January 2020 What’s Up!

Week of 27th January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:44 UT at the start of the week and 18:53 UT at the end
  • There is an unusual conjunction of Neptune (mag +8) and Venus (mag -4) on Monday evening. Look low in the southwest sky between 17:00 and 19:30 UT to see the two planets just 4 arcminutes apart. You will need to use a pair of binoculars or a telescope to observe the conjunction. On Tuesday evening, the Crescent Moon comes within 4 degrees of the pair, making an interesting combination to look out for
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Sunday
  • Look to the southwest just after sunset to see Venus dominate the twilight sky at mag -4.0
  • The Sun has one Cycle 24 active region near the equator (AR 2757). A region of interest belonging to Cycle 25 is developing high in latitude around the southeast limb
  • There are multiple visible evening ISS passes this week as follows:
    Monday: 18:14, WSW to E, max 72°
    Tuesday: 17:26, WSW to E, max 57° & 19:03, W to WNW, max 70°
    Wednesday: 18:16, W to E, max 87° & 19:52, W, max 20°
    Thursday: 17:28, WSW to E, max 85° & 19:05, W, max 73°
    Friday: 18:17, W to E, max 86° & 19:54, W, max 20°
    Saturday: 17:30, W to E, max 84° & 19:07, W to SSW, max 60°
    Sunday: 18:19, W to ESE, max 75° & 19:56, W to WSW, max 18°

Week of 20th January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:34 UT at the start of the week and 18:42 UT at the end
  • Betelgeuse continues to appear dimmer than its normal magnitude of +0.5. Compare with Rigel (+0.3) and Bellatrix (+1.6). The lower brightness is only in the visible wavelengths, in infrared it continues to shine as brightly as ever
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday
  • Venus continues to dominate the western evening twilight sky at mag -4.0
  • The Sun has no spots, with a current spotless stretch of 7 days
  • There are multiple early evening ISS passes this week as follows:
    Wednesday: 18:59, SW to S, max 25°
    Thursday: 18:11, SSW to ESE, max 23°
    Friday: 17:24, S to E, max 16° & 18:59, WSW to SSW, max 47°
    Saturday: 18:11, SW to E, max 42°
    Sunday: 17:23, SSW to E, max 31° & 18:59, WSW, max 70°

Week of 13th January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:25 UT at the start of the week and 18:32 UT at the end
  • Betelgeuse, the red giant star at Orion’s left shoulder, has dimmed significantly since the autumn. Normally it shines at magnitude +0.4, but it is currently at mag +1.4, about two and a half times dimmer. Compare its brightness with the star at Orion’s right heel, Rigel, which is mag +0.3 and the difference is very clear. Many theories about what is causing the change abound, but the most widely accepted is that Betelgeuse, as a variable star, is experiencing a period of swelling, which leads to its luminosity being spread across a larger surface area, therefore appearing dimmer to us
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • Venus continues to dominate the evening twilight sky at mag -4.0
  • The Sun is currently spotless again after a recent period of increased activity
  • There are no evening ISS passes this week

 

Week of 6th January 2020

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:17 UT at the start of the week and 18:23 UT at the end
  • Watch The Sky at Night at 10pm on BBC4 next Sunday (12th) to see CEB and observing on the College playing fields feature
  • There is a penumbral Lunar eclipse on Friday 10th as the Full Moon passes through the faint outer edge of the Earth’s shadow (the penumbra). Maximum eclipse occurs at 19:11. It will not be very obvious to the naked eye, but comparative photos will show the difference
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Friday
  • Venus continues to dominate the evening twilight sky
  • The Sun has one, reversed polarity, Cycle 25, active region (AR2755)
  • There are no evening ISS passes this week

2019 – What’s Up

Week of 30th December

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:10 UT at the start of the week and 18:14 UT at the end
  • The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks on Saturday morning, with best viewing once the Moon has set in the early hours. Meteors are already appearing and will be building in number during the week, though only reach good numbers in the hours leading up to the sharp peak. The shower is potentially one of the best in the year with fast meteors being seen at rates of one a minute or more. The radiant is at high declination, above the end of the ‘saucepan’s’ handle. It now lies in the constellation Bootes (originally it was in the, now declassified, constellation of Quadrans Muralis, Mural Quadrant). The parent body was identified in 2003 as asteroid 2003EH1
  • The Earth reaches its closest point to the Sun (Perihelion) just before 8am next Sunday
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday
  • Venus continues to dominate the evening twilight sky with the waxing Moon
  • The Sun is blank again after 2 sunspots from the new Cycle 25 briefly appeared on Christmas Eve
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of 23rd December

