

                                                  Week of 14th January

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • Mars is still very bright and orange and will be within a degree or so of the Moon next Saturday

                                                  • Saturn is now back in our evening sky rising just after 20.30 UT in the NE. 5 times dimmer than Mars but discernably slightly yellow

                                                  • There are no ISS evening pases this week but there is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 18.29.31 UT, 36 degrees altitude in SSE

                                                  Week of 7th January

                                                  • The Moon will be New on Tuesday and should be visible as a thin crescent on Thursday after sunset

                                                  • The Sun has a new spot 981. This is not a usual spot in that not only does it have reversed magnetic polarity but it has also appeared at high latitude. This signals the start of the next solar cycle, number 24

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes this week but there are 2 bright Iridium flares on Monday at 16.29.48 at 72 degrees altitude in E and on Tuesday at 16.23.41 also at 72 degrees in E

                                                  Week of 31st December

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be last Quarter on 31st December

                                                  • The Sun remains blank

                                                  • Comet 8P/Tuttle makes a close approach of 24 million miles to the Earth after a 13.6 year absence at the start of the week. It is just naked eye visibility and is an easy emerald coloured blur in binoculars just west of Comet Holmes between it and M31

                                                  • One of the most prolific annual meteor showers peaks in the early hours of 4th January. the Quadrantids are named after the now abandoned constellation Quadrans Muralis (now part of Bootes). The radiant will be high in the northern sky on Thursday evening

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes but there is one superbright evening Iridium flare on Saturday 5th at 18.37.56, 42 degrees altitude in NNE

                                                  Week of 24th December

                                                  • The Moon will be Full (Wolf Moon) on Christmas Eve

                                                  • Mars will be at Opposition on Christmas Eve and within a degree of the Moon

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares on Thursday at 17.27.59, 61 degrees in NE and on Friday at 17.21.52, 61 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 17th December

                                                  • The Moon will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                                  • The Winter Solstice occurs on Saturday at 6.08 am, the Sun will rise and set at its most southern point on the horizon and then the days will start to lengthen

                                                  • Mars reaches its closest point to the Earth on Wednesday

                                                  • The large group of sunspots 978 is breaking up

                                                  • The ISS makes passes as follows: Monday 17.40.40 W to SE. Tuesday 16.26.47 W to E and 18.01.52 W to SSE. Wednesday 16.47.50 W to ESE and 18.23.20 WSW to S. Thursday 17.08.51 W to SE. Friday 17.30.12 W to S. Saturday 16.15.41 W to SE and Sunday 16.36.50 W to SSE

                                                  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                                  Week of 10th December

                                                  • The Moon is New at the start of the week and will wax to first Quarter on Saturday

                                                  • The Geminid meteor shower peaks in the early hours of Friday 14th. Often this shower, which is relatively recent compared to the Perseids for example, is a good shower to observe and appears to be increasing in activity, with up to 100 per hour rates possible. This year the lack of Moonlight will aid observation. The Geminids are unusual in that unlike all other major meteor showers, the debris stream does not arise from a Comet but from an asteroid (3200 Phaethon)

                                                  • The Sun may be more active this week with the appearance of one of the largest spots this year (978)

                                                  • This is a week of ISS passes as folows: On Monday at 16.46.33 SW to E and 18.21.12 SW to E. On Tuesday at 17.07.52 WSW to E. Thursday 17.50.51 W to E. Friday 16.37.19 WSW to E. Saturday 16.58.46 W to E and 18.33.48 W to W and Sunday 17.20.12 W to ESE

                                                  • There is a rare maximum brightness Iridium flare to be seen on Monday at 16.58.04, 65 degrees altitude in ENE

                                                  Week of 3rd December

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • The ISS is back at the end of the week with increasingly good passes as follows: On Wednesday at 18.29.49 from SW to SSW. Friday at 17.17.30 from S to ESE. Saturday at 17.38.16 from SW to ESE and Sunday at 17.59.34 from WSW to SSE

                                                  • There is one bright Iridium flare on Saturday at 17.10.18 at 64 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 26th November

                                                  The Moon is now waning and will be last Quarter on Saturday, when it will pass 2 degrees from Saturn. On Friday the Moon will be less than a degree from Regulus (alpha Leo). A the temperature falls, keep an eye out for Lunar Halos, caused by ice particles high in the atmosphere

                                                • The Sun has one tiny spot 975

                                                • Comet 17/P Holmes is still visible but fading and will be affected by the Moon light this week

                                                • There are no ISS passes, but 2 superbright Iridium flares will be worth trying to catch; On Tuesday at 18.08.41 at 47 degrees altitude in NNE and on Wednesday at 18.02.31, 49 degrees altitude in NE

                                                Week of 19th November

                                                • As of last Thursday the Sun is no longer the largest object (diameter) in the Solar System ! The envelope of debris from Comet Holmes has now expanded to more than 1.4 million km. Due to the incredibly low density of matter however, in terms of mass, it is like comparing a bag of sugar to the Earth. The comet has now moved significantly towards alpha Persei, closing the triangle of last week. It will pass in front of the brightest star in Perseus (Mirphak) on Tuesday

                                                • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Frosty Moon) on Saturday

                                                • The Sun has one tiny spot 974, the first for some time

                                                • Mars rises around 7pm in NE brilliant orange

                                                • There are no ISS passes this week but there is one superbright Iridium flare on Monday at 16.52.39 at 68 degrees in NE

                                                Week of 12th November

                                                • The Moon is Waxing and will be First Quarter next Saturday

                                                • The Sun is blank

                                                • Comet Holmes is dimming and is less spherical being more 'jelly fish' in shape

                                                • There are no ISS passes and no bright Iridium flares this week

                                                Week of 5th November

                                                The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday

                                              • The exploding comet 17/P Holmes continues to expand and appears currently to be 2/3 of the size of the Full Moon (though only visible as such through a telescope as it is dimming and the outer parts of the Coma are too dim to see by eye)

                                              • If the sky is clear watch out for late Taurids

                                              • The Sun is blank again

                                              • The Winter sky is coming into its own with Orion up by 10pm. Mars is now really bright and orange in the North East smack in the middle of Gemini late evening

                                              • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 29th October

                                              • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                              • Comet 17P/Holmes which is normally too dim for even large telescopes has brightened to naked eye visibility (comparable to stars in the Plough) and appears to be exploding, showing a disc in small telescopes. It can be found as an extra 'star' in Perseus just North and below alpha Persei (Mirfak)

                                              • The Taurid meteor shower peaks on Saturday. The debris from 2P/Encke often produces slow bright meteors and a number of fireballs

                                              • The Sun remains blank but active prominences have been in evidence on the western limb

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week

                                              • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Friday at 18.27.51, 44 degrees altitude in NNE

                                              Week of 22nd October

                                              • Note GMT (BST-1) starts next Sunday morning

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Hunters Moon) on Friday

                                              • The Sun remains blank

                                              • Watch out for late Orionid meteors at the start of the week

                                              • Comet 2007 F1 LONEOS is brightening to a naked-eye object. Scan south and west of Arcturus low near the horizon after sunset

                                              • The winter asterisms are rising mid evening, heralded by the Pleisades (M45) and followed by Aldeberan and the Hyades and then from around 10.30pm Orion

                                              • The ISS makes 1 more pass on Tuesday at 18.13.20 W to SSE

                                              • There are 2 superbright Iridium flares: On Tuesday at 18.23.58 at 66 degrees altitude in NNE and on Wednesday at 18.17.51 at 67 degrees altitude in NNE

                                              Week of 15th October

                                              • The Moon is now waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                                              • The Orionid meteor shower peaks on Saturday, though rates are usually below 20 per hour. This is debris from Halley's comet
                                                The pre-dawn eastern sky has a beutiful triangle with bright corners of Venus, Saturn and Regulus in that order, with Saturn being yellower

                                              • The Sun is blank again

                                              • There is a new comet brightening but very low in the West after sunset, below the 'Saucepan' of UMa. LONEOS (C/2007 F1) will brighten to naked eye visibility (just) by the end of the month

                                              • The ISS is visible this week as follows: Monday at 19.54.18 W to SE. Tuesday 18.42.20 W to E and 20.17.28 W to WSW. Wednesday 19.05.27 W to ESE and 20.40.48 W to WSW. Thursday 19.28.35 W to SE. Friday 18.16.31 W to ESE and 19.51.51 W to S. Saturday 18.39.36 W to SE and 20.15.59 WSW to SSW and Sunday 19.02.50 W to SSE

                                              • Week of 8th October

                                                • The Moon is waning and will be New on 11th. This Sunday morning the Moon will pass in front of Regulus (alpha Leo) from 6.15 till 6.50 BST, this will be the brightest star occultation till 2015

                                                • Mars is rising around 22.00 and is well placed by midnight in SE. Saturn, Venus and the old Moon are nicely gathered at the start of the week in the morning sky

                                                • The Sun has one growing spot 972

                                                • Venus is now so bright that it can be spotted by eye in daylight near the crescent Moon in the early morning sky at the start of the week

                                                • The ISS may be seen this week: Monday at 20.21.59 from WSW to SSW. Tuesday at 19.10.30 SW to E. Wednesday at 19.33.25 WSW to E. Thursday at 20.56.35 W to E. Friday at 20.19.48 W to W and Saturday at 19.07.54 W to E

                                                • There are no bright iridium flares this week

                                                Week of 1st October

                                                • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                                • The Sun has one tiny sunspot 971

                                                • Mars is brightening and will be 5 degrees south of the Moon on Tuesday

                                                • The ISS returns to our evening skies at the end of the week with passes on Saturday at 19.36.46 S to SE and Sunday at 19.59.08 SW to SE

                                                • There are no evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 24th September

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Wednesday

                                                  • The Sun has now been blank for 14 consecutive days, though prominence activity continues at the limb

                                                  • Uranus is just 2 degrees south of the Moon on Tuesday but will be lost in its glare and certainly its colour will not be so vivid

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 17th September

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday

                                                  • The Sun is totally blank again

                                                  • There are no ISS evening passes and no bright Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 10th September

                                                  • The Moon will be New on Tuesday

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • Venus is at maximum brightness in the pre-dawn sky in the East

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes and no bright Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 3rd September

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday when Mars will be 6 degrees south of the Moon

                                                  • The Sun has a growing spot 969 and another emerging spot, so activity may increase

                                                  • Mars is coming closer over the next few montrhs till Opposition on Christmas Eve. However, it will be neither as close or bright as in 2005 nor 2003 Oppositions. The next spectacular Opposition will not occur till 2018

                                                  • There are no ISS passes or bright Iridium flares this week

                                                  Week of 27th August

                                                  • The Moon will be Full on Tuesday (Corn Moon)

                                                  • The Sun has one spot 969 but it is only weakly active

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright Iridium flares

                                                  Week of 20th August

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday. On Wednesday the Moon will be just South of Antares and Jupiter

                                                  • The Sun is blank again

                                                  • There are nop ISS passes this week, but there are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: Wednesday at 23.38.34, 16 degrees altitude in W. Thursday at 23.41.41, 14 degrees in W and Friday 23.44.50, 12 degrees in W

                                                  Week of 13th August

                                                  • The Perseids peak at 3am Monday morning but will still be worth watching for the first few days of the week
                                                    ,br>,li>The New Moon is unlikely to be visible till Tuesday, very low just after sunset, due West around 20.40.

                                                  • The Sun still has one tiny inactive spot 966

                                                  • The ISS continues to make evening passes and is currently larger due to the docked Shuttle 'Endeavour': Monday at 22.26.07, W to SSE. Tuesday 21.13.33, W to ESE and 22.48.51 W to SW/ Wednesday 21.36.06 W to SE. Thursday 21.58.47 W to S and Saturday 21.08.37 W to SSE



                                                  • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 20.40.13 in E at 74 degrees altitude

                                                  Week of 6th August

                                                  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week

                                                  • The highlight of the week is the approach of the Perseid meteor shower maximum(debris from comet Swift-Tuttle). Early Persieds can already be seen and rates should build up to around 80 per hour. This year the shower is very well placed at New Moon. The official peak is at 3am on Monday 13th, but good rates can often beseen on days either side of this, so look out (by naked eye) as the weather allows. The radiant in Perseus is about a hand's width down from the left hand edge of the W of Cassiopeia. The best directions to look are 45 degrees to the North and South of this.

                                                  • The Sun is very quiet, though a small spot 966 is emerging on the eastern limb

                                                    ,li>Perseid viewers will also be treated to some really good ISS passes (every evening) as follows: On Monday at 22.57.55 W to E. Tuesday 21.45.37 WSW to E and 23.20.40 W to NE. Wednesday at 22.08.16 W to E and 23.43.24 W to W. Thursday at 22.30.59 W to E. Friday 21.18.34 and 22.53.40 W to SE. Saturday 21.41.16 W to E and 23.16.24 W to WSW and Sunday at 22.03.27 W to ESE

                                                  • There is one superbright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 21.13.18 66 degrees altitude in ENE

                                                  Week of 30th July

                                                  • The Moon will be Full (Thunder Moon)on Monday and will wane to Last Quarter next Sunday

                                                  • The Sun has one new tiny spot which should grow during the week

                                                  • Jupiter continues to dominate the Southern sky

                                                  • The ISS returns to the evening skies: On Thursday at 23.02.20 from SW to SW, on Friday at 21.50.55 from SSW to E and 23.24.51 WSW to SW, On Saturday at 22.12.51 SW to E and 23.47.35 from W to E and Sunday at 22.35.20 WSW to E. The start of next week will see the best passes

                                                  • There is one superbright Iridium flare to watch out for: on Tuesday at 21.46.21, 57 degrees altitude in ENE

                                                  Week of 23rd July

                                                  • The Moon will wax until Full at the start of next week

                                                  • The Sun is again blank

                                                  • Jupiter will be close to the Moon on Wednesday and red giant Antares less than a degree away from the Moon

                                                  • There are no evening ISS passes this week, but there is one superbright Iridium flare to watch out for on Wednesday at 22.13.17, 49 degrees altitude in NE

                                                  Week of 16th July

                                                  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Sunday

                                                  • The week starts with Venus, Saturn and the Moon close in the West after sunset

                                                  • The Sun has a couple of active sunspot regions

                                                  • There are no ISS passes this week. However, there is a bright Iridium flare to look out for, on Thursday at 22.40.11 at 40 degrees in NE

                                                  Week of 9th July

                                                  The moon is waning and will be New next week-end, though probably not visible till 9.20pm on Monday week

                                                • The Sun has a new active spot 963

                                                • Venus reaches maximum illumination on 12th

                                                • There are no ISS passes this week

                                                • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on 14th at 23.00.43, 32 degrees altitude in NE

                                                Week of 2nd July

                                                • The Moon will wane to Last Quarter next Saturday

                                                • On 7th July the Earth reaches Aphelion, its furthest distance from the Sun

                                                • The Sun has two small spot groups but is not active

                                                • Venus and Saturn will remain apparently very close and are worth viewing together in the West after sunset, especially in an instrument that will show the waning crescent of Venus and Saturn's rings. The speed of Venus' orbit will be obvious compared to distant Saturn as the 2 planets move appart

                                                • There are no ISS passes this week, but there are 2 bright Iridium flares; on Tuesday at 22.13.43, 50 degrees altitude in NE and Thursday at 23.35.13, 19 degrees altitude in NNE

                                                Week of 25th June

                                                • The Moon is waxing and will be Full next Saturday. This is officially a Blue Moon, the second Full Moon in a single month. Though not perhaps as rare as the saying 'once in a blue Moon' might suggest, the last was in July 2004 and the next will not be till December 2009

                                                • The Sun is totally blank, though there is still prominence activity at the limb

                                                • On Monday the supergiant star Antares (300x diameter of Sun) is close to the Moon and on Thursday Jupiter is only 6 degrees away from the Moon

                                                • There are no ISS passes this week but there is one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 22.34.38, 42 degrees altitude in NE

                                                Week of 18th June

                                                • The Moon will be First Quarter on Friday. On Monday there is a daytime occultation by the waxing crescent Moon of the waning crescent Venus. The planet will disappear at the dark limb of the Moon at 15.05, emerging at 16.25, this should be visible in Binoculars. Venus is 45 degrees East of the Sun, but care must be taken not to look towards the Sun. The occulation will occur at 53 degrees altitude. The Moon will be within one degree of Saturn on Tuesday and Regulus on Wednesday

                                                • The Sun is blank again. Thursday is the Summer Solstice, when the Sun rises and sets at its most Northly points of the East and West horizons respectively

                                                • Some vivid Notiluscent clouds occurred at the end of last week. Clear Summer nights near Solar minimum are often good for these high altitude luminous electric blue clouds

                                                • There is one last low ISS pass on Monday at 22.39.06 WSW to S reaching 17 degrees. There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                                Week of 11th June

                                                • The Moon will be New at the end of next week and may be just visible in its 4% phase around 9.30pm on 16th directly below Castor and Pollux and above Mercury (which is now getting closer to the horizon aftr sunset and is thus harder to view)

                                                • Next Sunday (17th) there should be a lovely line-up at sunset of Saturn, the crescent 9% Moon and Venus, each 10 degrees or so from the other

                                                • Spot 960 is breaking up and the Sun is quieter

                                                • Whilst the Moon is 'dark' it is an excellent opportunity to view Jupiter and Vesta in the southern evening sky both just past Opposition

                                                • The ISS makes good passes this week and in good instruments will be seen to be larger as the shuttle Atlantis is now docked. After the mission it will remain larger as they are unfolding new solar panels. The ISS is best viewed: On Monday at 23.24.01 W to ESE. Tuesday at 22.09.43 W to E and 23.44.41 W to SE. Wednesday at 22.30.22 W to ESE. Thursday at 22.51.00 W to ESE. Friday at 23.11.44 W to SSE and Saturday at 23.32.51 WSW to SSW and Sunday 22.17.58 W to SE

                                                • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                Week of 4th June

                                                • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday

                                                • Mercury reached greatest elongation (angle from the Sun) on 2nd and will remain a good target for naked eye observation low on the NW horizon after sunset. Venus reaches greatest elongation next Saturday and both Venus and Mercury are now seen in Gemini. Venus is nicely alligned with Castor and Pollux at the start of the week and Saturn in Leo adds to the other two showing the plane of the Solar System (the Ecliptic) and the Zodiac constellations of Leo, Cancer and Gemini (with the Sun in Taurus..note not Gemini, for those who read their 'stars' in the papers!)