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:05 UT at the start of the week and 18:10 UT at the end.
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday
  • Venus continues bright in the evening twilight sky and is nearly (-4 magnitude). Look towards the southwest horizon between 16:00 and 17:30 UT
  • The Sun is still blank – current stretch 39 days
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of 16th December

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:02 UT on Monday 16th and 18:05 UT on Sunday 22nd
  • The Winter Solstice occurs on Sunday 22nd when the Sun’s path reaches its lowest point in the sky. The noon Sun will reach a maximum altitude of 15 degrees. Sunrise and sunset occur at their most southerly extremes and it is the shortest day of the year, with the Sun above the horizon for only 7 hours 51 minutes.
  • Venus continues to appear bright in the evening sky. Look towards the southwest horizon between 16:00 and 17:30 UT
  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Thursday 19th
  • The Sun is still blank – current stretch 32 days
  • The ISS makes one visible pass this week:
    Saturday – 06:55:34, S to ESE, max 14 degrees

 

Week of 9th December

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:01 UT on Monday 9th and 18:02 UT on Sunday 15th
  • Venus is bright in the evening sky at mag -4.0 and passes by Saturn (mag +0.6) through the week, with closest conjunction on Wednesday 11th when it comes to within 2 degrees. Look in the southwest at around 16:00 to 17:00 UT
  • Geminid meteor shower is active from 4th to 17th December, with its peak at 01:00 UT on Saturday 14th. Meteors appear to originate from the constellation Gemini, but are best observed by looking away from the radiant. They are caused by the Earth hitting a stream of debris left by asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Peak hourly rate can be as high as 120 meteors, but the bright Moon present this year will reduce visibility to only the brightest
  • The Moon is Full on Thursday 12th
  • The Sun is still blank and has been for the past 24 days, giving 261 spotless days so far this year
  • The ISS makes several visible passes this week:
    Monday – 16:35:41, W to ESE, max 57 degrees and 18:13:02, W to S, max 16 degrees
    Tuesday – 17:24:13, W to SSE, max 23 degrees
    Wednesday – 16:35:33, W to SE, max 33 degrees
    Thursday – 17:25:03, WSW to SSW, max 12 degrees
    Friday – 16:35:44, W to S, max 17 degrees

 

Week of 2nd December

  • Look out for bright Venus (mag -3.9) along with Jupiter (-1.8) and Saturn (+0.6) in the southwest at dusk around 4pm, while Mars and Mercury will be visible in the southeast just before dawn at around 6am
  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18:03 UT on Monday 2nd and 18:02 UT on Sunday 8th
  • The Moon is at First Quarter on Wednesday 4th
  • The Sun is still blank
  • The ISS makes multiple passes this week as follows:
    Monday – 17:24:40, W to E, max 85 degrees
    Tuesday – 16:36:12, W to E, max 88 degrees and 18:12:58, W to S, max 83 degrees
    Wednesday – 17:24:27, W to E, max 88 degrees
    Thursday – 16:35:57, W to E, max 84 degrees and 18:12:42, W to S, max 55 degrees
    Friday – 17:24:10, W to ESE, max 71 degrees
    Saturday – 16:35:38, W to ESE, max 84 degrees and 18:12:30, W to S, max 31 degrees
    Sunday – 17:23:52, W to SE, max 43 degrees

 

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 New on Tuesday and waxing to a crescent by the end of the week
  • The Sun is still blank – 2019 has seen 252 spotless days so far
  • There are multiple ISS passes this week as follows: On Monday at 18.13.53 from SW to SSE reaching 38 degrees, Tuesday at 17.28.43 from SSW to ESE to 28 degrees, Wednesday at 18:13:26 from WSW to SSE to 66 degrees, Thursday at 17:25:06 from SW to E to 51 degrees, Friday at 16:36:51 from SW to E to 37 degrees and at 18:13:11 from W to E to 89 degrees, Saturday at 17:24:43 from WSW to E to 79 degrees and on Sunday at 16.36.18 from WSW to E to 64 degrees and at 18.12.59 from W to N to 84 degrees

 

Week of 18th November

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.11 UT at the start of the week and 18.05 UT at the end
  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Monday and then wanes to New at the start of next week
  • The Sun is again blank
  • The ISS returns this week with passes as follows: On Friday at 19.02.41 from SSW to SSW reaching 11 degrees. Saturday 18.14.47 from SSW to SSE to 19 degrees and Sunday 17.27.14 from S to ESE and 19.02.04 from SW to SW to 24 degrees

 

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 Full (Frost Moon) on Monday
  • The planet Mercury reaches Inferior Conjunction at 3pm on Monday. The resultant transit, last seen in 2016, won’t happen again till November 2032. 1st contact should be soon after 12.31pm at about ‘8.45’ on the solar disc (ie Eastern limb) The Sun will be high in the Southern sky (Azi 192.5 degrees and Alt 20.25 degrees) The planet will then cross the disc, nearly centrally, and will be viewed until sunset (just after 4pm), though will be below 10 degrees by 2.50pm. The black dot is tiny and is not visible except through a small telescope. WARNING !!It is totally unsafe to view the Transit unless professional Solar filters are in use !!(projection will not show a large enough image)
  • The Sun is blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 4th November

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.30 UT at the start of the week and 18.20 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Frost Moon) at the start of next week
  • Next Monday (11th) see the next Transit of the planet Mercury. Last seen in 2016, this won’t happen again till November 2032. 1st contact should be soon after 12.31pm at about ‘8.45’ on the solar disc (ie Eastern limb) The Sun will be high in the Southern sky (Azi 192.5 degrees and Alt 20.25 degrees) The planet will then cross the disc, nearly centrally, and will be viewed until sunset (just after 4pm), though will be below 10 degrees by 2.50pm. The black dot is tiny and is not visible except through a small telescope. WARNING !!It is totally unsafe to view the Transit unless professional Solar filters are in use !!(projection will not show a large enough image). Mercury will be at Inferior Conjunction at 15 UT
  • The Sun is basically blank with an old cycle spot 2751
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 28th October

  • British Summer Time (BST) has ended we are now on Universal Time (UT) till the Spring
  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.40 UT at the start of the week and 18.30 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter at the start of next week
  • The Sun is blank again. Now we are at deep Solar minimum the Cosmic Ray count is at an all time high (highest for nearly 50 years)
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 21st October

  • British Summer Time (BST) ends next-week end in the early hours of Sunday morning. The clocks go back 1 hour to Universal Time (UT). We will enjoy lighter mornings for a while
  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.53 BST at the start of the week and 18.40 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week
  • The Orionids meteor shower peaks at the start of the week. The waning Moon will interfere with the best early morning meteors. Pre dawn on Tuesday should be the peak of these fast meteors
  • The debris is left over from passes of Halley’s comet
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 14th October

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.07 BST at the start of the week and 19.53 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Monday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 7th October

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.23 BST at the start of the week and 20.07 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Hunters Moon) on Sunday
  • The Sun is blank again, having had a small old cycle 24 spot last week. There are already reversed polarity active regions being detected so we can expect a cycle 25 spot soon
  • The ISS makes its last 2 passes for sometime: Monday 20.32.04 W to SSE to 27 degrees and Wednesday 20.32.22 WSW to S to 14 degrees

 

Week of 30th September

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.39 BST at the start of the week and 20.23 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday
  • Saturn is in Conjunction with the Moon, less than 1 degree to north at 9pm on Saturday
  • The Sun is totally blank again, so far 26 days on end
  • The ISS makes further good evening passes as follows: Monday 21.21.21 from W to ESE reaching 87 degrees and 22.58.11 W to W to 13 degrees. Tuesday 20.32.49 W to E to 85 degrees and 22.09.35 W to WSW to 36 degrees. Wednesday 21.21.01 W to SE to 62 degrees. Thursday 20.32.27 W to ESE to 77 degrees and 22.09.25 W to WSW to 23 degrees. Friday 21.21.42 W to SSE to 36 degrees. Saturday 29.32.05 W to SE to 49 degrees and 22.09.49 WSW to SW to 13 degrees and Sunday 21.21.38 W to S to 19 degrees