                                                • The Sun has a new active region (spot 960) emerging on its eastern limb

                                                • The ISS returns this week with evening passes as follows: Tuesday at 00.09.26 WSW to E and 22.55.34 SW to E. Wednesday at 00.30.14 W to E and 23.16.09 WSW to E. Thursday at 22.02.20 SW to E and 23.36.57 W to E. Friday 22.22.54 WSW to E and the best 23.57.48 W to E reaching 89 degrees and Saturday at 22.43.41 W to E reaching 82 degrees altitude

                                                • There is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 22.23.14, 45 degrees altitude in NE

                                                The ISS makes good passes this week and in good instruments will be seen to be lareger as shuttle Atlantis is docked. After the mission it will remian larger as they are unfolding new Solar panels. The Space Staition can be seen best: On Monday at23.24.01 from W to E. Tuesday 22.09.43 W to E and 23.44.41 W to SE. Wednesday at 22.30.22 W to ESE. Thursday 22.51.00 W to ESE

                                                Week of 28th May

                                                • The Moon will be Full (Rose Moon) on Friday, when it will be within a few degrees of Jupiter and Antares

                                                • Vesta reaches opposition and brightest magnitude on Wednesday, but still needs a dark sky for the unaided eye. It will be harder to spot due to the moonlight and thus will be easiest again from June 4th. It can be found a couple of degrees higher in altitude and forming an equilateral triangle with Jupiter and Antares in eveneing SE sky. It is moving roughly a quarter of a degree per night

                                                • The Sun is totally blank again

                                                • There are no evening ISS passes but one bright Iridium flare on Thursday at 22.58.43, 30 degrees altitude in NNE

                                                Week of 21st May

                                                • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Wednesday. It occults Saturn on Tuesday (but this is during daylight from UK) and then passes within 1 degree of Regulus (alpha Leo) on Wednesday

                                                • Mercury continues to be visible in the twighlight by heading at 45 degrees dwon from Venus towards North. It may be spotted as a pink dot in the twighlight glow around 9.45pm

                                                • The Sun has one large sunspot 956 which could become active during the week

                                                • There are no evening passes of the ISS this week but there is one bright Iridium flare at 23.21.20 , 17 degrees altitude in NNE on Wednesday

                                                Week of 14th May

                                                • The Moon will be New on Tuesday and may be glimpsed as a thin sliver in WNW within a couple of degrees of Mercury at about 10 degrees above the horizon at 9pm on Thursday and close to Venus on Saturday

                                                • This is the month for the best viewing this year of the 77% illuminated planet Mercury. Though it will be dimming, its angle from the Sun is increasing into June. On Thursday, the 2 day old Moon will be just North of the planet and on Friday should be half-way between Mercury and Venus (waning to about 60% illumination) in a line at 9pm. If the evenings are clear, Mercury should be easy to spot around 10 degrees altitude, but do not scan with instruments until the Sun has set.

                                                • The Sun has a decaying spot but is nearly blank again

                                                • Very unusually an asteroid (Vesta) brightens to naked-eye visibility and the next week or so over the New Moon is ideal. Vesta is a couple of degrees higher than Jupiter in the late evening SE sky in Ophiucus and forms a triangle with Jupiter and Antares.

                                                • There is a comet (Lovejoy) passing through Draco at the start of the week and on 14th will be found next to eta Draconis (2nd mag. star), it is not visble to the naked eye but easy in good binoculars

                                                • There are no evening ISS passes this week but there is one super bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 22.21.02, 42 degrees altitude in NE

                                                Week of 7th May

                                                • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                                • The large spot 953 continues across the Solar disc and though the umbra has split into several smaller shapes, the spot is only mildly active

                                                • The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks before dawn this Sunday (6th) but the Moon is not helpful. The debris from Halley's comet has however already produced a -10 fireball yesterday, so if up keep a look out East. The radiant is to the South of the Square of Pegasus and red Mars will also be visible nearer teh horizon

                                                • There are no ISS passes this wekk but there is one bright Iridium flare on Tuesday at 22.50.28, 29 degrees altitude in NE to look out for

                                                Week of 30th April

                                                • The first in a series of 3 public lectures (Living in the atmosphere of the Sun) for Public Engagement with Science and Technology takes place on Wednesday at 6.30pm in Green College, Woodstock Road.Places are limited to 100 and though free, must be booked by email to jeff.burley@green.ox.ac.uk

                                                • The Moon will be Full (Flower Moon) on Wednesday and will be within 1 degree of supergiant red Antares on Friday

                                                • The Sun at last has one very large (Neptune sized) spot number 953, which is mildly active

                                                • Jupiter is becoming ever more evident and will be just North of the Moon on Saturday

                                                • There are no evening passes of the ISS this week

                                                • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 23.09.45, 14 degrees altitude in NNE. On Wednesday at 23.15.07, 20 degrees in NNE and on Saturday at 22.59.06, 24 degrees in NE

                                                Week of 23rd April

                                                • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Tuesday and will be only one degree from Saturn on Wednesday and Regulus on Thursday

                                                • The Sun remains blank

                                                • The Lyrid meteor shower which is associated with Comet Thatcher has its radiant just to the right of Vega and is best viewed in the pre-dawn sky this Sunday and Monday morning

                                                • There are no more good evening ISS passes but there is one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 20.31.30, at 73 degrees altitude in E

                                                Week of 16th April

                                                • The Moon will be New on Tuesday and will be visible near Venus on Thursday as a slim crescent

                                                • The Sun has now been blank fro 12 days, the longest period since 1996

                                                • The Lyrid meteor shower peaks next Saturday and given the phase of the Moon it is worth watching in the late evening. Lyra and the Summer Triangle are rising in the NE around 8.30pm

                                                • There are some good ISS passes, the best are as follows: On Monday at 20.50.06 W to E, Tuesday at 21.10.08 W to E, Wednesday at 21.30.08 W to E, Thursday at 21.50.08 from W to SSE and Saturday at 20.55.04 W to ESE

                                                • There is one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 22.27.38 at 35 degrees altitude in NE

                                                Week of 9th April

                                                • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

                                                • The Sun is still blank

                                                • The ISS is back and starts making good evening passes on Thursday at 21.04.41 from SW to E reaching 35 degrees. On Friday 13th at 21.24.32 from WSW to E reaching 62 degrees and the two best next week-end on Saturday at 21.44.33 from W to E reaching 85 degrees and Sunday at 22.04.35 from W to ESE reaching 89 degrees

                                                • There are several bright Iridium flares this week: On Tuesday at 22.50.02 at 17 degrees in NE. Wednesday at 21.36.12 at 18 degrees in N. Thursday at 22.47.38 at 21 degrees in NE

                                                Week of 2nd April

                                                • The Moon will be Full on 2nd (Paschal or Pink Moon) and as the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox, signals Easter next Sunday (8th)

                                                • The Sun remains quiet

                                                • There are no ISS evening passes this week, thopugh it returns from 10th

                                                Week of 26th March

                                                • Note that times will now be BST (ie UT +1)

                                                • The Moon continues to wax and will be Full at the start of next week. On Thursday the Moon passes less than 1.5 degrees from Saturn and on Friday only 1 degree from Regulus (alpha Leo)

                                                • On the morning of 31st an Asteroid (2km in diameter) 2006 VV2 will pass closer than any sizeable object for some time at 8.8 Lunar distances or roughly 2 million miles. The asteroid will reach magnitude 10 (ie small telescope object)and might be viewed in Leo 2.5 degress east of Regulus at 20.00 BST on 31st.

                                                • The Sun has no spots and continues blank

                                                • There are no evening ISS passes but one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 20.40.34 BST at 35 degrees altitude in N

                                                Week of 19th March

                                                • The Moon is New on 19th and should be visible by Wednesday within 5 degrees of Venus in the evening sky

                                                • Following half a lunar cycle after the Lunar Eclipse, there is a partial (87%) Solar Eclipse on 19th at 02.30 UT so not visble from Europe (only central Asia)

                                                • The Sun is blank and not active and will rise due East and set due West on Wednesday, the Vernal Equinox

                                                • There are no evening ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                                Week of 12th March

                                                The Moon will be Last Quarter on Monday and will wane until New at the start of next week

                                              • The Sun is currently blank

                                              • There are no evening ISS passes, but there is one bright evening Iridium flare on Friday at 20.43.58, 11 degrees altitude in N

                                              Week of 5th March

                                              • The Moon will wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week

                                              • The Sun is almost blank, with no activity forecast

                                              • There are no ISS passes this week. There is however one superbright Iridium flare on Friday at 19.01.20 at 47 degrees altitude in N

                                              Week of 26th February

                                              • This is a week of unusual Lunar events

                                              • The Moon is waxing and will be Full next Saturday 3rd March (Lenten Moon), when it will pass through the Earth's shadow for a Total Lunar eclipse. All of the eclipse is visible from here weather permitting !

                                              • Before that on Thursday the Moon will pass within 1 degree of M44 the Beehive Open Cluster and on Friday within 1 degree of the brightest star in Leo (Regulus)

                                              • A rare event will occur in the early hours of Friday: The Moon will pass in front of Saturn. From here however, none of the planet will disappear but we will see a grazing approach where Saturn (followed by Titan) will appear to roll along the southern edge of the Moon. This will occur in WSW at an altitude of 33.5 degrees. The timing is not ideal in that it is in the middle of the night and will last from 2.40 till 2.50 am

                                              • Lunar Eclipse timings: the Moon is touched by the penumbra at 20.21 GMT at 24 degrees altitude in E and will then start to dim, entering the darker umbra at 21.33 at 33 degrees in ESE. Totality starts at 22.49 at 41 degrees in SE and lasts till 23.57 with mid eclipse at 23.25. The Moon will then brighten until resuming normal brightness at 02.25 on 4th. The Total eclipse phase is much longer than in a Solar eclipse primarily due to the size of the Earth's shadow

                                              • The last decent ISS pass will occur on Monday at 18.24.53 from W to SE reaching 48 degrees

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 19th February

                                              • The New Moon should first be visible on Monday at 17.45 GMT at 21 degrees altitude in WSW. If clear it should be a beautiful sight less than 2 degrees NE of Venus.

                                              • The Sun remains blank and inactive

                                              • The ISS will make its best evening passes this week: On Monday at 19.12.33 from W to ENE reaching 84 degrees. Tuesday at 17.58.00 WSW to E reaching 74 degrees and 19.32.57 W to E reaching 58 degrees. Wednesday at 18.18.19 from W to E reaching 85 degrees and 19.53.18 W to E reaching 31 degrees. On Thursday at 18.38.38 from W to E reaching 83 degrees. On Friday at 18.58.53 from W to ESE reaching 74 degrees. On Saturday at 19.19.07 from W to SSE reaching 44 degrees and Sunday at 18.04.19 from W to ESE reaching 74 degrees.

                                              • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                              Week of 12th February

                                              • The Moon will be New on Saturday but will not probably be visible till the 19th (altitude and times to follow)

                                              • The Sun is blank again

                                              • Saturn is currently at Opposition and closest to Earth in its orbit. It is now at its best for 2007 and given good seeing, 6 moons can be viewed in the 10 inch

                                              • Mercury is now disappearing but Venus remains incredibly bright

                                              • The ISS is back with best passes on Wednesday at 19.05.37 from SSW to S, on Thursday at 19.25.43 from SW to SE, On Friday at 18.11.51 from SSW to E and 19.46.07 from WSW to ESE and Saturday at 18.31.49 SW to E with the best on Sunday at 18.52.06 from WSW to E

                                              • There are 2 bright Iridium flares; on Tuesday at 19.01.58 at 30 degrees altitude in SSE and a magnitude -8 flare in Saturday at 18.40.09 at 51 degrees in NNE

                                              Week of 4th February

                                              The Moon will wane till Last Quarter on Saturday

                                            • The Sun has two spots but is magnetically quiet

                                            • Venus and Uranus will be within one degree on Wednesday an Spica will be just over one degree from the Moon on Tuesday

                                            • There are no ISS passes and no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                              Week of 29th January

                                              The Moon will be Full (Snow Moon) next Friday when it will be within 1 degree of Saturn in the sickle of Leo

                                            • The Sun has one large spot 940 which caused some activity before coming into view

                                            • Venus is superbly bright in the Western sky in the evening and Sirius dominates the southern sky mid-evening. Saturn will be lost in the Moon's glare at the start of the week

                                            • There are no evening ISS passes and no bright evening Iridium flares this week

                                            Week of 22nd January

                                            Perhaps the forecast winter weather this week will bring clear skies!

                                          • Comet McNaught has now gone after its very brief bright appearance but great pictures exist eg on Astronomy picture of the day (also on Blackett images see www.blackettobservatory.org)

                                          • The Moon is now waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday

                                          • The Sun remains quiet

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes

                                          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares on Friday at 18.31.40, 50 degrees altitude in NNE and on Saturday at 18.25.31, 52 degrees altitude in NNE

                                          Week of 15th January

                                          • Comet C/2006 P1 McNaught is now visible in daylight, a few degrees to East of the Sun, but it will go behind the Sun and will soon be too far South of the Celestial Equator for viewing from here. The comet is magnitude -5 and the brightest since Ikeya-Seki in 1965

                                          • The Moon will be New on Friday

                                          • The Sun is quiet again

                                          • Saturn will be well viewed this week with no Moon and Venus is now a bright evening object at magnitude -3.9

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes this week but one very bright Iridium flare on Saturday at 18.59.31, 39 degrees altitude in NNE

                                          Week of 8th January

                                          • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                          • The Sun is quiet though has two large spots 930 and 933 crossing the disc

                                          • There is currently a naked eye comet 2006 P1 McNaught (Oort cloud origin) visible just before sunrise (currently around 8.05am) in ESE or sunset in WNW, a clear view of the horizon is needed and it rises after both Jupiter and Mars and a little further North. Care must be taken as it is getting closer to the Sun. Viewing from the UK will be impossible after next week-end and probably best at the start of the week but it might be visible in daylight on 14th

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes and just one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 17.06.52, 15 degrees altitude in SW

                                          Week of 1st January 2007

                                          • The Moon will be Full on Wednesday (Cold Moon) and will sadly obliterate all but the brightest of the slow moving Quadrantid meteors, the shower peaks also on Wednesday. The Radiant is in the no longer used constellation of Quadrans Muralis which lies between Bootes and Ursa Major.

                                          • The Sun is currently blank but spot 930 is expected to return during the week

                                          • Saturn rises around 8pm in Leo and by mid month will be at its best, especially as the Moon wanes. Venus is noticeable now in the West for an hour after sunset and is brightening and moving Eastwards.

                                          • An unusual transit occurs on the night of 6th to 7th. Saturn's moon Iapetus will transit the planet's disc from 10.45pm and should be visible all night, travelling slowly as one of the outermost moons. Whereas Jupiter transits are fairly common, this will be worth watching if clear

                                          • The ISS makes a couple more evening passes: On New Year's Day at 17.00.04 from W to ESE anfd on Tuesday at 17.22.23 from W to SE

                                          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares both on Thursday: At 17.12.32, 20 degrees altitude in SSW and at 18.23.09 at 47 degrees altitude in NE

                                          Week of 25th December

                                          • The Moon will be First Quarter on Wednesday

                                          • The Sun is currently blank but a large sunspot on the far side of the Sun is liekly to appear mid-week and should cause increased activity

                                          • The ISS is visible (fog permitting) in the early evening throughout the week, the best passes are as follows: On Christmas Day at 17.33.41 from WSW to E, Boxing Day at 17.56.05 from W to E, Wednesday at 16.43.26 WSW to E, Thursday at 17.05.43 W to E, Friday at 17.28.00 W to E and Saturday at 17.50.13 W to SE

                                          • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: On Christmas Day at 16.33.20, 28 degrees altitude in WNW and on Boxing Day at 28 degrees altitude in S

                                          Week of 18th December

                                          • The Moon will be New on Wednesday

                                          • The Winter Solstice is on Friday when the Sun follows its shortest path in the sky from its southernmost rising point on the Eastern horizon to its southernmost setting point in the West

                                          • The Sun is highly active with spot 930 giving rise to X-ray flares. Auroral activity is high and may increase during the week

                                          • The ISS is back with evening passes on Friday at 17.59.59 from SW to SSE and Sunday at 17.09.38 from SW to E

                                          • There are two evening Iridium flares: On Tuesday at 17.45.23, 14 degrees altitude in WNW and on Thursday at 17.15.26, 20 degrees altitude in WNW

                                          Week of 11th December

                                          • The Geminid meteor shower peaks on Thursday morning 18th at 8.20 UT. It is worth looking out for fast moving meteors on Wednesday and Thursday nights

                                          • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on tuesday

                                          • The Sun has and active spot 930

                                          • There is a beutiful association of planets in the pre-dawn sky, Mercury, Jupiter and Mars

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes or bright Iridium flares this week

                                          Week of 4th December

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Frosty Moon) on Tuesday

                                          • The Sun is now active with sunspot 930 having produced 2 high energy X-ray flares. Activity is likely to continue over the next few days

                                          • Saturn is now returning (though the Ring system will be less favourable than last year, due to decreasing tilt) to the evening sky in Leo and rises at 22.00hrs preceded by the Beehive Open cluster M44 and the eskimo planetary nebula (though these are badly effected by the Moon next week)

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes

                                          • There is one bright evening iridium flare on Monday at 16.27.55, 27 degrees altitude in WNW

                                          Week of 27th November

                                          • The Moon is First Quarter on Wednesday

                                          • The Sun is quiet and devoid of spots again

                                          • The ISS is making early morning passes at present, for those who are up early the best is onMonday at 06.35.27 from W to E reaching 86 degrees altitude ie almost directly overhead

                                          • There is one bright early evening Iridium flare on Monday at 16.46.44, 17 degrees altitude in SSW

                                          Week of 20th November

                                          • The Moon is New at the start of the week and will be waxing to First Quarter by the start of next week

                                          • The Sun is quiet as the large spot 923 disappears

                                          • The November meteor showers appear to be producing some very bright meteors, it is worth watching out if the nights are clear and indeed for any late Leonids