 

Week of 16th September

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.15 BST at the start of the week and 20.57 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS returns this week making evening passes as follows: Thursday at 22.11.44 from SSW to SSW reaching 13 degrees. Friday 21.23.54 from S to SE to 18 degrees an 22.59.12 WSW to WSW to 10 degrees. Saturday 22.20.50 SW to SSW to 34 degrees and Sunday 21.22.35 SW to ESE to 33 degrees and 22.58.49 W to W to 17 degrees

 

Week of 9th September

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.35 BST at the start of the week and 21.18 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Saturday
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 2nd September

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 2059 BST at the start of the week and 2035 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday
  • >The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 26th August

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 2017 BST at the start of the week and 1958 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 12th August

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 2303 BST at the start of the week and 2242 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Thursday
  • The Perseids meteor shower (aka Tears of St Lawrence, first seen in 36AD) peaks in the early hours of 13th August but, due to the nearly Full Moon, only the brightest will be seen, reducing the normally high hourly rate. Luckily, perhaps due to the large size of the parent Comet (Swift-Tuttle) nucleus, the shower is often full of bright fireballs (more than any other shower). It is worth watching out on Monday and Tuesday (look NE after 10.30pm, when the sky is dark enough and the Radiant in Perseus is high) when the Moon is less evident
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 5th August

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 2328 BST at the start of the week and 2303 BST at the end
  • The Moon will wax and will be First Quarter on Wednesday
  • The Perseids meteor shower (aka Tears of St Lawrence, first seen in 36AD) peaks in the early hours of 13th August but, due to the nearly Full Moon, only the brightest will be seen, reducing the normally high hourly rate. Luckily, perhaps due to the large size of the parent Comet (Swift-Tuttle) nucleus, the shower is often full of bright fireballs (more than any other shower). It is worth watching out all this week (look NE after 10.30pm, when the sky is dark enough and the Radiant in Perseus is high) when the Moon is less evident
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week

 

Week of 29th July

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 0002 BST at the start of the week and 2350 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes its last passes for a while: On Monday at 23.39.58 from W to SSE reaching 41 degrees. Tuesday 22.50.35 W to ESE to 56 degrees. Wednesday 23.38.13 W to S to 23 degrees. Thursday 22.48.41 W to SE to 32 degrees. Friday 23.37.15 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees and Saturday 22.47.03 W to S to 18 degrees

 

Week of 22nd July

  • Astronomical darkness returns on Sunday 21st July from 0048 BST. At the end of the week it will be dark at 0002 BST
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • There ISS makes super late evening ISS passes: Monday at 22.58.23 from WSW to E reaching 69 degrees. Tuesday 23.45.43 W to E to 84 degrees. Wednesday 22.56.21 W to E to 89 degrees. Thursday 23.43.43 W to E through the Zenith at 90 degrees. Friday 22.54.20 W to E to 84 degrees. Saturday 23.41.39 W to ESE to 68 degrees and Sunday 22.52.16 W to ESE to 83 degrees

 

Week of 15th July

  • Astronomical darkness returns on Sunday 21st July from 0048 BST,li>The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Tuesday. The Moon will rise partially eclipsed by the Earth’s shadow at 21.40 BST following Saturn in SE. It will be darkest at 22.30 BST and will return to full brightness at midnight
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • There ISS returns with late evening ISS passes: Monday at 23.57.57 from ESE to E reaching 16 degrees altitude. Tuesday 23.06.33 SSE to ESE to 12 degrees. Wednesday 23.51.38 SW to E to 33 degrees. Thursday 23.02.42 SSW to E to 23 degrees. Friday 23.49.07 WSW to E to 57 degrees. Saturday 22.59.52 SW to E to 42 degrees and Sunday 23.46.49 WSW to E to 83 degrees

 