                                          • The are no evening passes of the ISS this week

                                          • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: Both on Monday at 17.00.59, 28 degrees altitude in SSW and at 18.27.23, 38 degrees altitude in SSE

                                          Week of 13th November

                                          • The Moon is waning till New at the start of next week, so is ideally dark for the Leonids

                                          • The Leonid meteor shower peaks on Friday at 19.11. This year there is just a chance of increased activity due to the 1933 debris stream, predicted at 4.45am on Sunday morning. Though the radiant in Leo does not rise in the East till 22.00, it will be worth watching into the night over the week-end, especially as Leo climbs towards the Zenith

                                          • The Sun has a large but quiet spot 923

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes this week and no bright Iridium flares

                                          Week of 6th November

                                          • This is the week for the second in the pair of Mercury transits (the last so beutifully viewed in 2003). Sadly none of this transit will be visible from the UK (next will be in 2049 on 7th May and 2052 on November 9th). However, the transit can be seen on various websites including the SOHO site (see Links). The transit begins at 19.11 GMT and ends at 00.15 GMT on 9th. Note: The next visible transit will be the much rarer transit of Venus (seen in total in 2004) on 6th June 2012, but this will only be seen at the end for the 1st hour of daylight from 5 till 6 am local time

                                          • TThe Moon will wane during the week to Last Quarter next week-end. Whilst these clear and misty nights are common, look out fro Lunar Halos and other rainbow effects caused by water and ice particles at high altitude

                                          • The Sun still has a large sunspot group (921) which could cause magnetic activity

                                          • There are no more bright evening ISS passes this week

                                          • There is one super bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 17.45.37 at 40 degrees altitude in S

                                          Week of 30th October

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Hunter's Moon)on Sunday

                                          • Tuesday sees the feast of Halloween or All Hallows, this is believed to have developed out of the more ancient feast for the Pleiades (M45), one of the most cross-culturally significant calendar fixing and cosmologically significant celestial 'objects'

                                          • The Sun is again active with a fast growing sunspot group (921)

                                          • The ISS makes a couple more passes: On Friday at 17.15.12 from W to ESE reaching 53 degrees and on Saturday at 17.36.32 from W to SE reaching 29 degrees

                                          Week of 23rd October

                                          • The Moon will now wax till First Quarter next Sunday

                                          • The Sun remians quiet

                                          • Comet Swan continues a good object in Binoculars heading up through Corona Borealis. This week-end it is near the bright star Alkalurops (the left hand of Bootes)

                                          • The ISS is back for evening passes: The best are on Tuesday at 19.25.59 from WSW to ESE, on Wednesday at 19.47.35 from W to WSW, on Thursday at 18.34.19 from WSW to E, on Friday at 18.55.51 from W to E and Saturady at 19.17.27 from W to E

                                          • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                          Week of 16th October

                                          • The Orionid meteor shower peaks on Saturday afternoon, though it is worth watching on Friday and Saturday nights. With no Moon this could be a good year, though rarely getting above 25 meteors per hour. The debris stream is that left behind by Halley's comet (last pass 1986)

                                          • The Moon continues to wane and will be New at the start of next week

                                          • The Sun is again blank

                                          • Comet Swan (with a greenish tinge) is still well placed to find with binoculars by following the handle of the Plough

                                          • The ISS returns to the evening sky on Saturday at 19.56.23 reaching 25 degrees altitude

                                          • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares on Tuesday at 18.45.55 at 49 degrees altitude in S and the brightest at 20.21.32 at 47 degrees altitude in ESE

                                          Week of 9th October

                                          • Comet Swan is now visible in Binoculars and reasonably easy to locate half way between the handle of the Plough (saucepan) to orange Arcturus. The fuzzy round head is not visible to the unaided eye at magnitude 6)

                                          • The Moon will now wane to Last Quarter next Saturday. With a bright Moon and plenty of moisture in the atmosphere it is a good time to see Lunar halos (circular rainbows around the Moon) or Lunar Aureole (straw coloured circles around the Moon)

                                          • The Sun has few spots and little activity, though a dark 250,000 km filament is currently visible

                                          • The are no ISS evening passes this week

                                          • There is a medium bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 19.12.54, 54 degrees altitude in SSE

                                          Week of 2nd October

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be Full next Saturday (Harvest Moon) Though the October Moon is usually the Hunter or Blood Moon, the Full Moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox is known as the Harvest Moon. We are ending the Major Lunar Standstill season, with the lowest First Quarter Moon on 30th September (Which barely reaches 10 degrees above the horizon). We will have to wait till 2015 for another standstill season (Minor) and till 2024 for the next Major (extremes of Lunar altitude.

                                          • The Sun has several potentilaly active and growing spots after some time of inactivity

                                          • The planet Uranus is currently easy to find being less than 0.5 degrees form 4th magnitude lambda Aquarius

                                          • ISS pases this week are all just before dawn

                                          • There is one very bright Iridium flare on Thursday 5th at 19.39.52, 57 degrees altitude in SSE

                                          Week of 25th September

                                          • The Moon will now wax to First Quarter next Saturday. For many the New Moon this week-end signifies the start of Ramadan

                                          • The Sun remains quiet with just one small sunspot

                                          • This is a poor time for planet watchers, only Uranus is well placed and visble in small telescopes

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                          • There is one reasonably bright iridium flare on Friday at 20.06.55, 58 degrees altitude in SE

                                          Week of 18th September

                                          • The Moon is waning and will be New next Friday when it will eclipse the Sun. The Moon is at Apogee (furthest from the Earth) in its orbit so will only cause at best an annular eclipse but none of the eclipse will be visible from the UK

                                          • Spot 904 is about to depart over the Sun's western limb for the second time and is still a site of active prominences

                                          • Next Saturday 23rd is the Autummnal Equinox. The Sun will rise due East and set due West before heading into the Southern hemisphere of the Celestial Sphere and our days will become shorter than the nights

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Friday at 20.39.57 at 57 degrees altitude in ENE

                                          Week of 11th September

                                          • The Moon though still very large and bright is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday

                                          • The Sun has two large groupos of spots which may lead to magnetic activity

                                          • Bright Arcturus is beginning to set late evening in the West and Taurus is rising before midnight signalling the start of Autumn

                                          • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright Iridium flares

                                          Week of 4th September

                                          • The Moon will be Full (Corn Moon) on Thursday and will rise at 19.40 BST in Partial Eclipse. The Eclipse is only 18% and the umbra will have left the Moon's surface by 20.40 BST with the Moon returning to normal brightness by 22.00 BST

                                          • There are no bright ISS passes this week but there is a bright Iridium flare on Monday at 22.00.44 in ENE at 41 degrees altitude

                                          Week of 28th August

                                          • The first week of an 8 planet Solar System since 1930

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday

                                          • The Sun now has a large bipolar spot (905) which is magnetically reversed, more evidence that the next Solar cycle has begun

                                          • The ISS continues to make evening passes though these are better at the start of the week: On Monday at 21.08.58 from W to ESE reaching 72 degrees and 22.44.21 from W to WSW reaching 15 degrees. On Tuesday at 21.32.33 from W to SSE reaching 43 degrees. On Wednesday at 21.55.57 from W to SSW reaching 23 degrees. On Thursday at 20.43.57 from W to SE reaching 43 degrees. On Friday at 21.07.29 from W to SSE reaching 23 degrees and on Saturday at 21.31.55 from WSW to SSW but only reaching 11 degrees

                                          Week of 21st August

                                          • The Moon will be New on Thursday

                                          • The Sun may retain some activity as sunspot 904 disappears

                                          • Thursday 24th will see the vote by the IAU as to whether we change from a 9 Planet Star (Solar) System to one of 12 (with perhaps more to follow). Friday 25th: The IAU have now voted and have agreed an 8 Planet System, so Pluto has been demoted to a Dwarf Planet with Ceres, UB 313 and potentially many more Trans Neptunian Objects. The critical definition is that a Planet must reign supreme in its neighbourhood ie 'clearing' all similar objects, Pluto fails in this respect

                                          • Please note that contrary to articles in some areas of the Press, the planet Mars will not be unusually close and large on 27th, it is in fact at the far side of its orbit and close to the Sun in the sky. This is an Internet generated hoax

                                          • There are evening passes of the ISS as follows: On Friday at 21.33.52 from W to E and on Saturday at 21.57.23 from W to SE. There are no bright evening Iridium flares

                                          Week of 14th August

                                          • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                          • The Sun has been active again and the large sunspot 904 has now broken into two. More interestingly a small spot appeared on 31st July and has now been analysed to have shown reversed polarity, that is the magnetic poles (N and S) were reversed compared to the spots seen for the last 11 years of cycle 23. This may herald the start of cycle 24 which is predicted to be more active than anything seen in the last 50 yeras (peaking around 2011)

                                          • On 24th August the IAU will vote on a new classification for planets and other Solar System objects, this is likely to confirm the planetray status of Pluto (though as a double planet with Charon) and also to elevate the newly discovered 2003 UB313 and also Ceres to planetary status making the Solar System a 12 planet system. The eccentric and inclined orbit objects will be called Plutons, other objects will be called Small Solar System Bodies and the term Minor Planet is to be dropped

                                          • The ISS is back and evening passes are visible as follows: On Friday 18th at 22.05.54 from SW to SSE reaching 36 degrees altitude and on Saturday at 22.27.55 from WSW to SSE reaching 62 degress altitude. Visible passes will continue through next week

                                          • There is one bright evening Iridium flare to look out for: On Thursday at 23.10.46 at 17 degrees altitude in NNE

                                          Week of 7th August

                                          • The Moon will be Full on Wednesday (Red or Corn Moon)

                                          • The Perseid meteor shower peaks next Saturday just after midnight. Though one of the most reliable for good numbers of shooting stars and for Summer temperatures, this year moonlight will reduce visibility. If it is clear though it is worth watching out over the week-end.

                                          • The Sun remains blank

                                          • There are no evening ISS passes this week

                                          • There are no unusually bright Iridium flares

                                          Week of 31st July

                                          • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday when it will be close to Jupiter in the sky. The Moon will also be within 1 degree of Spica on Tuesday and Antares on Friday

                                          • The Sun remains quiet with just one small spot (901) though a Coronal hole has given rise to Auroral activity over the last couple of days

                                          • The Delta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on 6th August, though there are not many expected per hour (15 max.)

                                          • Thr are no evening ISS passes this week

                                          • There is only one bright Iridium flare on Friday at 22.45.56, 43 degrees altitude in NE

                                          Week of 24th July

                                          • The Moon continues to wane and will be New on Tuesday

                                          • The Sun remains blank but is showing some magnetic activity

                                          • There are no visible ISS passes this week

                                          • There is one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 23.20.48, 21 degrees altitude in NNE

                                          Week of 17th July

                                          • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Monday

                                          • The Sun is now totally blank and quiet again

                                          • There are no visble ISS passes this week

                                          • There are two bright evening Iridium flares both on Monday at 22.31.48, 43 degrees altitude in NE and at 23.12.32, 30 deg. alt. in W

                                          Week of 10th July

                                          The Moon will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun is still active from spot 898, which is breaking up, but continues to cause Coronal Mas Ejections (CME) though not towards Earth

                                        • There are no visible ISS passes this week

                                        • There are two bright evening Iridium flares: On Tuesday at 23.30.24, 38 degrees altitude in WSW and on Friday at 23.21.26, 34 deg. alt. in W

                                        Week of 3rd July

                                        • The Shuttle launch has been delayed by cloud and is now scheduled for 6.38pm BST on 4th

                                        • On 4th the Earth is at its furthest point from the Sun in its orbit (aphelion)

                                        • The Moon will be First Quarter on Monday

                                        • The Sun continues to display a beutifully symmetrical spot 898 (Neptune sized) which at present remains stable as it traverses the disc

                                        • The Moon will be close to 3 bright objects this week; The bright blue star Spica on Tuesday, Jupiter on Thursday and the huge Red Giant star Antares on Saturday

                                        • There are no visble ISS passes this week

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: On Wednesday at 22.50.17, 18 deg. altitude in WNW. On Thursday at 22.53.36, 15 deg. alt. in WNW and the brightest on Friday at 22.45.23, 42 deg. alt. in WSW

                                        Week of 26th June

                                        • The Moon will now wax till First Quarter at the start of next week

                                        • The next Shuttle (Discovery) launch is scheduled for Saturday 1st at 20.48 BST. and will be critical in deciding the fate of the Shuttle programme (and indeed NASA's manned space programme) should more problems occur

                                        • The Sun is again devoid of sunspots

                                        • Saturn, Mars and the New Moon will be close in the evening sky on Wednesday

                                        • There are 5 good ISS passes to watch out for. On Monday at 22.10.13 from W to E reaching 88 degrees altitude, then again at 23.45.21 from W to SSE reaching 40 degrees alt. On Tuesday at 22.33.10 from W to ESE reaching 70 deg. On Wednesday at 22.56.08 from W to SE reaching 41 deg. and on Friday at 22.06.51 from W to SE reaching 41 deg.

                                        • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: On Friday at 22.52.29 at 26 degrees in W and on Sunday at 22.49.43 at 23 deg. in WNW

                                        Week of 19th June

                                        • The Moon will continue to wane till New at the start of next week

                                        • The Sun is now devoid of sunspots again and continues to rise and set further North on the E and W horizons respectively, until Wednesday 21st, the Summer Solstice, when it rises at 4.48am local time almost NE at azimuth 49 degrees (ie compass bearing 049). This is the longest day and the Sun will reach an altitude of almost 75 degrees as seen from Oxford

                                        • Mercury reaches its greatest elongation 25 degrees E (angle from Sun) on Tuesday and may be viewed after sunset just south of Pollux in Gemini

                                        • This is a week for evening ISS passes, there are 8: On Monday at 22.39.53 from SW to E reaching altitude 35 degrees. On Tuesday at 23.02.36 from WSW to E reaching 62 degrees. On Wednesday at 23.25.32 from W to E reaching 86 degrees. On Thursday at 22.13.30 from WSW to E reaching 62 degrees and 23.48.32 from W to E reaching 83 degrees. On Friday at 22.36.24 from W to E reaching 86 degrees. On Saturday at 22.59.22 from W to E reaching 89 degrees and Sunday at 23.22.18 from W to ESE reaching 68 degrees.

                                        • There is one notable evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 22.19.05 at 37 degrees altitude in W

                                        Week of 12th June

                                        • Ther Moon will wane during the week to Last Quarter next Sunday

                                        • The Sun has a number of spots including an active region around spot 892 which could lead to magnetic storms

                                        • Next Saturday Mars and Saturn will be less than a degree apart in the Western sky at sunset

                                        • The ISS passes are mainly in the early hours though the following may be seen at the end of the week: On 16th at 23.05.30 in SE reaching a maximum of 17 degrees in altitude above the horizon at total pass of 2 minutes. On 17th at 23.24.59 in SW, max. alt. 34 degrees taking 5.5 minutes and the best on Sunday 18th at 23.47.07 in WSW reaching 60 degrees, a total time of nearly 6 minutes.

                                        • There are two evening Iridium flares of note: The best on 13th at 23.49.03, 45 degrees altitude in WSW and also on 14th at 22.45.03, 17 degrees altitude in WNW

                                        Week of 5th June

                                        • The Moon is waxing to Full (Rose Moon) next Sunday

                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                        • The Moon this week provides a helpful locator to Jupiter (within 5 degrees on Thuirsday) and to two of the brightest and summer only stars. Spica (a giant Blue star) next to the Moon on Wednesday and Antares (an enormous red supergiant) next to the Moon on Saturday.

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this wekk

                                        • There are however a couple of bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 22.33.18, 17 degrees altitude in WNW and on Friday at 22.47.10, 25 deg. alt. in W

                                        Week of 29th May

                                        • The Moon will be First Quarter on 4th June

                                        • The Sun has few spots but some activity on the Eastern limb suggests an active area over the next few days

                                        • Jupiter is now very obvious in the South as the sky darkens and is the first object to appear

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 23.13.38, 35 degrees altitude in W

                                        Week of 22nd May

                                        • The Moon wanes during the week and will be New next week-end

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                          There are no visible ISS passes this week

                                        • There are 4 bright Iridium flares to look out for: On Monday at 22.51.31, 16 deg. altitude in WNW; Tuesday at 22.54.53, 14 deg. alt. WNW;Wednesday at 21.39.10, 19 deg. alt. NNW and 21.47.42, 18 deg. alt. NNW. There are also 2 very bright middle of the night flares (for insomniacs)this Sunday 21st at 04.43.19, 71 deg. alt. in WSW and on Thursday at 01.143.24, 53 deg. alt. in SSW

                                        Week of 15th May

                                        • The Moon is now Waning and will be Last Quarter next Saturday

                                        • The Sun is quiet again and virtually devoid of sunspots

                                        • The broken Comet 73P is moving rapidly across the sky and can be seen (in binos) from midnight till dawn. On Monday the two largest and brightest segments will be parallel to the two top corner stars in the square of P{egasus and between Pegasus and Cygnus

                                        • There are no visible ISS passes this week

                                        • There are two bright Iridium flares to watch out for: On Tuesday at 22.59.36, 23 deg. altitude in W and on Friday at 00.04.32 at 44 deg. altitude in SW

                                        Week of 8th May

                                        • The Moon will be Full next Saturday (Flower Moon)

                                        • The Sun is now quieter with few sunspots

                                        • Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 continues to break up daily, fragment B has now split in two. In total 60 fragments have now been seen. B and C are Binocular objects high in the Eastern sky just before midnight. At its closest (25 Lunar Distances or 6 million miles) at less than 0.1 AU, this will be the closest comet approach for 20 years. Just before dawn on Monday one fragment will pass right next to the Ring Nebula in Lyra

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There are two bright Iridium flares: On Monday at 00.46.36 46 deg. altitude in SSW and on Tuesday at 23.07.50 31 deg. altitude in WSW

                                        Week of 1st May

                                        • The Moon is now waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday

                                        • The Sun has several sunspots, olne (875) particularly active and solar flares have continued to erupt, one giving a 10 minute radio blackout in the States at the end of last week

                                        • Jupiter is now rising early evening and at -2.5 magnitude is very bright as it approaches Opposition, the Galillean moons are also easy in small binos

                                        • Comet 73P Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is racing across the sky with its larger segments B and C relatively easy to find in binos as fuzzy patches between Hercules and Corona Borealis at the start of the week and Lyra at the end of the week

                                        • There are sevral bright evening passes of the ISS: On Monday at 22.06.55 W to SE, Tuesday at 22.30.02 W to SSW and Wednesday at 21.17.53 W to SSW

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 23.41.00 at 35 degrees altitude in WSW, Wednesday at 21.23.30, 23 deg. alt. in NNW and 23.40.54 32 deg. alt. in WSW

                                        Week of 24th April

                                        • The Moon is still waning and will be New on Friday. On Monday in the pre dawn sky the old Moon will be very close to Venus.

                                        • The Sun has few spots but is still producing large flares on its limb

                                        • Jupiter is approaching Opposition next week

                                        • There are several evening passes of the ISS: On Monday at 22.35.21 WSW to SW, Tuesday at 21.23.35 SW to E, Wednesday at 21.46.30 WSW to E, Thursday at 22.09.33 W to E, Friday at 20.57.32 WSW to E and 22.32.37 W to ESE, Saturday at 21.20.32 W to E and 22.55.40 W to WSW and the best on Sunday at 21.43.33 W to E

                                        • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Tuesday at 23.30.45 at 11 degrees altitude in W

                                        Week of 17th April

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter next Friday

                                        • The Sun remains magnetically active despite having few spots

                                        • Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 which has broken into 20 pieces is now brightening and the brighter segments will be visible in the 10 inch from the end of April into May. At its brightest (May 1st) it should be an easy binocular object reaching perhaps magnitude 3. On 8th May it will pass very close to the Ring Nebula in Lyra

                                        • The ISS will be visible in the evening next week and for the first time next Sunday at 22.11.38 from SW to SSWThere are 4 bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 23.41.31, 17 deg. alt. in WSW, Wednesday at 23.38.46, 15 deg. alt in W, on Thursday at 23.32.51, 16 deg. alt. in W and Saturday at 23.30.08, 14 deg. alt. in W



                                      • Week of 10th April

                                        • The Moon will be Full (Paschal Moon) on Thursday and is thus followed by Easter Day (the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox)

                                        • The Sun has only a few spots but remians active with several large prominences over the last few days

                                        • The latest ESA probe Venus Express has now gone into orbit around the planet (for its 500 day mission) and hopes to send back first images on Thursday
                                          There are no ISS passes visible in the evenings this week

                                        • There are 3 bright Iridium flares this week: On 13th at 22.56.07, 17 degrees altitude WSW, on 14th at 22.50.13 at 18 degrees altitude WSW and on 17th at 22.41.31 at 17 deg. altitude in WSW

                                        Week of 3rd April

                                        • The Moon is waxing to First Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun is active at present and is producing both large prominences and the largest spot no.865 this year

                                        • Venus is bright in the morning sky before dawn

                                        • There is currently no information regardingt he ISS and Iridium flares

                                        Week of 27th March

                                        • The Moon wanes until it is directly between the Earth and the Sun on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday it is at Perigee (closest to Earth) thus the eclipse on Wednesday is Total and of long duration (over 4 minutes) as seen from Central Africa and Turkey. From the UK it will be a Partial eclipse of at most 25%. This will not be noticeable and is especially dangerous to attempt to view it unless using professional solar filters with the CE mark. Permanent eye-sight damage can otherwise result. The Moon's edge will start to be seen on the Solar disc from around 9.45am and will be at 25% at 10.30am and will have gone by 11.30am.

                                        • The Sun remains quiet and so at Totality viewers should expect to see a symmetrical and unstructured Corona

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week and no bright Iridium flares

                                        Week of 20th March

                                        • Monday is the Vernal Equinox, the start of the Astronomical year and the origin of the celestial coordinate system. Only at the 2 Equinoxes does the Sun rise due East and set due West, hence spending equal times above and below the horizon

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun has one active sunspot region which is causing some geomagnetic activity

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week

                                        • There is one superbrtight (-8th magnitude) evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 19.20.04, 63 degrees altitude in SE

                                        Week of 13th March

                                        • The Moon will be Full on Tuesday (Lenten Moon, last of the Winter. As we might expect with a Solar eclipse approaching on 29th March, there will be a Lunar eclipse on 14th. This will only be penumbral ie the Moon will not enter the dark central shadow of the Earth and will only appear dimmed as it passes through the outer shadow. This will occur from 21.25 GMT for 1st contact, 23.28 GMT 2nd contact, 00.08 GMT 3rd contact and the Moon should be at full brightness again at 02.10 GMT

                                        • The Sun is blank with no sunspots again, though there has been some auroral activity at high latitudes

                                        • Jupiter is now rising at 23.15 GMT

                                        • There are no bright ISS passes this week

                                        • There is only one notable Iridium flare on 17th at 19.41.34, 57 deg. altitude ESE

                                        Week of 6th March

                                        • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday. It will be near Mars on Monday and Saturn on Friday

                                        • The Sun remains blank but there are still active prominences

                                        • There are 4 good ISS evening passes: On Monday at 18.52.42 from W to E, Tuesday at 19.17.20 from W to ESE, Wednesday at 19.41.58 W to S and Thursday at 18.31.19 W to ESE

                                        • There is one super bright Iridium flare at mag.-8 on Wednesday at 18.42.09 at 57 deg. altitude in SSE

                                        Week of 27th February

                                        • Comet Pojmanski is visble in the early morning as a small blue smudge and will be just east of Venus on Monday (Binoculars will show a small tail)

                                        • Mercury is at its greatest elongation, ie most visible, and can be seen in the pink twighlight in Pisces (just below the square of Pegasus) just after sunset at the start of the week

                                        • The Moon continues to wane and will be New mid-week, the dark skies will be good for viewing fainter objects

                                        • The Sun remains blank

                                        • The ISS returns and will give several bright passes: On Tuesday at 19.34.50 WSW to S. Thursday at 18.49.15 WSW to E. Friday at 19.13.56 W to E. Saturday at 19.38.41 W to E and Sunday at 18.28.13 W to E

                                        • One more super bright Iridium flare at magnitude -8 can be seen on Friday at 19.03.20 at 55 deg. altitude in SSE, a direct beam from Iridium 54

                                        Week of 20th February

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun is basically devoid of sunspots though there has been some large prominence activity at the limb

                                        • Jupiter is now making its way into the late evening sky and will be within 5 degrees of the Moon on Monday

                                        • The ISS will be returning next week-end.

                                        • There will be 2 exceptional Iridium flares both direct beams at -8th magnitude on Sunday 26th; at 17.48.50, 45 deg. altitude in SSW (Iridium 34) and then at 19.24.30, 51 deg. altitude in SE (Iridium 56)

                                        Week of 13th February

                                        • The Moon will be Full on Monday (Snow Moon)

                                        • The Sun remains quiet, though there are a few spots on the far side

                                        • There are no visible ISS passes this week

                                        • There is only one notable Iridium flare this week on 16th at 18.31.16 at 47 deg. altitude in SSE

                                        Week of 6th February

                                        • Contrary to original thoughts that space had proved too cold for the suit-satellite's batteries, it is apparently still transmitting, though the signal is now weaker.

                                        • The Moon is waxing during the week and will be Full at the start of next week. Tonight (5th) It is close to both Mars and the Pleiades M45

                                        • The Sun is totally quiet with zero sunspots

                                        • Saturn continues to be high in the night sky and makes a good image next to the Beehive Open Cluster M44

                                        • There are no evening passes of the ISS

                                        • On 11th Febraury (Saturday) at 18.52.26 at 46 degrees altitude, direction SSE we are almost directly under the reflected sunlight beam from Iridium satellite Iridium 4. The resulting flare will be -8 magnitude (over 1500 x brighter than the brightest stars)

                                        Week of 30th January

                                        • A new novel idea for a satellite is about to be launched on Friday. This consists of an old space suit which will be released from the ISS. It has transmitters 'on board' and will transmit its internal temperature as it fluctuates with solar radiation, to the ground, during its unprotected orbits

                                        • The Moon will be waxing over the week to First Quarter next Sunday, when Mars will be within 2 degress of the Moon

                                        • The Sun currently has no sunspots but a 200,000 mile long filament exists on the nearside, which could lead to activity

                                        • Saturn is now at its best, though due to the inclination of the rings, the Cassini division is now harder to see than last year

                                        • There are no visible ISS passes this week

                                        • Information on Iridium flares is not currently available.

                                        Week of 23rd January

                                        • After several delays the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt launched sucessfully on Friday

                                        • The Moon will be New next Sunday and is close to Jupiter at the start of the week

                                        • The Sun has a fast developing group of sunspots which may lead to flares and increased activity

                                        • Saturn is approaching Opposition and is thus well placed for observation. While there is little Moon the Open Cluster M44 (Beehive) may be seen in Binoculars just above and to the West of the Planet

                                        • There are no evening passes of the ISS this week

                                        • There are 4 bright evening flares: On 23rd at 18.35.24, 38 Deg. altitude SSE. On 24th at 17.12.28, 21 deg. alt. SSW. On 26th at 18.18.29, 11 deg. alt. WNW. On 27th at 18.03.34, 13 deg. alt. WNW and 18.20.18 at 38 deg.alt in S. and on 28th at 17.48.36 at 16 deg. alt. WNW.

                                        Week of 16th January

                                        • Following the safe landing of the Stardust probe, another milestone in our exploration of the Solar System gets underway on Tuesday with the launch of the several times cancelled (due to Budget) New Horizons mission (originally Pluto-Kuiper express) which will head out to the last unexplored region of our Solar System for a close encounter with Pluto and its large moon Charon (and newly discovered 2 smaller moons) and then travel on into the Kuiper Belt. Arrival at Pluto is scheduled for 2015.

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter next Sunday.

                                        • The Sun is spotless at present and quiet

                                        • The ISS makes 2 more low passes: On 16th at 17.19.48 W to SSE and 17th at 17.45.27 WSW to SSW.

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: On 19th at 17.24.13, 27 deg. altitude SSW and at 18.50.30 37 deg. alt. SSE and on 20th at 18.48.50 at 38 deg. alt. SSE

                                        Week of 9th January

                                        • The Moon continues to wax and will be full (Wolf Moon) next Saturday. Having been close to Mars last week-end it will be close to Saturn this coming Sunday

                                        • The Sun remains quiet with almost no sun-spots

                                        • Next Sunday just before 10am the Stardust probe returns its samples of debris from the Coma of comet Wild 2, collected on gel-like fly paper it is hoped that the dust collected may give an insight into early Solar System formation

                                        • The week sees several passes of the ISS (the earlier passes in an evening are better): On 11th at 16.51.04 from W to E. On 12th at 17.15.51 W to ESE. and 18.51.15 W to SW. On 13th at 17.40.38 W to SE and 19.16.48 WSW to SW. On 14th at 18.05.32 W to SSE and 15th at 18.31.07 WSW to SSW.

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares: On 12th at 16.36.39 at 29 deg. altitude in W and 17.48.11 at 31 deg. altitude in South and the best on 15th at 17.39.14 at 29 deg. altitude in SSW

                                        The text from Weeks of December 24th till Week of January 9th is temporarily missing. Apologies

                                        Week of 19th December

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday; it continues to dominate the night sky on its unusually high arc. On Monday the Moon will be close to Saturn in the pre-dawn western sky.

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        • Venus is brilliant in the early evening dominating the south western sky

                                        • There are no visible passes of the ISS

                                        • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares: On Monday at 17.51.58, 30 deg. altitude in S and on Friday at 17.37.01 at 28 deg. altitude in S

                                        Week of 12th December

                                        • The Moon will be Full (Cold Moon) on Thursday. This is a Major Lunar Standstill. Every 18.6 or 19 years the Full Moon nearest the Winter Solstice (a Week on Wednesday) reaches its maximum Declination (+ 28 degrees) This means that the Moon from here will reach a maximum height of 67 degrees above the Horizon at Culmination

                                        • The Geminid meteor shower peaks during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday but the nearly Full Moon is likely to obscure all but the brightest meteors

                                        • Venus is now at its brightest in the early evening, though showing a crescent phase in a telescope with Mars and the Moon again close in the East at the same time

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes and only one Iridium flare of note: Next Saturday 17th December at 16.51.48 at 67 degress altitude in ENE

                                        Week of 5th December

                                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Thursday

                                        • Venus and the cresent Moon are close on Sunday

                                        • The Sun has a fast growing spot on the Earth side which could give rise to activity at the start of the week

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes but there are two really bright Iridium flares: On Sunday 4th at 18.00.55 50 deg. altitude in NE; Monday 5th at 17.50.05, 52 deg. NE

                                        • Orion is now high in the evening sky and M42, the Orion nebula, is easy to pick out as a fuzzy patch half way down the sword hanging from the left hand side of the belt

                                        • If the night is clear and cold expect to see a good number of shooting stars per hour, the Geminids start from 6th and peak on 14th, but there are several minor showers active over the next couple of weeks (the Delta Arietids with a radiant in Aries) for example

                                        Week of 28th November

                                        • The Moon is New on Wednesday

                                        • Venus is growing brighter by the day and with no Moon this week will dominate the early evening sky

                                        • The Sun is quiet again

                                        • There are no visible evening ISS passes

                                        • There are only two really bright evening Iridium flares: On Sunday at 16.40.17 at 71 deg. ENE and Monday at 16.34.10, 71 deg. altitude, ENE

                                        Week of 21st November

                                        • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun has an active spot which could lead to activity this week

                                        • 3 Planets are now visible, though Venus sets soon after dark and Saturn is not yet prominent till late evening

                                        • The very cold nights (when not foggy) give a superb view of the Milky Way across the sky. By 10pm Orion is rising, a sure sign of approaching Christmas

                                        • The ISS has passed for the moment and there are only two bright evening Iridium flares: next Saturday at 16.46.25 70 deg. altitude NNE and Sunday at 16.40.17 71 deg. altitude ENE

                                        Week of 14th November

                                        • The Moon will be Full (Frosty Moon) on Wednesday. Look for the bright ray craters Tycho and Copernicus

                                        • Mars will be 3 degrees South of the Moon on Tuesday

                                        • Venus now dominates the early evening sky in the West (twice as bright as fading Mars) setting around 6.00pm. Saturn is back in the late evening rising around 10.30pm in the East.

                                        • The Leonids meteor shower peaks on Thursday afternoon. This year it is predicted to be weak (20 per hour) and will not be very visible due to the Full Moon. there are still some bright late Taurids being seen

                                        • The Sun has developed a large spot 822 which may lead to some activity

                                        • There are several ISS passes as follows: Sunday 13th 17.58.08 W to ESE, Monday 16.49.19 W to E and 18.24.42 W to SSW, Tuesday 17.15.50 WSW to SSE and 18.51.30 W to SW, Wednesday 17.42.22 W to SE, Thursday 18.09.10 W to SSE, Friday 16.59.55 W to SE, Saturday 17.26.45 W to S and Sunday 16.46.10 WSW to S

                                        • The start of the week is good for Iridium flares as follows: The best (100 times brighter than Mars)is on Sunday 17.56.57 at 53 deg. altitude NNE then Monday 17.50.49 54 deg. alt NNE; Tuesday 17.44.51 at 54 deg. NE and Wednesday 17.38.34 55 deg. NE

                                        Week of 7th November

                                        • Mars is at Opposition on Monday and remains dominant in the night sky, in the 10 inch it is almost too bright and requires filters to pick out surface detail

                                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • There is still a chance of some bright Taurids at the start of the week

                                        • There are daily passes of the ISS just after dark as follows: Sunday 18.12.21 WSW to ESE, Monday 18.36.22 W to W, Tuesday 17.25.18 WSW to E, Wednesday 17.49.14 W to E, Thursday 18.13.12 W to E, Friday 17.01.56 W to E Saturday 17.31.35 W to E and Sunday 17.58.08 W to ESE.

                                        • There are 2 bright Iridium Flares on Saturday at 18.03.04 51 deg. altitude NNE and Sunday early in the morning at 06.37.02 28 deg. altitude ENE

                                        Week of 31st October

                                        • The Taurids appear to be producing some fireballs (meteors brighter than -4)and this may be a swarm year where larger debris is being encountered. Watch out from 3rd November till mid-next week

                                        • The Moon will be New on Wednesday. This will give good dark skies (weather permitting!) for meteor and Mars watching.

                                        • Mars is now at its closest and will not be as close for 13 years. Features including dust storms can be made out on the disc

                                        • The Taurids meteor shower (debris from comet Encke), which has a double radiant and a long peak over 3rd till 7th November should show moderate activity

                                        • The ISS is back as follows: 5/11 17.48.39 SW to ESE, 6/11 18.12.29 WSW to ESE and 17.01.48 SW to E, 8/11 17.25.34 WSW to E. There are also some bright evening Iridium flares: 30/10 at 19.14.24 28 deg. altitude NNE, 31/10 19.08.08 at 30 deg. NNE, 3/11 16.53.15 at 72 deg. NE, 4/11 16.47.07 at 74 deg. NE and 5/11 16.41.00 at 74 deg. NE

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        Week of 24th October

                                        • Wednesday sees the launch of ESA's Venus Express, our first return to the Planet for some time. Expected arrival is in early Arpil 2006 after a 153 day flight.

                                        • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Tuesday, with Saturn 4 deg. to the South

                                        • The Sun is spotless and little activity is expected

                                        • There are no ISS passes and only 2 Iridium flares of any note: On Tuesday at 20.46.24, 14 deg. altitude in N and Friday at 20.26.59, 24 deg. alt NNE.

                                        • Mars will be at its closest next Sunday (though at Opposition on 7th November)

                                        • Our clocks revert to GMT(UT) ie 1 hour back at 1am next Sunday 30th

                                        Week of 17th October

                                        • The Moon is full on Monday (Hunter or Blood Moon). It will be partially eclipsed as well but this is not visible from here. We are entering Major Lunar Standstill season (this was an important marker in the calendars of the ancient (especially coastal dwelling) astronomers) and in December the full Moon will reach its highest point above the local horizon here, 67 deg. Even now the Moon will appear very high in the night sky.