Week of 8th July

  • Astronomical darkness does not return till 21st July
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First on Tuesday
  • The Sun has a small emerging spot. The reversed magnetic polarity sigals it out as belonging to the new Cycle 25
  • There ISS returns with late evening ISS passes from 15th

 

Week of 1st July

  • Astronomical darkness does not return till 21st July
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday, when there is a Total Solar Eclipse (visible from Chile and Argentina)
  • Saturn reaches Opposition next week, but is low in the sky
  • The Sun remains blank
  • There are no evening ISS passes this week

 

Week of June 24th

  • Astronomical darkness does not return till 21st July
  • We are now in the second quarter of the Astronomical Year and the Sun has just moved into Gemini
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday
  • The Sun has been totally blank for 34 days and is now in deep miminum
  • Noctilucent Clouds (NLC): These iridescent electric blue tendrils are particularly seen close to the Solstice and are now thought to be formed by ice crystal collecting on ionisation trails left by meteoroids at high altitude (80km). NLCs are being seen at lower latitudes (even being seen in Rome). It is worth looking out 30 to 60 minutes after sunset in the North, if the sky is clear
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of June 17th

  • Astronomical darkness does not return till 21st July
  • The Summer Solstice falls on Friday, when the Sun culminates at its highest altitude at Noon (62.5 degrees). The Sun rises and sets at its furthest north points on the horizons, giving the longest hours of daylight
  • The Moon is Full (Solstice moon) on Monday
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • 2019 is turning out to be excellent for Noctilucent Clouds (NLC). These iridescent electric blue whisps are particularly seen over the Solstices and are now thought to be formed by meteor trails at high altitude. NLCs are being seen at lower latitudes. It is worth looking out 30 to 60 minutes after sunset in the west on a clear night
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of May 27th

  • Astronomical darkness returns on 21st July
  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week
  • The Sun is totally blank again
  • The ISS makes its last passes for a while: Monday at 23.22.16 from W to ESE reaching 85 degrees. Wednesday at 23.20.00 from W to ESE. Friday 23.17.45 from W to SE and Sunday at 23.15.44 from W to S to 19 degrees

 

Week of May 20th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.25 BST at the start of the week. From Wednesday, Nautical twilight does not end till 21st July, as the Sun is never far enough below the Northern horizon
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday. The Moon and Jupiter will be in close Conjunction on 20th. Jupiter is approaching Opposition on 10th June
  • The Sun is basically blank again as 2741 disappears over the Western limb
  • The ISS makes good late passes: Monday at 22.46.35 from SSW to E reaching 30 degrees altitude. Tuesday at 22.31.39 from WSW to E to 68 degrees. Wednesday 22.40.50 SW to E to 51 degrees. Thursday 23.26.17 from W to E to 89 degrees and Saturday 23.20.54 from W to E to 84 degrees

 

Week of May 13th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.45 BST at the start of the week and 00.25 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon) on Saturday. The Moon approaches Jupiter from the West during the week and they will be in close Conjunction on 20th
  • The Sun is still slightly active again with spot 2741 and decaying 2740
  • The ISS returns later this week with late evening passes: Friday at 23.42.42 from SSW to SSE reaching 10 degrees altitude. Saturday at 22.52.30 from S to E to 17 degrees and Sunday at 23.36.44 from SW to E reaching 42 degrees

 

Week of May 6th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.16 BST at the start of the week and 23.45 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be NeFirst Quarter on Saturday
  • The Sun is active again with spot 2740 (returning active spot 2738) on its Eastern limb
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of April 29th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.52 BST at the start of the week and 23.12 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of April 22nd

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.31 BST at the start of the week and 22.49 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of April 15th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.12 BST at the start of the week and 22.31 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Paschal Moon) on Friday, so that Easter Sunday can follow on 21st
  • The Sun is active again with an Earth facing sunspot 2738. This single huge spot (3 x Earth size) is beginning to break apart. This may herald more activity
  • As Mars disappears in the west, Jupiter will soon be an evening object in the East; currenly rising at 00.30 BST
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of April 8th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.54 BST at the start of the week and 22.12 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun is blank but a new spot group is emerging on the Eastern limb
  • The ISS has made its last passes fro a few weeks

 

Week of April 1st

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.36 BST at the start of the week and 21.52 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday
  • The Sun is completely blank
  • The ISS makes final passes this week: Monday at 21.47.05 from W to ESE reaching 81 degrees altitude and 23.23.50 from W to WSW to 20 degrees. Tuesday 22.33.00 from W to S reaching 40 degrees. Wednesday at 21.42.14 fro W to SE to 55 degrees and 23.19.32 WSW to WSW to 14 degrees. Friday 22.28.22 W to S to 23 degrees. Saturday 21.37.25 W to SE to 33 degrees and Sunday 22.24.21 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees

 

Week of March 25th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.23 UT at the start of the week and 21.36 BST at the end
  • The clocks go forward by one hour next Saturday night to British Summer Time or UT+1
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Thursday
  • The Sun is becomming quiet again after spot 2736 disappears
  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at 19.15.50 from SW to E reaching 35 degrees altitude and 20.52.00 W to W to 45 degrees. Tuesday 20.01.21 WSW to E to 76 degrees and 21.37.57 W to W to 16 degrees. Wednesday 19.10.44 WSW to E to 59 degrees and 20.47.15 W to WSW to 69 degrees. Thursday 19.56.32 W to E to 87 degrees and 21.33.09 W to W to 21 degrees. Friday 19.05.50 WSW to E to 84 degrees and 20.42.27 W to WSW to 86 degrees. Saturday 19.51.44 W to E to 85 degrees and 21.28.21 W to W to 22 degrees and Sunday at 22.37.36 from W to S reaching 65 degrees

 

Week of March 18th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.09 UT at the start of the week and 20.21 UT at the end
  • The Vernal Equinox falls this year on Thursday 21st. This is the start of the Astronomical Year. The Sun rises due East and sets due West and we have equal day and night. From now the Northern Summer season begins. The Sun is at 0h RA and 0 degrees Declination, known as the First Point of Aries, due to precession of the Earth’s axis, the Sun is now in front of the constellation of Pisces. At noon on 21st the Sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer, where, at noon, there will be no shadow. At any other latitude on Earth the shadow length at noon gives an estimate for the curvature and hence the circumference of the Earth. This year an International experimental repeat of Eratosthenes’ original expriment will be carried out and the College has been invited to take part
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Spring Moon) on Thursday
  • The Sun is completely blank again though there is Geomagnetic activity (often seen near the Equinoxes)
  • The ISS returns on Friday with low passes: Friday 20.11.48 from SSW to S reaching 23 degrees. Saturday 19.21.21 SSW to ESE to 20 degrees and 20.56.44 WSW to WSW to 22 degrees and Sunday at 20.05.48 SW to SE to 49 degrees and 21.42.11 W to W to 10 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of March 11th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.56 UT at the start of the week and 20.07 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday
  • The Sun actually had activity last week with spot 2734. This is now fading, though a couple of CMEs were released and may cause minor storms on Monday
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of March 4th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.43 UT at the start of the week and 19.56 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday
  • The Sun remains completely blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of February 25th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.31 UT at the start of the week and 19.41 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Tuesday
  • The Sun remains blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of February 18th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.19 UT at the start of the week and 19.29 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Snow Moon) on Tuesday
  • The Sun remains blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 18.26.45 at 57 degrees in NNE

 

Week of February 11th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.56 UT at the start of the week and 19.06 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing from Monday and will be First Quarter on 12th
  • Take part in the annual star count to build a light pollution map of the UK; see https://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-do/countryside/dark-skies/star-count-2019
  • The Sun is blank
  • The ISS makes its last pass this week: Monday 18.35.00 W to SE reaching 62 degrees altitude and 20.12.01 W to WSW to 12 degrees. Tuesday 17.43.35 W to ESE to 79 degrees and 19.20.19 W to SSW to 27 degrees. Wednesday 18.28.47 W to SE to 39 degrees. Thursday 17.37.18 W to ESE to 54 degrees and 19.14.34 WSW to S to 15 degrees. Friday 18.22.41 W to SSE and Sunday 18.17.12 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees
  • There is one super bright evening Iridium flare on Wednesday at 17.37.03 at 68 degrees in SSE