                                        • The Sun is quiet with as expected very few spots

                                        • Mars grows and brightens and is now rising around 8pm. By 9.30pm it is within reach of the 10 inch

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week and only one Iridium flare of note , on Monday at 19.28.21 at 47 deg. altitude in NNE

                                        • The Orionids meteor shower (debris from comet Halley) peaks at 9am on Friday morning. It is worth observing on Thursday and Friday nights, though the Moon will not be helpfull.

                                        Week of 10th October

                                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday

                                        • There is a chance of increased meteor activity from 8th till 10th this year. These are the Draconids (for a long time a minor shower) but they have reached storm proportions in the past and may do this year. The radiant is in Draco (to the West of Polaris and NW of Plough). These meteors are associated with the short period comet Giacobini-Zinner whose orbit is severely perturbed by regular close encounters with Jupiter

                                        • The Sun is quiet with one small spot

                                        • Mars is rapidly reaching its full glory as seen in 2003 and will be the best for the next 15 years by the end of the month. It has come 56 million miles closer to us since July this year. Many features are becomming visible in the 10 inch.

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes his week, but this is a good week for Iridium flares; On Sunday (9th)at 20.17.46 33 deg. altitude in N, Monday at 20.11.33 35 deg. alt in N, Tuesday 20.05.21 37 deg. alt in N, Wednesday 19.59.11 39 deg. alt in NNE, the best is on Thursday at 19.52.59 41 deg. alt in NNE, Friday at 19.46.49 42 deg. alt in NNE and Saturday at 19.40.39 44 deg. alt in NNE.

                                        Week of 3rd October

                                        • The Partial eclipse on Monday at the New Moon has first contact at 8.42.53.1 hrs and last contact at 11.17.04.6 hrs. The maximum 67% eclipse will occur around 10am. N.B. It is not safe to view the partially eclipsed Sun without professional filters or Solar Viewers.

                                        • The Sun itself has no spots at all at present

                                        • Mars continues to brighten as it rises earlier

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week but there are 3 really bright Iridium flares: On Monday at 18.49.00 , altitude 63 deg. in N, Tuesday at 20.49.13 at 23 deg. altitude in N and on Wednesday at 20.42.45 at 25 deg. altitude in N.

                                        Week of 26th September

                                        • The Sun is now quiet and little activity is expected

                                        • The Moon continues to wane and will be New on Monday 3rd and in exact line with the Sun. The Solar Eclipse produced will not be total due to the Moon being further from the Earth in its orbit and hence it will only block the centre of the Sun's disc, producing a ring of photosphere at maximum (annular eclipse) this effect will be visible from Spain and North East Africa. From here we will see a partial eclipse (starting at 8.50am local time) where 67% (around 9.45am) of the Sun's disc will be covered, the eclipse will end at 11.20am. This is the greatest partial eclipse extent visible from here till 4th January 2011.

                                        • The lack of Moon this week will again prove beneficial in viewing the outer planets and getting a good view of the suraface details on Mars; the southern polar ice cap is not so evident as in 2003 as its shrinks into Summer, but clouds over the growing northern cap can be made out in the 10 inch.

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 19th September

                                        • Next Thursday 22nd is the Autumnal Equinox, the Sun rises due E and sets due W and after this rises progressivley further South

                                        • The Sun has now quietened down, though spot 798 still has a few days on the near side

                                        • The Moon will be last Quarter next Sunday

                                        • There are no ISS passes or bright Iridium flares this week

                                        • Mars is now rising around 9.30pm and is dominant in the eastern sky by 10pm

                                        Week of 12th September

                                        • The Sun will remain highly active as spot 798 rotates to face the Earth. 9 large flares have now been detected since last Wednesday. The potential for disruptive magnetric storms and low-latitude auroras is very high, look out on the night of 14th and 15th if clear. A flare on 13th sent a Coronal Mass Ejection towards Earth. This has been the most active month since 1991 ! and we are nearly at Solar minimum

                                        • The Moon will be full next Sunday, this is the Harvest Moon

                                        • Mars continues to appear earlier and dominates the late evening eastern sky

                                        • The ISS has another week of passes: Monday 12th at 21.09.26 W to S; Tuesday 20.00.00 W to ESE and 21.35.42 W to SW; Wednesday 20.25.58 W to SE;Thursday 20.52.14 W to S; Friday 19.42.24 W to SE and Saturday 20.08.41 WSW to S

                                        • There is only only really bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 20.42.40, 32 deg. altitude in N

                                        Week of 5th September

                                        • The Sun is no longer quiet ! The massive spot 798 has returned at the Eastern limb and has already unleased 3 massive x-ray flares, the largest rated X17 (the 4th largest ever recorded) !. The next few days will see the possibility of strong magnetic storms. Communications could be effected and there is the possibility of face on Coronal Mass Ejections. Watch out for Auroras over the week-end.

                                        • The Moon will be 1st Quarter on Sunday

                                        • There will be a good gathering in the Western sky just after sunset on Wednesday when the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and the bright star Spica are all within a couple of degrees

                                        • This is the week for ISS passes with generally two evening sightings per night: Monday at 21.17.41 from W to E and 22.53.01 from W to E; Tuesday 20.08.32 WSW to E and 21.43.48 W to N;Wednesday 20.34.31 W to E, 22.09.51 W to W;Thursday 21.00.32 W to E, 22.35.52 W to E;Friday 21.26.29 W to SSE; Saturday 20.17.05 W to E, 21.52.25 W to WSW and Sunday 20.42.56 W to ESE and 22.18.33 W to W

                                        • There is only one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 21.39.22 15 deg. altitude in N

                                        Week of 29th August

                                        • We are approaching a week of dark skies, the Moon is New next Saturday

                                        • Jupiter and Venus are close to each other in the West just as the Sun sets and Mars is bright orange rising late evening (11pm) in the East, just South of the Pleiades and Taurus, a signal that Autumn is approaching.

                                        • The Sun is quiet again after the activity of last week.

                                        • The ISS returns in the evening at the end of the week as follows: Thursday 21.08.19 from SSW to ESE; Friday 21.34.04 WSW to SE; Saturday 20.25.17 SW to E and 22.00.07 W to WSW and Sunday 20.50.58 WSW to E.

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium passes, Sunday 28th at 23.56.26 altitude 10 deg. in W, Monday 23.33.59 12 deg. altitude in W and Tuesday 23.32.22, 11 deg. altitude in W

                                        Apology: ISS times and Iridium times have been given in GMT, this was not clear and they will now be given consistently in Local time.

                                        Week of 22nd August

                                        • The Moon will be last Quarter on Friday and the loss of Moonlight will allow better viewing of the outer planets at the end of the month

                                        • Mercury is at greatest elongation on Tuesday and Mars is just south of the Moon on Thursday

                                        • The Sun currently has a fast growing spot group 5 times the Earth in size and the days ahead will see some activity towards the Western limb

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes but there are 5 Iridium flares to look out for; Monday 22.47.03 at 22 deg. WSW, Tuesday 22.50.02 at 19 deg. WSW, Thursday 22.47.08 at 17 deg. WSW and 2 on Friday at 22.30.53 at 18 deg. WSW and 22.50.12 at 14 deg. W

                                        Week of 15th August

                                        • The Moon will be full on Friday. This is known as the Red Moon (given the effect of Summer sultry haze, if weather permits !) In some cultures it is also known as the Sturgeon Moon being the time of year when they are best caught.

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet at present with only one sunspot group, but magnetic activity is still likely towards the end of the week

                                        • There are no visible ISS passes (at least at a reasonable hour)

                                        • 4 bright Iridium flares may be seen: On Wednesday at 22.59.04, 28 deg. altitude in WSW; Thursday at 22.46.45, 29 deg. altitude WSW; Friday 20.20.35, 25 deg. altitude in N; Saturday 22.50.02, 25 deg. altitude WSW

                                        Week of 8th August

                                        • The Space Shuttle Discovery is due to land on Tuesday morning after weather called off the Monday landing 'windows'

                                        • The Perseid meteor shower peaks at 7.30pm on Friday. All through the week it is worth watching for the build up to 60 or 100 per hour, once the sky is dark enough.

                                        • The Moon will be First Quarter on Saturday

                                        • Neptune is at opposition on Monday and thus well placed for viewing later this month

                                        • The Sun has more potentially active groups which could unleash magnetic storms over the next few days

                                        • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares to watch whilst waiting for Perseids: On Tuesday at 22.21.44, 17 deg. altitude looking W; Wednesday at 22.24.56, 15 deg. in W; Thursday 22.28.10, 13 deg. in W and Friday at 22.31.27, 11 deg. in WNW.

                                        Week of 1st August

                                        • The Discovery shuttle crew are expected to be given the 'all-clear' to land next week-end having assessed the damage on take-off , though the mission has been extended by one day

                                        • The Moon will be New next Friday

                                        • The Sun has an active spot 792 and magnetic storms are expected during the week

                                        • There are no ISS passes but 4 bright evening Iridium flares. On Tuesday at 22.27.12, 28 deg. altitude looking W, on Wednesday at 23.43.32 at 46 deg. altitude SW, on Thursday at 22.24.16 25 deg. altitude in W and on Saturday at 22.21.24 22 deg. in W

                                        Week of 25th July

                                        • The postponed first launch of the Shuttle following the Columbia accident (two and a half years ago) is now scheduled for Tuesday at 3.39 BST.

                                        • Thursday will be the last Quarter Moon

                                        • The Sun was totally quiet at the week-end with no sunspots at all, a sure sign of approaching Solar minimum (and the week of the Solar weather summer school course !) There is now one spot 791 which may grow. However on the far side there are two active regions which have alreday caused large Coronal Mass Ejections and may cause severe activity when they rotate into view, this could happen by Friday and give magnetic storms at the week-end

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week. 1 bright evening Iridium flare occurs on Tuesday at 20.42.50, at 21 deg. altitude in NNW.

                                        Week of 18th July

                                        • Wednesday is the 36th anniversary of the fisrt (Apollo 11) Moon landing

                                        • The Moon will be full on Thursday (The Thunder Moon in Moon Lore)

                                        • For those awake early, look east before sunrise and Mars is now very prominent and red. In a small telescope the southern polar ice cap should be visible

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares at the start of the week on 18th at 22.04.28 at 23 deg. altitude in W, on 19th at 23.15.17, 43 deg. in SW and on 20th at 22.01.41, 20 deg. in NNW

                                        Week of 11th July

                                        • The Moon will be 1st Quarter on Thursday

                                        • At the start of the week the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will all be close just after sunset

                                        • The Sun has a number of active groups again which could lead to flares

                                        • The ISS makes a couple more passes before another absense from our skies: On Monday at 21.40.36 W to SE and Wednesday 20.59.33 W to SE

                                        • There are 3 bright Iridium flares in the mid to late evening: On Monday at 22.19.07 33 deg. altitude in W, Thursday at 22.10.08, 29 deg. altitude in W and Friday at 23.30.27 at 48 deg. in SW

                                        Week of 4th July

                                        • Monday 4th at 0650 BST the Deep Impact mission will send a 360 kg disc of copper into the nucleus of short period comet Tempel 1. The impact will hopefully lead to an increased knowledge of the composition and of the early Solar System. It will also demonstrate our ability to impact an approaching comet, though the change in this comet's path will be negligable. The event will not be visible from the UK. Incidently the impactor, which will be vaporised carries a CD inscribed with the names of 14 GCSE Astronomers from the College (Class of 2004)

                                        • On Saturday the College will have access to the Dome as part of Prize Day. The Dome will be open from 10am till 5pm with an exhibition of past GCSE Moon Maps and if clear the Sun will be viewed in H alpha

                                        • The Moon is New on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun having been blank is now covered in fast developing spots, again unusual perhaps for the approaching Solar minimum

                                        • The ISS is back with 10 good passes this week: 3/7 21.16.17 WSW to E and 22.51.29 W to E. 4/7 21.42.24 WSW to E. 5/7 22.08.38 W to E. 6/7 22.34.51 W to ESE. 7/7 21.25.43 W to E. 8/7 21.51.54 W to ESE. 9/7 22.18.05 W to SE. 10/7 21.08.53 W to ESE. 11/7 21.35.02 W to SE

                                        • There are two bright eveing Iridium flares on 4/7 at 22.42.58 41 deg. altitude WSW and 8/7 at 22.27.57, 37 deg. altitude WSW

                                        Week of 27th June

                                        • The Moon is at last Quarter on Tuesday.

                                        • The Planets Mercury and Venus are within 0.1 degrees on 27th with Saturn just below them. Look WNW between 10pm and 10.45pm.

                                        • The Sun now has two rapidly growing spots and there is a chance of Auroral activity on Saturday night

                                        • The ISS returns this week with good passes on Friday at 21.57.26 SW to E, Saturday 22.22.46 WSW to E and Sunday 21.13.07 SW to E.

                                        • There is one really bright Iridium flare scheduled for Thursday at 22.57.59, altitude 45 deg. WSW.

                                        Week of 20th June

                                        • Tuesday 21st is the Summer Solstice, the longest day in the year when the Sun rises at its furthest North on the Eastern horizon and sets at its furthest North on the Western horizon

                                        • 22nd is the Full Moon (Honey Moon) and this will be the lowest Moon path on the sky since 1987 reaching barely 10 degrees above the horizon. This gives a chance to see the optical illusion of its abnormal size as it rises just before 10pm

                                        • There are no bright evening ISS passes and only one bright evening Iridium flare on 20th at 20.56.32, 54 deg. altitude in NE

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet again

                                        • Observing is now hampered by twilight and it is only properly dark for a couple of hours in the middle of the night

                                        • The planets Mercury, Venus and Saturn are coming up to a close conjunction in the twilight low WNW sky, by the end of the week-end they will be all within one degree of each other and should be visible shortly after sunset (10.15pm)

                                        Week of 13th June

                                        • The Moon wil be at first Quarter on Tuesday and will make a fine pairing close to Jupiter on Wednesday

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes his week. There are 2 bright Iridium flares on 14th at 21.23.26 at 46 deg. altitude NE and on 16th at 23.55.19, 55 deg. altitude in SSW

                                        • Sunspots 775 and 776 have grown and could give rise to magnetic storms. 776 is visible by unaided eye at around 5 times the size of the Earth, though do not look directly at the Sun to see it !

                                        Week of 6th June

                                        • A New Moon on Monday means that we will have a dark week for Comet Tempel 1 viewing, perhaps on Monday or Tuesday when the forecast is clear and colder

                                        • Jupiter and the comet are close together so will make for good targets, Venus is now evident in the North West as the Sun sets and will be close to the crescent Moon on Friday

                                        • No ISS passes and only one evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 21.44.10, 38 deg. altitude in NE. The is a chance however to see a flare in daylight on Tuesday at 20.12.08, 67 deg. altitude in NE

                                        • The Sun has three groups of spots, one of these is growing rapidly and may give rise to magnetic storms

                                        Week of 30th May

                                        • The Moon is now waning and giving dark skies for the rest of the week

                                        • Jupiter is now beginning to set in the west after midnight. Venus will get ever more noticeable in the early evening western sky.

                                        • Comet Temple 1 (the target for Deep Impact on 4th July) is hard to discern at 11th magnitude, but is sufficiently close to Jupiter to find in the 10inch.

                                        • The are no ISS passes this week and only one bright evening Iridium flare on 1st June at 22.13.19, 24 deg. altitude in NNE

                                        • The Sun now has an active growing sunspot no.767 which unleased a CME which is due to hit the Earth in the next couple of days and might trigger aurorae.

                                        Week of 23rd May

                                        • 44 years ago on Wednesday President J.F. Kennedy announced his goal of landing on the Moon (it took just 8 years for this to happen). It looks as though within the next ten years we will be back.

                                        • The Moon will be full tomorrow, Monday. In Moon-lore this is the Flower Moon.

                                        • Venus is now discernable in the twilight of the setting Sun and will get progressively more prominent.

                                        • The Sun is almost spotless at present and certainly more as expected towards Solar minimum than last week-end's activity would suggest.

                                        • No ISS passes this week and only two bright evening Iridium flares on 26th at 21.06.10, 50 deg. altitude in NE and on 28th at 22.27.30, 17 deg. altitude NNE.

                                        Week of 16th May

                                        • The Moon will be first Quarter on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun unleashed a CME over the week-end and this hit Earth yesterday during the day, producing a severe geomagnetic storm. Despite Solar minimum approaching there still seems to be plenty going on.

                                        • After a week of superb ISS passes, there are only 2 more for a while. 16th 21.59.37 low in WSW to SW, 17th 20.50.03 W to SSE.

                                        • One bright Iridium flare on 17th 21.41.48 at 35 deg. altitude NE.

                                        Week of 9th May

                                        • Saturday 14th sees the 32nd anniversary of the launch of the first major space station Skylab.

                                        • This week the Moon is new and waxing to First Quarter on 16th and so the dark skies will be ideal for viewing the last few Eta Aquarid meteors or the ISS which passes each evening.

                                        • ISS passes are as follows: 9th at 20.24.51 WSW to E and 22.00.14 W to E. 10th at 20.51.40 W to E and 22.27.02 W to SW. 11th at 21.18.28 W to ESE, 12th at 21.45.14 W to SE, 13th 20.31.36 W to ESE and 14th 21.03.20 W to SE.

                                        • 2 bright Iridium Flares this week occur on 10th at 22.05.01 at 24 deg. altitude in NNE and on 13th at 21.56.29, 29 deg. altitude in NE.

                                        • Jupiter will be viewed well this week. Venus is now back as an evening planet low down in the west after sunset and close to the New Moon.

                                        Week of 2nd May

                                        • For anyone near to Oxford, there is a Public Lecture (The Halley Lecture) on 'Massive Black Holes' given by Prof. Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute in the Sir Martin Wood theatre of Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road at 5pm on Tuesday.

                                        • This is a week of ISS passes as follows: 4th at 21.21 SW to ESE, 5th 21.51 WSW to E, 6th 20.40 SW to E also 22.15 W to ENE, 7th 21.06 WSW to E, 8th 21.33 W to E and 9/5 20.25 WSW to E. The will be one bright evening Iridium flare on 3rd at 21.03.52 altitude 47 deg. NE.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Dark next Sunday.

                                        • The Sun has a huge mature spot 756 (5 times Earth size) visible by unaided eye (don't try to look though!)

                                        • The end of the week will be a good time for Jupiter watching

                                        Week of 25th April

                                        • Bright evening Iridium flares may be seen on 25th at 19.58.37, altitude 67 deg. E and 21.33.34, 35 deg altitude NE, 29th at 21.18.45, 41 deg. altitude NE.

                                        • The Moon is now waning to first Quarter next Sunday

                                        • The Sun is spotless at present and little activity is expected

                                        • Jupiter will be getting better as the Moonlight fades and Neptune and Uranus are evening objects again though near the Moon this week.

                                        Week of 18th April

                                        • Two bright iridium flares may be visible on 19th at 21.50.55, 25 deg altitude NE and on 22nd at 21.47.17, 29 deg altitude NE

                                        • The ISS is passing early in the morning this week

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        • The Moon will be full on 24th this is the Pink Moon in Moon lore

                                        • The Lyrids meteor shower peaks on 22nd at 6.30am. The radient is high in the sky and typically 10 per hour may be seen. It is worth looking out from the beginning of the week

                                        Week of 11th April

                                        • Two bright evening Iridium flares are potentially visible on 15th at 20.40.43, 51 deg, altitude ENE and on 17th at 21.53.27, 20 deg altitude NE

                                        • Having been active earlier in the week, the Sun is now quiet

                                        • The Moon is waxing to first Quarter on Saturday

                                        • Saturn will be close to the Moon on Friday and Jupiter continues to dominate the night sky with bright orange Arcturus further north in the eastern sky

                                        Week of 4th April

                                        • No I.S.S. passes this week and only 2 bright evening Iridium flares on 4th at 21.19.26, 34 deg, altitude ENE and Thursday 21.10.36, 39 deg. ENE.

                                        • The Sun is not active and is showing very few spots. Solar minimum is due to occur next year 2006.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be new next week-end.

                                        • Jupiter now dominates the night sky rising early evening in the East and is at its closest to Earth during the year. It is 3 times brighter than Sirius and its surface features are easily visible in a small telescope.

                                        Week of 28th March

                                        • There is only one bright Iridium flare this week on Friday 1st April at 21.28.14 hrs, 29 deg. altitude ENE.

                                        • The Moon is waning to last Quarter by Saturday.

                                        • The Sun remains quiet.

                                        • Jupiter will be at Opposition on 3rd April. Io transits Jupiter and Europa appears from Occultation mid-evening on Monday 28th.

                                        Week of 21st March

                                        • The I.S.S will make its last passes for a while this week, though they will be low in the sky apart from 21/3 7.36pm W to SSW and 23/3 6.55pm W to SSW.

                                        • There will be 3 bright Iridium flares 23/3 18.20.57 at 59 deg. N, 24/3 21.38.41 at 15 deg. NE 26/3 and 21.36.08 at 18 deg. NE

                                        • The Moon is waxing to full on Friday ('Worm' moon) and being the first full Moon after the Vernal Equinox (20/3) heralds Easter day next Sunday.

                                        • The Sun is still quiet though there is still prominence activity on the Eastern limb.

                                        • Jupiter is now a beutiful object in the mid-evening in the East and accessible in the 10 inch. Saturn is now firmly in the Western hemisphere during the evening.

                                        Week of 14th March

                                        • Monday is the 126th anniversary of Einstein's birth. 2005 is officially Einstein year to celebrate 100 years since the publication of his Special Theory of Relativity.

                                        • The I.S.S will be passing almost overhead each evening this week. (Data from heavensabove) The main passes are as follows. 13/3 7.05pm WSW to E, 14/3 7.33pm W to E, 15/3 8.01pm W to ENE, 16/3 6.53pm W to E, 17/3 7.21pm W to E, 18/3 7.48pm W to SE, 19/3 7.08pm W to ESE, hopefully the weather will allow viewing of one of these !

                                        • There are 3 bright Iridium flares: 13/3 19.13.11 alt 44 deg N, 14/3 19.39.23 alt 56 deg ESE and 19/3 19.18.14 alt 61 deg SE.

                                        • Mercury will be easy to see this week just after sunset, bright and low in West (probably orange due to the atmosphere). Saturn is almost overhead mid evening and Jupiter is now obvious and bright from about 8.30pm in East.

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        • The Moon is waxing to first Quarter on Thursday.

                                        Week of 7th March

                                        • This week in 1934 Yuri Gagarin was born.

                                        • The I.S.S. will be making passes this week. The following are bright evening events. Friday at 19.45.33 from WSW up to 56 deg altitude to SE (3 minutes) and Saturday 19.06.11 WSW to 62 deg to E (5 minutes). There are two bright Iridium flares on Wednesday 20.00.31 51 deg altitude direction 111 deg ESE and Thursday morning in daylight 08.52.50 at 78 deg direction 126 deg SE.

                                        • The Sun is still quiet.

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be New on Thursday

                                        • Saturn is now high in the evening sky so well viewed (out of the atmopheric effects and light pollution at lower altitudes) this week with no Moon. Jupiter is now rising in the East around 9.30pm and is nearly an evening object in the 10 inch again.

                                        • Mercury is easily visible at sunset low in the West, near the crescent Moon on 11th

                                        Week of 28th February

                                        • This week in 1966 Venera 3(USSR) was the first probe to reach Venus and in 1972 Pioneer 10 was launched to Jupiter

                                        • Having seen my first Iridium flare last week, I think they are worth looking out for if the sky is clear. The following are bright flares for this week (all data from heavens-above.com)on 28th at 16.13.38, 83 deg altitude and bearing 184 deg (S) on 2nd at 18.06.12, 64 deg bearing 12 deg (NNE) on 3rd at 18.00.05, 66 deg bearing 14 deg (NNE) and on 4th at 19.59.52, 27 deg bearing 8 deg (N). These are angles as from Marlborough. The flares are caused as various rotating Iridium communications satellites catch the Sun light in their orbits and due to their flat door shaped reflecting surfaces they can shine as bright as the Moon, typical flares last for 1 or 2 seconds.

                                        • The long filament on the Sun's surface is now visible as a prominence above the western limb but the Sun remains relatively inactive.

                                        • The Moon is waning to last Quarter on Thursday.

                                        Week of 21st February

                                        • This week in 1962 John Glenn became the first American Astronaut to orbit the Earth.

                                        • There will be an Iridium Flare visible in daylight from Marlborough at 14.33.11 on Thursday 24th. Look SSW (192 deg.) and at 52 deg. altitude

                                        • The Sun has only mature spots and is quiet. However an enormous loop of gas is suspended above the Sun's surface facing us and appears as a dark filament, it is equivalent to the Earth-Moon distance in length.

                                        • The Moon will be full on Thursday (Snow Moon), its name may well be appropriate this week if the forecasts are correct.

                                        • Saturn is rather washed out by the Moonlight this week and Jupiter is still a middle of the night target.

                                        Week of 14th February

                                        • This week marks two historic birthdays, Copernicus in 1473 and Galileo in 1564. Valentine's Day in 2001 marked the first pictures being sent back from the surface of an Asteroid (Eros)

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet at present and spot 720 has all but disappeared.

                                        • The Moon in waxing to 1st Quarter on Wednesday and is presently showing clear Earth-shine on the dark hemisphere.

                                        • Comet Machholz is now barely discernable by eye, but is still ok in Binos. It is now high in the North-Western sky half way between Cassiopeia and the Pole Star, being close to the pole it is harder to follow with the Earth's rotation.

                                        • For those with telescopes Saturn is very close (just to the left) to the Eskimo Planetary nebula and look out (by unaided eye) for the pretty Beehive Open Cluster (M44) about 15 degrees below Saturn in Cancer.

                                        Week of 7th Febrauary

                                        • This week in 1999 the NASA probe Stardust was launched. It successfully collected samples from within 250km of the nucleus of Comet P/Wild 2 at the end of 2003. The samples will be returned to Earth on January 15th 2006. The hope is that there may be signs of biological molecules.

                                        • Recently discovered 320m wide Asteroid 2004 MN4 will pass the Earth in 2029 on April 13th at a distance of only 30,000km and will be as bright as a 3rd magnitude star..something to look forward to !

                                        • Sunspot 720 is looming on the Sun's eastern limb and may bring a significant rise in Solar activity over the next few days.

                                        • The Moon will be New on Tuesday.

                                        • All week will be good for Comet Machholz in Binos, if we get a clear night !.

                                        Week of 31st January

                                        • This week two years ago Space Shuttle Columbia broke up on reentry killing all 7 on board. In 1974 the probe Mariner 10 took the first close up images of Venus

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be new by the start of next week.

                                        • The Sun is presently quiet but spot 720 may well return by the middle of the next week

                                        • Comet Machholz though now at the limit of naked eye visability is still clear in Binos and with the lack of Moon this week and given its high altitude (next to the W of Cassiopeia) it is not badly affected by scattered light

                                        Week of 24th January

                                        • This week marks the 19th anniversary of 2 major astronomical events. In 1986 Voyager 2 became the first space probe to pass by Uranus and later that week the Challenger Space Shuttle blew up on take off killing all 7 crew.

                                        • The Moon will be full on Monday night (Wolf Moon)

                                        • The vast sunspot 720 has gone round the western limb and the Sun is now quiet, but the spot may still be in existense when the Sun has made another half rotation

                                        Week of 17th January

                                        • The Moon is waxing throughout the week and will be full on 25th.

                                        • Saturn is well placed for viewing at present and showing plenty of detail in the 10 inch.

                                        • Comet Machholz continues to head higher in the sky towards H and Chi Perseii (Double Open Cluster)and is fading in brightness.

                                        • The Sun has released 2 Coronal Mass Ejections over the week-end and spot 720 is now bigger than Jupiter. High magnetic activity is expected with chances of Aurorae at the start of the week.

                                        Week of 10th January

                                        • On Thursday the NASA Deep Impact mission is launched. This is the first mission to aim to impact a comet's nucleus (Temple 1) to reveal what it is made of and to release material which will shed light on the early Solar Sustem. On Friday the ESA Huygens probe will descend into the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and hopefully reveal one of the greatest mysteries of the Solar System, the moon's composition.

                                        • Monday 10th is a New Moon which will wax to first quarter by the end of the week. If the forecast is correct there could be some clear dark skies during the week (Tuesday and Wednesday)

                                        • Comet Machholz is now past the Pleiades and heading up towards Perseus. It will remain a naked-eye object till next week.

                                        • Saturn will be at opposition on Thursday and thus well placed for observation.

                                        • The Sun has suddenly grown a very large sunspot (visble to the unaided eye, but don't look directly at the Sun !) This could give rise to increased Solar activity.

                                        Week of 3rd January

                                        • Monday 3rd the Quadrantids meteor shower peaks at 12.20 pm. There should be meteors visible on Monday and Tuesday nights. The radiant is between the Pole star and the tail of the Plough (The constellation Quadrans Muralis is now no longer recognised)

                                        • Comet Machholz is now brightening to its maximum by the end of the week and will be only 2 degrees from the Pleiades Open cluster on Friday 7th. It is now distinctly green in colour (due to Carbon and CN in its coma) Its straight ion tail is now visible in the telescope and the dust tail, but this is very faint. If the night is clear, the comet and its ion tail are easy now by unaided eye.

                                        • Saturn will be only 7 degrees from Pollux on 6th.

                                        • The Sun has now quietened down and its disc is almost blank.

                                        Week of 27th December

                                        • Monday 27th the Moon is at apogee (furthest from Earth in its orbit) thus the full Moon of Boxing day was the smallest in 2004(though it is bright as the Earth approaches perihelion). The Moon will wane during the week and by next week the comet should be more visible. All 5 'ancient' planets are visible just before sunrise (5.30 till 6.30am)Mercury nearest the horizonvery close to bright Venus with fainter Mars just higher dont mistake the bright red star Antares about the same altitude as Venus. Jupiter is bright high in the South-Eastern sky and Saturn bright with Gemini in the West.

                                        Week of 20th December

                                        • Tuesday 21st is the Winter Solstice at 12.42pm.

                                        • The great Winter sky of Gemini (+ Saturn)Procyon, Sirius, Orion, Hyades and Pleiades is now prominent in the mid evening sky in SE.

                                        • The Moon will be full next Sunday and its scattered light is obscuring the fainter objects.

                                        • The Ursids metoer shower peaks on Wednesday at 5.05am, with the Radiant in Ursa Minor (near Polaris)this shower rarely gives many meteors per hour.

                                        • Comet Machholz is climbing higher in the sky and speeding up as it approaches the Sun. Though now brighter and visible by unaided eye, the Moon will make it hard to see till the New Year, when it will be heading into Taurus and towards the Pleiades.

                                        Week of 13th December

                                        • Saturn is now clear of the horizon haze by mid-evening and is a fine sight in a small telescope. If we get a clear night the 10inch will certainly target it.

                                        • The Moon is now waxing and will be at first Quarter in time for the Tour of the Winter Sky at the end of the week.

                                        • The Sun is a little more active again but aurorae are only likely at high latitudes (just in case your holidays are taking you North!)

                                        • The Geminids meteor shower is due to peak on Monday at 8.45pm and given the lack of Moon could be good, except for the poor forecast.

                                        • There is now a Comet visible to the unaided eye and good in the telescope. This is Comet Machholz and it will be getting brighter over Christmas. It is easy to find at about 4 o'clock from the bottom right foot of Orion (Rigel) (see Solar Weather link for details)

                                        Week of 6th December

                                        • The morning sky just before dawn is the time to see planets at the moment. On Tuesday Jupiter and its moons will be right next to the Moon (in fact from eastern USA Jupiter will be eclipsed). On Friday Mars will be just above the Moon and Venus just above Mars. Saturn continues to improve as an evening object.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New again next Sunday.

                                        • Solar activity has calmed and no storms are currently predicted.

                                        • Next Saturday there is a chance to see a daylight Iridium flare (associated with one of the Iridium satellites) It will occur just after 8.27am, 49 degrees above the ENE horizon (bearing 73 degrees)

                                        • Look out for early Geminid meteors as the end of the week approaches.

                                        Week of 29th November

                                        • Venus and Jupiter continue to separate in the early morning sky and Saturn to become ever more prominent in the Eastern evening sky. Mars will also be visible next to Venus by the end of the week, but much fainter.

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be at Last Quarter by next Sunday.

                                        • Solar activity is expected to rise again and there is a chance of magnetic storms by mid-week

                                        Week of 22nd November

                                        • Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are all visible in the early morning sky, with Jupiter and especially Venus being visible for some time after sunrise. Saturn is now a prominent bright orange light low in the late Eastern evening sky from about 9pm.

                                        • The Moon is now waxing and will be full on Friday

                                        Week of 15th November

                                        • Venus and Jupiter are obvious bright objects in the early morning sky. Saturn has returned to the night sky, rising in the east after sunset directly below Gemini (Castor and Pollux), although not at a high enough altitude for the 10" until 11pm.

                                        • The Moon is growing to 1st quarter by the end of the week.

                                        • Leonids Meteor shower is due to peak on Friday evening but keep watching during the week!

                                        • Solar activity has declined, but the large Sun spot which caused last weeks Aurorae is likely to return next week.

                                        Week of 5th December

                                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Thursday

                                        • Venus and the cresent Moon are close on Sunday

                                        • The Sun has a fast growing spot on the Earth side which could give rise to activity at the start of the week

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes but there are two really bright Iridium flares: On Sunday 4th at 18.00.55 50 deg. altitude in NE; Monday 5th at 17.50.05, 52 deg. NE

                                        • Orion is now high in the evening sky and M42, the Orion nebula, is easy to pick out as a fuzzy patch half way down the sword hanging from the left hand side of the belt

                                        • If the night is clear and cold expect to see a good number of shooting stars per hour, the Geminids start from 6th and peak on 14th, but there are several minor showers active over the next couple of weeks (the Delta Arietids with a radiant in Aries) for example

                                        Week of 28th November

                                        • The Moon is New on Wednesday

                                        • Venus is growing brighter by the day and with no Moon this week will dominate the early evening sky

                                        • The Sun is quiet again

                                        • There are no visible evening ISS passes

                                        • There are only two really bright evening Iridium flares: On Sunday at 16.40.17 at 71 deg. ENE and Monday at 16.34.10, 71 deg. altitude, ENE

                                        Week of 21st November

                                        • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun has an active spot which could lead to activity this week

                                        • 3 Planets are now visible, though Venus sets soon after dark and Saturn is not yet prominent till late evening

                                        • The very cold nights (when not foggy) give a superb view of the Milky Way across the sky. By 10pm Orion is rising, a sure sign of approaching Christmas

                                        • The ISS has passed for the moment and there are only two bright evening Iridium flares: next Saturday at 16.46.25 70 deg. altitude NNE and Sunday at 16.40.17 71 deg. altitude ENE

                                        Week of 14th November

                                        • The Moon will be Full (Frosty Moon) on Wednesday. Look for the bright ray craters Tycho and Copernicus

                                        • Mars will be 3 degrees South of the Moon on Tuesday

                                        • Venus now dominates the early evening sky in the West (twice as bright as fading Mars) setting around 6.00pm. Saturn is back in the late evening rising around 10.30pm in the East.

                                        • The Leonids meteor shower peaks on Thursday afternoon. This year it is predicted to be weak (20 per hour) and will not be very visible due to the Full Moon. there are still some bright late Taurids being seen

                                        • The Sun has developed a large spot 822 which may lead to some activity

                                        • There are several ISS passes as follows: Sunday 13th 17.58.08 W to ESE, Monday 16.49.19 W to E and 18.24.42 W to SSW, Tuesday 17.15.50 WSW to SSE and 18.51.30 W to SW, Wednesday 17.42.22 W to SE, Thursday 18.09.10 W to SSE, Friday 16.59.55 W to SE, Saturday 17.26.45 W to S and Sunday 16.46.10 WSW to S

                                        • The start of the week is good for Iridium flares as follows: The best (100 times brighter than Mars)is on Sunday 17.56.57 at 53 deg. altitude NNE then Monday 17.50.49 54 deg. alt NNE; Tuesday 17.44.51 at 54 deg. NE and Wednesday 17.38.34 55 deg. NE

                                        Week of 7th November

                                        • Mars is at Opposition on Monday and remains dominant in the night sky, in the 10 inch it is almost too bright and requires filters to pick out surface detail

                                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Wednesday

                                        • There is still a chance of some bright Taurids at the start of the week

                                        • There are daily passes of the ISS just after dark as follows: Sunday 18.12.21 WSW to ESE, Monday 18.36.22 W to W, Tuesday 17.25.18 WSW to E, Wednesday 17.49.14 W to E, Thursday 18.13.12 W to E, Friday 17.01.56 W to E Saturday 17.31.35 W to E and Sunday 17.58.08 W to ESE.