 

Week of January 28th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.44 UT at the start of the week and 18.55 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week
  • The Sun has pne active sunspot 2733<br.
    </br.
  • The ISS makes very good passes almost every night this week: On Monday at 18.08.36 from WSW to E reaching 55 degrees altitude and 19.45.01 W to W to 21 degrees. Tuesday at 18.53.37 W to ENE to 89 degrees. Wednesday 18.02.15 WSW to E to 80 degrees and 19.38.48 W to W to 27 degrees. Thursday 18.47.23 W to E to 84 degrees. Friday 17.55.57 W to E to 86 degrees and 19.32.31 W to W to 34 degrees. Saturday 18.41.05 W to ESE to 85 degrees and 20.17.44 W to W to 12 degrees and Sunday 17.49.38 W to E to 86 degrees and 19.26.12 W to WSW to 39 degrees
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Tuesday at 18.14.44 at 55 degrees in NE

 

Week of January 21st

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.35 UT at the start of the week and 18.44 UT at the end
  • The Moon is Full on Monday and a ‘supermoon’ as the press like to call it. In the early hours the Moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow and a Total Eclipse will be visible. The Moon is at perigee, so will be brighter and larger than usual. Sadly the sky is likely to be cloudy. The Moon will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week
  • The Sun is totally blank
  • The ISS returns to make evening passes this week: Wednesday at 19.12.47 from SSW to SSW reaching 16 degrees altitude. Tuesday 18.22.03 S to SE to 19 degrees and 19.57.19 WSW to WSW to 11 degrees. Wednesday 17.31.51 SSE to ESE to 12 degrees and 19.06.04 SW to SSW to 34 degrees. Thursday 18.14.57 SW to ESE to 33 degrees and 19.50.59 W to W to 16 degrees. Friday 17.24.02 SSW to E to 23 degrees and 18.59.36 WSW to SW to 64 degrees. Saturday 18.08.16 WSW to E to 55 degrees and 19.44.40 W to W to 22 degrees and the best on Sunday at 18.53.13 W to ENE to 89 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

 

Week of January 14th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.26 UT at the start of the week and 18.34 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Ice Moon) at the start of next week
  • The Sun is totally blank
  • Venus and Jupiter make a fine pair in the early morning pre dawn sky (Venus at nearly -4.5 magnitude) and much brighter than Jupiter which is nearer the horizon
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

 

Week of January 7th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.18 UT at the start of the week and 18.25 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter at the start of next week
  • The Sun is basically blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

2018 – What’s Up

Week of December 30th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.10 UT at the start of the week and 18.14 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday
  • The Sun is blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares

 

Week of December 24th

  • 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 Saturday
  • The Sun is blank. 2018 has been 60% and we are in deep miminum awaiting the start of the new cycle
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Monday at 17.22.26 at 61 degrees altitude in NE

 

Week of December 17th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.03 UT at the start of the week and 18.06 UT at the end
  • Friday sees the Winter Solstice. The Sun rises and sets at its southerly extremes on the horizons. At midday it is only 27.5 degrees above the horizon at midday. The days will then start to lengthen
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Yule Moon) on Saturday
  • Comet 46P is now visible by eye (just) as a grey smudge between the Hyades and Pleiades. Its coma is the size of the Full Moon but with only an integrated brightness of +4
  • The Sun is again blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of December 10th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.01 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 is again blank after spot 2729 departs
  • Comet Wirtanen (46P) is now an easy target in binoculars (grey fuzzy smudge) and at the start of the week is close to magnitude 4.7 Menkar (lambda Cetus) before it heads into Taurus. This short period comet (5.4 years) which only gets as far out as Jupiter is returning to make a very close pass to Earth. The closest for a long while. It was the original target for the Rosetta and Philae lander mission. On December 16th, at its closest, it will be only just over 7 million miles from Earth or 20 Lunar Distances. It should then be easy to locate at this stage between the Hyades and Pleiades in Taurus. Over Christmas and into January it will fade and head towards a vanishing point in Ursa Major. The comet was discovered in 1948 and, due to its frequent solar passes is realtively small at just over one km in diameter
  • China has launced a mission to land the first rover on the far-side of the Moon. It is heading for the South Pole-Aitken basin
  • The ISS makes its last passes for a while this week: Monday at 18.04.08 from W to SSE reaching 26 degrees altitude. Tuesday 17.11.47 W to SE to 38 degrees. Wednesday 17.56.46 WSW to S to 15 degrees. Thursday 17.04.03 W to SSE to 22 degrees and Sunday 16.56.51 WSW to SSW to 12 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of December 3rd