                                        • There are 2 bright Iridium Flares on Saturday at 18.03.04 51 deg. altitude NNE and Sunday early in the morning at 06.37.02 28 deg. altitude ENE

                                        Week of 31st October

                                        • The Taurids appear to be producing some fireballs (meteors brighter than -4)and this may be a swarm year where larger debris is being encountered. Watch out from 3rd November till mid-next week

                                        • The Moon will be New on Wednesday. This will give good dark skies (weather permitting!) for meteor and Mars watching.

                                        • Mars is now at its closest and will not be as close for 13 years. Features including dust storms can be made out on the disc

                                        • The Taurids meteor shower (debris from comet Encke), which has a double radiant and a long peak over 3rd till 7th November should show moderate activity

                                        • The ISS is back as follows: 5/11 17.48.39 SW to ESE, 6/11 18.12.29 WSW to ESE and 17.01.48 SW to E, 8/11 17.25.34 WSW to E. There are also some bright evening Iridium flares: 30/10 at 19.14.24 28 deg. altitude NNE, 31/10 19.08.08 at 30 deg. NNE, 3/11 16.53.15 at 72 deg. NE, 4/11 16.47.07 at 74 deg. NE and 5/11 16.41.00 at 74 deg. NE

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        Week of 24th October

                                        • Wednesday sees the launch of ESA's Venus Express, our first return to the Planet for some time. Expected arrival is in early Arpil 2006 after a 153 day flight.

                                        • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Tuesday, with Saturn 4 deg. to the South

                                        • The Sun is spotless and little activity is expected

                                        • There are no ISS passes and only 2 Iridium flares of any note: On Tuesday at 20.46.24, 14 deg. altitude in N and Friday at 20.26.59, 24 deg. alt NNE.

                                        • Mars will be at its closest next Sunday (though at Opposition on 7th November)

                                        • Our clocks revert to GMT(UT) ie 1 hour back at 1am next Sunday 30th

                                        Week of 17th October

                                        • The Moon is full on Monday (Hunter or Blood Moon). It will be partially eclipsed as well but this is not visible from here. We are entering Major Lunar Standstill season (this was an important marker in the calendars of the ancient (especially coastal dwelling) astronomers) and in December the full Moon will reach its highest point above the local horizon here, 67 deg. Even now the Moon will appear very high in the night sky.

                                        • The Sun is quiet with as expected very few spots

                                        • Mars grows and brightens and is now rising around 8pm. By 9.30pm it is within reach of the 10 inch

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes this week and only one Iridium flare of note , on Monday at 19.28.21 at 47 deg. altitude in NNE

                                        • The Orionids meteor shower (debris from comet Halley) peaks at 9am on Friday morning. It is worth observing on Thursday and Friday nights, though the Moon will not be helpfull.

                                        Week of 10th October

                                        • The Moon is First Quarter on Monday

                                        • There is a chance of increased meteor activity from 8th till 10th this year. These are the Draconids (for a long time a minor shower) but they have reached storm proportions in the past and may do this year. The radiant is in Draco (to the West of Polaris and NW of Plough). These meteors are associated with the short period comet Giacobini-Zinner whose orbit is severely perturbed by regular close encounters with Jupiter

                                        • The Sun is quiet with one small spot

                                        • Mars is rapidly reaching its full glory as seen in 2003 and will be the best for the next 15 years by the end of the month. It has come 56 million miles closer to us since July this year. Many features are becomming visible in the 10 inch.

                                        • There are no ISS evening passes his week, but this is a good week for Iridium flares; On Sunday (9th)at 20.17.46 33 deg. altitude in N, Monday at 20.11.33 35 deg. alt in N, Tuesday 20.05.21 37 deg. alt in N, Wednesday 19.59.11 39 deg. alt in NNE, the best is on Thursday at 19.52.59 41 deg. alt in NNE, Friday at 19.46.49 42 deg. alt in NNE and Saturday at 19.40.39 44 deg. alt in NNE.

                                        Week of 3rd October

                                        • The Partial eclipse on Monday at the New Moon has first contact at 8.42.53.1 hrs and last contact at 11.17.04.6 hrs. The maximum 67% eclipse will occur around 10am. N.B. It is not safe to view the partially eclipsed Sun without professional filters or Solar Viewers.

                                        • The Sun itself has no spots at all at present

                                        • Mars continues to brighten as it rises earlier

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes this week but there are 3 really bright Iridium flares: On Monday at 18.49.00 , altitude 63 deg. in N, Tuesday at 20.49.13 at 23 deg. altitude in N and on Wednesday at 20.42.45 at 25 deg. altitude in N.

                                        Week of 26th September

                                        • The Sun is now quiet and little activity is expected

                                        • The Moon continues to wane and will be New on Monday 3rd and in exact line with the Sun. The Solar Eclipse produced will not be total due to the Moon being further from the Earth in its orbit and hence it will only block the centre of the Sun's disc, producing a ring of photosphere at maximum (annular eclipse) this effect will be visible from Spain and North East Africa. From here we will see a partial eclipse (starting at 8.50am local time) where 67% (around 9.45am) of the Sun's disc will be covered, the eclipse will end at 11.20am. This is the greatest partial eclipse extent visible from here till 4th January 2011.

                                        • The lack of Moon this week will again prove beneficial in viewing the outer planets and getting a good view of the suraface details on Mars; the southern polar ice cap is not so evident as in 2003 as its shrinks into Summer, but clouds over the growing northern cap can be made out in the 10 inch.

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week and no bright evening Iridium flares

                                        Week of 19th September

                                        • Next Thursday 22nd is the Autumnal Equinox, the Sun rises due E and sets due W and after this rises progressivley further South

                                        • The Sun has now quietened down, though spot 798 still has a few days on the near side

                                        • The Moon will be last Quarter next Sunday

                                        • There are no ISS passes or bright Iridium flares this week

                                        • Mars is now rising around 9.30pm and is dominant in the eastern sky by 10pm

                                        Week of 12th September

                                        • The Sun will remain highly active as spot 798 rotates to face the Earth. 9 large flares have now been detected since last Wednesday. The potential for disruptive magnetric storms and low-latitude auroras is very high, look out on the night of 14th and 15th if clear. A flare on 13th sent a Coronal Mass Ejection towards Earth. This has been the most active month since 1991 ! and we are nearly at Solar minimum

                                        • The Moon will be full next Sunday, this is the Harvest Moon

                                        • Mars continues to appear earlier and dominates the late evening eastern sky

                                        • The ISS has another week of passes: Monday 12th at 21.09.26 W to S; Tuesday 20.00.00 W to ESE and 21.35.42 W to SW; Wednesday 20.25.58 W to SE;Thursday 20.52.14 W to S; Friday 19.42.24 W to SE and Saturday 20.08.41 WSW to S

                                        • There is only only really bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 20.42.40, 32 deg. altitude in N

                                        Week of 5th September

                                        • The Sun is no longer quiet ! The massive spot 798 has returned at the Eastern limb and has already unleased 3 massive x-ray flares, the largest rated X17 (the 4th largest ever recorded) !. The next few days will see the possibility of strong magnetic storms. Communications could be effected and there is the possibility of face on Coronal Mass Ejections. Watch out for Auroras over the week-end.

                                        • The Moon will be 1st Quarter on Sunday

                                        • There will be a good gathering in the Western sky just after sunset on Wednesday when the Moon, Jupiter, Venus and the bright star Spica are all within a couple of degrees

                                        • This is the week for ISS passes with generally two evening sightings per night: Monday at 21.17.41 from W to E and 22.53.01 from W to E; Tuesday 20.08.32 WSW to E and 21.43.48 W to N;Wednesday 20.34.31 W to E, 22.09.51 W to W;Thursday 21.00.32 W to E, 22.35.52 W to E;Friday 21.26.29 W to SSE; Saturday 20.17.05 W to E, 21.52.25 W to WSW and Sunday 20.42.56 W to ESE and 22.18.33 W to W

                                        • There is only one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 21.39.22 15 deg. altitude in N

                                        Week of 29th August

                                        • We are approaching a week of dark skies, the Moon is New next Saturday

                                        • Jupiter and Venus are close to each other in the West just as the Sun sets and Mars is bright orange rising late evening (11pm) in the East, just South of the Pleiades and Taurus, a signal that Autumn is approaching.

                                        • The Sun is quiet again after the activity of last week.

                                        • The ISS returns in the evening at the end of the week as follows: Thursday 21.08.19 from SSW to ESE; Friday 21.34.04 WSW to SE; Saturday 20.25.17 SW to E and 22.00.07 W to WSW and Sunday 20.50.58 WSW to E.

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium passes, Sunday 28th at 23.56.26 altitude 10 deg. in W, Monday 23.33.59 12 deg. altitude in W and Tuesday 23.32.22, 11 deg. altitude in W

                                        Apology: ISS times and Iridium times have been given in GMT, this was not clear and they will now be given consistently in Local time.

                                        Week of 22nd August

                                        • The Moon will be last Quarter on Friday and the loss of Moonlight will allow better viewing of the outer planets at the end of the month

                                        • Mercury is at greatest elongation on Tuesday and Mars is just south of the Moon on Thursday

                                        • The Sun currently has a fast growing spot group 5 times the Earth in size and the days ahead will see some activity towards the Western limb

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes but there are 5 Iridium flares to look out for; Monday 22.47.03 at 22 deg. WSW, Tuesday 22.50.02 at 19 deg. WSW, Thursday 22.47.08 at 17 deg. WSW and 2 on Friday at 22.30.53 at 18 deg. WSW and 22.50.12 at 14 deg. W

                                        Week of 15th August

                                        • The Moon will be full on Friday. This is known as the Red Moon (given the effect of Summer sultry haze, if weather permits !) In some cultures it is also known as the Sturgeon Moon being the time of year when they are best caught.

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet at present with only one sunspot group, but magnetic activity is still likely towards the end of the week

                                        • There are no visible ISS passes (at least at a reasonable hour)

                                        • 4 bright Iridium flares may be seen: On Wednesday at 22.59.04, 28 deg. altitude in WSW; Thursday at 22.46.45, 29 deg. altitude WSW; Friday 20.20.35, 25 deg. altitude in N; Saturday 22.50.02, 25 deg. altitude WSW

                                        Week of 8th August

                                        • The Space Shuttle Discovery is due to land on Tuesday morning after weather called off the Monday landing 'windows'

                                        • The Perseid meteor shower peaks at 7.30pm on Friday. All through the week it is worth watching for the build up to 60 or 100 per hour, once the sky is dark enough.

                                        • The Moon will be First Quarter on Saturday

                                        • Neptune is at opposition on Monday and thus well placed for viewing later this month

                                        • The Sun has more potentially active groups which could unleash magnetic storms over the next few days

                                        • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares to watch whilst waiting for Perseids: On Tuesday at 22.21.44, 17 deg. altitude looking W; Wednesday at 22.24.56, 15 deg. in W; Thursday 22.28.10, 13 deg. in W and Friday at 22.31.27, 11 deg. in WNW.

                                        Week of 1st August

                                        • The Discovery shuttle crew are expected to be given the 'all-clear' to land next week-end having assessed the damage on take-off , though the mission has been extended by one day

                                        • The Moon will be New next Friday

                                        • The Sun has an active spot 792 and magnetic storms are expected during the week

                                        • There are no ISS passes but 4 bright evening Iridium flares. On Tuesday at 22.27.12, 28 deg. altitude looking W, on Wednesday at 23.43.32 at 46 deg. altitude SW, on Thursday at 22.24.16 25 deg. altitude in W and on Saturday at 22.21.24 22 deg. in W

                                        Week of 25th July

                                        • The postponed first launch of the Shuttle following the Columbia accident (two and a half years ago) is now scheduled for Tuesday at 3.39 BST.

                                        • Thursday will be the last Quarter Moon

                                        • The Sun was totally quiet at the week-end with no sunspots at all, a sure sign of approaching Solar minimum (and the week of the Solar weather summer school course !) There is now one spot 791 which may grow. However on the far side there are two active regions which have alreday caused large Coronal Mass Ejections and may cause severe activity when they rotate into view, this could happen by Friday and give magnetic storms at the week-end

                                        • There are no ISS passes this week. 1 bright evening Iridium flare occurs on Tuesday at 20.42.50, at 21 deg. altitude in NNW.

                                        Week of 18th July

                                        • Wednesday is the 36th anniversary of the fisrt (Apollo 11) Moon landing

                                        • The Moon will be full on Thursday (The Thunder Moon in Moon Lore)

                                        • For those awake early, look east before sunrise and Mars is now very prominent and red. In a small telescope the southern polar ice cap should be visible

                                        • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares at the start of the week on 18th at 22.04.28 at 23 deg. altitude in W, on 19th at 23.15.17, 43 deg. in SW and on 20th at 22.01.41, 20 deg. in NNW

                                        Week of 11th July

                                        • The Moon will be 1st Quarter on Thursday

                                        • At the start of the week the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will all be close just after sunset

                                        • The Sun has a number of active groups again which could lead to flares

                                        • The ISS makes a couple more passes before another absense from our skies: On Monday at 21.40.36 W to SE and Wednesday 20.59.33 W to SE

                                        • There are 3 bright Iridium flares in the mid to late evening: On Monday at 22.19.07 33 deg. altitude in W, Thursday at 22.10.08, 29 deg. altitude in W and Friday at 23.30.27 at 48 deg. in SW

                                        Week of 4th July

                                        • Monday 4th at 0650 BST the Deep Impact mission will send a 360 kg disc of copper into the nucleus of short period comet Tempel 1. The impact will hopefully lead to an increased knowledge of the composition and of the early Solar System. It will also demonstrate our ability to impact an approaching comet, though the change in this comet's path will be negligable. The event will not be visible from the UK. Incidently the impactor, which will be vaporised carries a CD inscribed with the names of 14 GCSE Astronomers from the College (Class of 2004)

                                        • On Saturday the College will have access to the Dome as part of Prize Day. The Dome will be open from 10am till 5pm with an exhibition of past GCSE Moon Maps and if clear the Sun will be viewed in H alpha

                                        • The Moon is New on Wednesday

                                        • The Sun having been blank is now covered in fast developing spots, again unusual perhaps for the approaching Solar minimum

                                        • The ISS is back with 10 good passes this week: 3/7 21.16.17 WSW to E and 22.51.29 W to E. 4/7 21.42.24 WSW to E. 5/7 22.08.38 W to E. 6/7 22.34.51 W to ESE. 7/7 21.25.43 W to E. 8/7 21.51.54 W to ESE. 9/7 22.18.05 W to SE. 10/7 21.08.53 W to ESE. 11/7 21.35.02 W to SE

                                        • There are two bright eveing Iridium flares on 4/7 at 22.42.58 41 deg. altitude WSW and 8/7 at 22.27.57, 37 deg. altitude WSW

                                        Week of 27th June

                                        • The Moon is at last Quarter on Tuesday.

                                        • The Planets Mercury and Venus are within 0.1 degrees on 27th with Saturn just below them. Look WNW between 10pm and 10.45pm.

                                        • The Sun now has two rapidly growing spots and there is a chance of Auroral activity on Saturday night

                                        • The ISS returns this week with good passes on Friday at 21.57.26 SW to E, Saturday 22.22.46 WSW to E and Sunday 21.13.07 SW to E.

                                        • There is one really bright Iridium flare scheduled for Thursday at 22.57.59, altitude 45 deg. WSW.

                                        Week of 20th June

                                        • Tuesday 21st is the Summer Solstice, the longest day in the year when the Sun rises at its furthest North on the Eastern horizon and sets at its furthest North on the Western horizon

                                        • 22nd is the Full Moon (Honey Moon) and this will be the lowest Moon path on the sky since 1987 reaching barely 10 degrees above the horizon. This gives a chance to see the optical illusion of its abnormal size as it rises just before 10pm

                                        • There are no bright evening ISS passes and only one bright evening Iridium flare on 20th at 20.56.32, 54 deg. altitude in NE

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet again

                                        • Observing is now hampered by twilight and it is only properly dark for a couple of hours in the middle of the night

                                        • The planets Mercury, Venus and Saturn are coming up to a close conjunction in the twilight low WNW sky, by the end of the week-end they will be all within one degree of each other and should be visible shortly after sunset (10.15pm)

                                        Week of 13th June

                                        • The Moon wil be at first Quarter on Tuesday and will make a fine pairing close to Jupiter on Wednesday

                                        • There are no evening ISS passes his week. There are 2 bright Iridium flares on 14th at 21.23.26 at 46 deg. altitude NE and on 16th at 23.55.19, 55 deg. altitude in SSW

                                        • Sunspots 775 and 776 have grown and could give rise to magnetic storms. 776 is visible by unaided eye at around 5 times the size of the Earth, though do not look directly at the Sun to see it !

                                        Week of 6th June

                                        • A New Moon on Monday means that we will have a dark week for Comet Tempel 1 viewing, perhaps on Monday or Tuesday when the forecast is clear and colder

                                        • Jupiter and the comet are close together so will make for good targets, Venus is now evident in the North West as the Sun sets and will be close to the crescent Moon on Friday

                                        • No ISS passes and only one evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 21.44.10, 38 deg. altitude in NE. The is a chance however to see a flare in daylight on Tuesday at 20.12.08, 67 deg. altitude in NE

                                        • The Sun has three groups of spots, one of these is growing rapidly and may give rise to magnetic storms

                                        Week of 30th May

                                        • The Moon is now waning and giving dark skies for the rest of the week

                                        • Jupiter is now beginning to set in the west after midnight. Venus will get ever more noticeable in the early evening western sky.

                                        • Comet Temple 1 (the target for Deep Impact on 4th July) is hard to discern at 11th magnitude, but is sufficiently close to Jupiter to find in the 10inch.

                                        • The are no ISS passes this week and only one bright evening Iridium flare on 1st June at 22.13.19, 24 deg. altitude in NNE

                                        • The Sun now has an active growing sunspot no.767 which unleased a CME which is due to hit the Earth in the next couple of days and might trigger aurorae.

                                        Week of 23rd May

                                        • 44 years ago on Wednesday President J.F. Kennedy announced his goal of landing on the Moon (it took just 8 years for this to happen). It looks as though within the next ten years we will be back.

                                        • The Moon will be full tomorrow, Monday. In Moon-lore this is the Flower Moon.

                                        • Venus is now discernable in the twilight of the setting Sun and will get progressively more prominent.

                                        • The Sun is almost spotless at present and certainly more as expected towards Solar minimum than last week-end's activity would suggest.

                                        • No ISS passes this week and only two bright evening Iridium flares on 26th at 21.06.10, 50 deg. altitude in NE and on 28th at 22.27.30, 17 deg. altitude NNE.

                                        Week of 16th May

                                        • The Moon will be first Quarter on Tuesday

                                        • The Sun unleashed a CME over the week-end and this hit Earth yesterday during the day, producing a severe geomagnetic storm. Despite Solar minimum approaching there still seems to be plenty going on.

                                        • After a week of superb ISS passes, there are only 2 more for a while. 16th 21.59.37 low in WSW to SW, 17th 20.50.03 W to SSE.

                                        • One bright Iridium flare on 17th 21.41.48 at 35 deg. altitude NE.

                                        Week of 9th May

                                        • Saturday 14th sees the 32nd anniversary of the launch of the first major space station Skylab.

                                        • This week the Moon is new and waxing to First Quarter on 16th and so the dark skies will be ideal for viewing the last few Eta Aquarid meteors or the ISS which passes each evening.

                                        • ISS passes are as follows: 9th at 20.24.51 WSW to E and 22.00.14 W to E. 10th at 20.51.40 W to E and 22.27.02 W to SW. 11th at 21.18.28 W to ESE, 12th at 21.45.14 W to SE, 13th 20.31.36 W to ESE and 14th 21.03.20 W to SE.

                                        • 2 bright Iridium Flares this week occur on 10th at 22.05.01 at 24 deg. altitude in NNE and on 13th at 21.56.29, 29 deg. altitude in NE.

                                        • Jupiter will be viewed well this week. Venus is now back as an evening planet low down in the west after sunset and close to the New Moon.

                                        Week of 2nd May

                                        • For anyone near to Oxford, there is a Public Lecture (The Halley Lecture) on 'Massive Black Holes' given by Prof. Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute in the Sir Martin Wood theatre of Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road at 5pm on Tuesday.

                                        • This is a week of ISS passes as follows: 4th at 21.21 SW to ESE, 5th 21.51 WSW to E, 6th 20.40 SW to E also 22.15 W to ENE, 7th 21.06 WSW to E, 8th 21.33 W to E and 9/5 20.25 WSW to E. The will be one bright evening Iridium flare on 3rd at 21.03.52 altitude 47 deg. NE.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be Dark next Sunday.

                                        • The Sun has a huge mature spot 756 (5 times Earth size) visible by unaided eye (don't try to look though!)

                                        • The end of the week will be a good time for Jupiter watching

                                        Week of 25th April

                                        • Bright evening Iridium flares may be seen on 25th at 19.58.37, altitude 67 deg. E and 21.33.34, 35 deg altitude NE, 29th at 21.18.45, 41 deg. altitude NE.

                                        • The Moon is now waning to first Quarter next Sunday

                                        • The Sun is spotless at present and little activity is expected

                                        • Jupiter will be getting better as the Moonlight fades and Neptune and Uranus are evening objects again though near the Moon this week.

                                        Week of 18th April

                                        • Two bright iridium flares may be visible on 19th at 21.50.55, 25 deg altitude NE and on 22nd at 21.47.17, 29 deg altitude NE

                                        • The ISS is passing early in the morning this week

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        • The Moon will be full on 24th this is the Pink Moon in Moon lore

                                        • The Lyrids meteor shower peaks on 22nd at 6.30am. The radient is high in the sky and typically 10 per hour may be seen. It is worth looking out from the beginning of the week

                                        Week of 11th April

                                        • Two bright evening Iridium flares are potentially visible on 15th at 20.40.43, 51 deg, altitude ENE and on 17th at 21.53.27, 20 deg altitude NE

                                        • Having been active earlier in the week, the Sun is now quiet

                                        • The Moon is waxing to first Quarter on Saturday

                                        • Saturn will be close to the Moon on Friday and Jupiter continues to dominate the night sky with bright orange Arcturus further north in the eastern sky

                                        Week of 4th April

                                        • No I.S.S. passes this week and only 2 bright evening Iridium flares on 4th at 21.19.26, 34 deg, altitude ENE and Thursday 21.10.36, 39 deg. ENE.

                                        • The Sun is not active and is showing very few spots. Solar minimum is due to occur next year 2006.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be new next week-end.

                                        • Jupiter now dominates the night sky rising early evening in the East and is at its closest to Earth during the year. It is 3 times brighter than Sirius and its surface features are easily visible in a small telescope.

                                        Week of 28th March

                                        • There is only one bright Iridium flare this week on Friday 1st April at 21.28.14 hrs, 29 deg. altitude ENE.

                                        • The Moon is waning to last Quarter by Saturday.

                                        • The Sun remains quiet.

                                        • Jupiter will be at Opposition on 3rd April. Io transits Jupiter and Europa appears from Occultation mid-evening on Monday 28th.

                                        Week of 21st March

                                        • The I.S.S will make its last passes for a while this week, though they will be low in the sky apart from 21/3 7.36pm W to SSW and 23/3 6.55pm W to SSW.

                                        • There will be 3 bright Iridium flares 23/3 18.20.57 at 59 deg. N, 24/3 21.38.41 at 15 deg. NE 26/3 and 21.36.08 at 18 deg. NE

                                        • The Moon is waxing to full on Friday ('Worm' moon) and being the first full Moon after the Vernal Equinox (20/3) heralds Easter day next Sunday.

                                        • The Sun is still quiet though there is still prominence activity on the Eastern limb.

                                        • Jupiter is now a beutiful object in the mid-evening in the East and accessible in the 10 inch. Saturn is now firmly in the Western hemisphere during the evening.

                                        Week of 14th March

                                        • Monday is the 126th anniversary of Einstein's birth. 2005 is officially Einstein year to celebrate 100 years since the publication of his Special Theory of Relativity.

                                        • The I.S.S will be passing almost overhead each evening this week. (Data from heavensabove) The main passes are as follows. 13/3 7.05pm WSW to E, 14/3 7.33pm W to E, 15/3 8.01pm W to ENE, 16/3 6.53pm W to E, 17/3 7.21pm W to E, 18/3 7.48pm W to SE, 19/3 7.08pm W to ESE, hopefully the weather will allow viewing of one of these !

                                        • There are 3 bright Iridium flares: 13/3 19.13.11 alt 44 deg N, 14/3 19.39.23 alt 56 deg ESE and 19/3 19.18.14 alt 61 deg SE.

                                        • Mercury will be easy to see this week just after sunset, bright and low in West (probably orange due to the atmosphere). Saturn is almost overhead mid evening and Jupiter is now obvious and bright from about 8.30pm in East.

                                        • The Sun remains quiet

                                        • The Moon is waxing to first Quarter on Thursday.

                                        Week of 7th March

                                        • This week in 1934 Yuri Gagarin was born.

                                        • The I.S.S. will be making passes this week. The following are bright evening events. Friday at 19.45.33 from WSW up to 56 deg altitude to SE (3 minutes) and Saturday 19.06.11 WSW to 62 deg to E (5 minutes). There are two bright Iridium flares on Wednesday 20.00.31 51 deg altitude direction 111 deg ESE and Thursday morning in daylight 08.52.50 at 78 deg direction 126 deg SE.

                                        • The Sun is still quiet.

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be New on Thursday

                                        • Saturn is now high in the evening sky so well viewed (out of the atmopheric effects and light pollution at lower altitudes) this week with no Moon. Jupiter is now rising in the East around 9.30pm and is nearly an evening object in the 10 inch again.

                                        • Mercury is easily visible at sunset low in the West, near the crescent Moon on 11th

                                        Week of 28th February

                                        • This week in 1966 Venera 3(USSR) was the first probe to reach Venus and in 1972 Pioneer 10 was launched to Jupiter

                                        • Having seen my first Iridium flare last week, I think they are worth looking out for if the sky is clear. The following are bright flares for this week (all data from heavens-above.com)on 28th at 16.13.38, 83 deg altitude and bearing 184 deg (S) on 2nd at 18.06.12, 64 deg bearing 12 deg (NNE) on 3rd at 18.00.05, 66 deg bearing 14 deg (NNE) and on 4th at 19.59.52, 27 deg bearing 8 deg (N). These are angles as from Marlborough. The flares are caused as various rotating Iridium communications satellites catch the Sun light in their orbits and due to their flat door shaped reflecting surfaces they can shine as bright as the Moon, typical flares last for 1 or 2 seconds.

                                        • The long filament on the Sun's surface is now visible as a prominence above the western limb but the Sun remains relatively inactive.

                                        • The Moon is waning to last Quarter on Thursday.

                                        Week of 21st February

                                        • This week in 1962 John Glenn became the first American Astronaut to orbit the Earth.

                                        • There will be an Iridium Flare visible in daylight from Marlborough at 14.33.11 on Thursday 24th. Look SSW (192 deg.) and at 52 deg. altitude

                                        • The Sun has only mature spots and is quiet. However an enormous loop of gas is suspended above the Sun's surface facing us and appears as a dark filament, it is equivalent to the Earth-Moon distance in length.

                                        • The Moon will be full on Thursday (Snow Moon), its name may well be appropriate this week if the forecasts are correct.

                                        • Saturn is rather washed out by the Moonlight this week and Jupiter is still a middle of the night target.

                                        Week of 14th February

                                        • This week marks two historic birthdays, Copernicus in 1473 and Galileo in 1564. Valentine's Day in 2001 marked the first pictures being sent back from the surface of an Asteroid (Eros)

                                        • The Sun is relatively quiet at present and spot 720 has all but disappeared.

                                        • The Moon in waxing to 1st Quarter on Wednesday and is presently showing clear Earth-shine on the dark hemisphere.

                                        • Comet Machholz is now barely discernable by eye, but is still ok in Binos. It is now high in the North-Western sky half way between Cassiopeia and the Pole Star, being close to the pole it is harder to follow with the Earth's rotation.

                                        • For those with telescopes Saturn is very close (just to the left) to the Eskimo Planetary nebula and look out (by unaided eye) for the pretty Beehive Open Cluster (M44) about 15 degrees below Saturn in Cancer.

                                        Week of 7th Febrauary

                                        • This week in 1999 the NASA probe Stardust was launched. It successfully collected samples from within 250km of the nucleus of Comet P/Wild 2 at the end of 2003. The samples will be returned to Earth on January 15th 2006. The hope is that there may be signs of biological molecules.

                                        • Recently discovered 320m wide Asteroid 2004 MN4 will pass the Earth in 2029 on April 13th at a distance of only 30,000km and will be as bright as a 3rd magnitude star..something to look forward to !

                                        • Sunspot 720 is looming on the Sun's eastern limb and may bring a significant rise in Solar activity over the next few days.

                                        • The Moon will be New on Tuesday.

                                        • All week will be good for Comet Machholz in Binos, if we get a clear night !.

                                        Week of 31st January

                                        • This week two years ago Space Shuttle Columbia broke up on reentry killing all 7 on board. In 1974 the probe Mariner 10 took the first close up images of Venus

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be new by the start of next week.

                                        • The Sun is presently quiet but spot 720 may well return by the middle of the next week

                                        • Comet Machholz though now at the limit of naked eye visability is still clear in Binos and with the lack of Moon this week and given its high altitude (next to the W of Cassiopeia) it is not badly affected by scattered light

                                        Week of 24th January

                                        • This week marks the 19th anniversary of 2 major astronomical events. In 1986 Voyager 2 became the first space probe to pass by Uranus and later that week the Challenger Space Shuttle blew up on take off killing all 7 crew.

                                        • The Moon will be full on Monday night (Wolf Moon)

                                        • The vast sunspot 720 has gone round the western limb and the Sun is now quiet, but the spot may still be in existense when the Sun has made another half rotation

                                        Week of 17th January

                                        • The Moon is waxing throughout the week and will be full on 25th.

                                        • Saturn is well placed for viewing at present and showing plenty of detail in the 10 inch.

                                        • Comet Machholz continues to head higher in the sky towards H and Chi Perseii (Double Open Cluster)and is fading in brightness.

                                        • The Sun has released 2 Coronal Mass Ejections over the week-end and spot 720 is now bigger than Jupiter. High magnetic activity is expected with chances of Aurorae at the start of the week.

                                        Week of 10th January

                                        • On Thursday the NASA Deep Impact mission is launched. This is the first mission to aim to impact a comet's nucleus (Temple 1) to reveal what it is made of and to release material which will shed light on the early Solar Sustem. On Friday the ESA Huygens probe will descend into the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and hopefully reveal one of the greatest mysteries of the Solar System, the moon's composition.

                                        • Monday 10th is a New Moon which will wax to first quarter by the end of the week. If the forecast is correct there could be some clear dark skies during the week (Tuesday and Wednesday)

                                        • Comet Machholz is now past the Pleiades and heading up towards Perseus. It will remain a naked-eye object till next week.

                                        • Saturn will be at opposition on Thursday and thus well placed for observation.

                                        • The Sun has suddenly grown a very large sunspot (visble to the unaided eye, but don't look directly at the Sun !) This could give rise to increased Solar activity.

                                        Week of 3rd January

                                        • Monday 3rd the Quadrantids meteor shower peaks at 12.20 pm. There should be meteors visible on Monday and Tuesday nights. The radiant is between the Pole star and the tail of the Plough (The constellation Quadrans Muralis is now no longer recognised)

                                        • Comet Machholz is now brightening to its maximum by the end of the week and will be only 2 degrees from the Pleiades Open cluster on Friday 7th. It is now distinctly green in colour (due to Carbon and CN in its coma) Its straight ion tail is now visible in the telescope and the dust tail, but this is very faint. If the night is clear, the comet and its ion tail are easy now by unaided eye.

                                        • Saturn will be only 7 degrees from Pollux on 6th.

                                        • The Sun has now quietened down and its disc is almost blank.

                                        Week of 27th December

                                        • Monday 27th the Moon is at apogee (furthest from Earth in its orbit) thus the full Moon of Boxing day was the smallest in 2004(though it is bright as the Earth approaches perihelion). The Moon will wane during the week and by next week the comet should be more visible. All 5 'ancient' planets are visible just before sunrise (5.30 till 6.30am)Mercury nearest the horizonvery close to bright Venus with fainter Mars just higher dont mistake the bright red star Antares about the same altitude as Venus. Jupiter is bright high in the South-Eastern sky and Saturn bright with Gemini in the West.

                                        Week of 20th December

                                        • Tuesday 21st is the Winter Solstice at 12.42pm.

                                        • The great Winter sky of Gemini (+ Saturn)Procyon, Sirius, Orion, Hyades and Pleiades is now prominent in the mid evening sky in SE.

                                        • The Moon will be full next Sunday and its scattered light is obscuring the fainter objects.

                                        • The Ursids metoer shower peaks on Wednesday at 5.05am, with the Radiant in Ursa Minor (near Polaris)this shower rarely gives many meteors per hour.

                                        • Comet Machholz is climbing higher in the sky and speeding up as it approaches the Sun. Though now brighter and visible by unaided eye, the Moon will make it hard to see till the New Year, when it will be heading into Taurus and towards the Pleiades.

                                        Week of 13th December

                                        • Saturn is now clear of the horizon haze by mid-evening and is a fine sight in a small telescope. If we get a clear night the 10inch will certainly target it.

                                        • The Moon is now waxing and will be at first Quarter in time for the Tour of the Winter Sky at the end of the week.

                                        • The Sun is a little more active again but aurorae are only likely at high latitudes (just in case your holidays are taking you North!)

                                        • The Geminids meteor shower is due to peak on Monday at 8.45pm and given the lack of Moon could be good, except for the poor forecast.

                                        • There is now a Comet visible to the unaided eye and good in the telescope. This is Comet Machholz and it will be getting brighter over Christmas. It is easy to find at about 4 o'clock from the bottom right foot of Orion (Rigel) (see Solar Weather link for details)

                                        Week of 6th December

                                        • The morning sky just before dawn is the time to see planets at the moment. On Tuesday Jupiter and its moons will be right next to the Moon (in fact from eastern USA Jupiter will be eclipsed). On Friday Mars will be just above the Moon and Venus just above Mars. Saturn continues to improve as an evening object.

                                        • The Moon is waning and will be New again next Sunday.

                                        • Solar activity has calmed and no storms are currently predicted.

                                        • Next Saturday there is a chance to see a daylight Iridium flare (associated with one of the Iridium satellites) It will occur just after 8.27am, 49 degrees above the ENE horizon (bearing 73 degrees)

                                        • Look out for early Geminid meteors as the end of the week approaches.

                                        Week of 29th November

                                        • Venus and Jupiter continue to separate in the early morning sky and Saturn to become ever more prominent in the Eastern evening sky. Mars will also be visible next to Venus by the end of the week, but much fainter.

                                        • The Moon is now waning and will be at Last Quarter by next Sunday.

                                        • Solar activity is expected to rise again and there is a chance of magnetic storms by mid-week

                                        Week of 22nd November

                                        • Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are all visible in the early morning sky, with Jupiter and especially Venus being visible for some time after sunrise. Saturn is now a prominent bright orange light low in the late Eastern evening sky from about 9pm.

                                        • The Moon is now waxing and will be full on Friday

                                        Week of 15th November

                                        • Venus and Jupiter are obvious bright objects in the early morning sky. Saturn has returned to the night sky, rising in the east after sunset directly below Gemini (Castor and Pollux), although not at a high enough altitude for the 10" until 11pm.

                                        • The Moon is growing to 1st quarter by the end of the week.

                                        • Leonids Meteor shower is due to peak on Friday evening but keep watching during the week!

                                        • Solar activity has declined, but the large Sun spot which caused last weeks Aurorae is likely to return next week.