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.01 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday<br.
    </br.
  • The Sun is again blank
  • We are getting ready for Comet Wirtanen (46P). This short period comet (5.4 years) which only gets as far out as Jupiter is returning to make a very close pass to Earth. The closest for a long while. It was the original target for the Rosetta and Philae lander mission. On December 16th, at its closest, it will be only just over 7 million miles from Earth or 20 Lunar Distances. It should reach naked eye visiblity, but will be best in binoculars. It should be easy to locate at this stage between the Hyades and Pleiades in Taurus. Over Christams and into January it will fade and head towards a vanishing point in Ursa Major. The comet was discovered in 1948 and, due to its frequesnt solar passes is realtively small at just over one km in diameter
  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at 17.43.08 W to E reaching 87 degrees and 19.19.39 W to W to 14 degrees. Tuesday 16.50.58 WSW to E to 83 degrees and 18.27.29 W to W to 52 degrees. Wednesday at 17.35.17 W to E reaching 85 degrees and 19.11.48 W to W to 16 degrees. Thursday 16.43.05 W to E to 85 degrees and 18.18.35 W to SW to 63 degrees. Friday at 17.27.22 W to ESE to 83 degrees and 19.03.59 W to WSW to 19 degrees. Saturday 16.35.09 W to E to 86 degrees and 18.11.40 W to S to 43 degrees and Sunday 17.19.24 W to ESE to 60 degrees and 18.56.25 W to SW to 17 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of November 26th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.06 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • Sun is again basically blank
  • The ISS makes low passes this week but better passes next week: Monday at 17.24.45 from SSE to ESE reaching 12 degrees and 18.58.53 SW to SW to 17 degrees. Tuesday 18.07.00 SW to SSE to 32 degrees. Wednesday 17.15.20 SSW to ESE to 22 degrees. Thursday 17.58.43 WSW to SE to 53 degrees. Friday at 17.06.44 SW to E to 37 degrees and 18.42.50 W to W to 35 degrees. Saturday 19.27.07 WSW to E to 77 degrees and 19.27.20 W to W to 12 degrees and Sunday 16.58.27 WSW to E to 60 degrees and 18.34.51 W to W to 42 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of November 19th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.11 UT at the start of the week and 18.06 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Friday (Frost Moon)
  • Sun is again basically blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of October 29th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.38 UT at the start of the week and 18.32 UT at the end. Note that BST ended on 28th October and we have returned to UT (GMT)
  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Wednesday
  • The Sun is again blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of October 15th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.05 BST at the start of the week and 19.53 BST at the end. Note that BST ends on 28th October and we return to UT (GMT)
  • The Moon is First Quarter on Tuesday and will wax to Full (Hunters’ Moon) on 24th
  • The Orionids meteor shower (debris from Halley’s comet) peak on 21st, but does not tend to produce many meteors and this year will be effected by moonlight
  • The Sun is again still basically blank
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Thursday at 18.23.58 at 12 degrees altitude in W

 

Week of October 8th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.20 BST at the start of the week and 20.05 BST at the end
  • The Moon is New on Tuesday
  • The Sun is again blank
  • The ISS makes it last evening passes for this session: On Monday at 20.01.59 fro W to SSE reaching 28 degrees altitude. Tuesday 19.09.55 from W to SE to 41 degrees and 20.48.38 SW to SW to 10 degrees. Wednesday 19.55.05 from W to S to 16 degrees. Thursday 19.02.43 W to SSE to 24 degrees and finally Saturday 18.55.57 WSW to S to 14 degrees
  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 19.27.56 at 56 degrees altitude in SSE and Thursday at 19.14.57 at 54 degrees in SSE

 

Week of October 1st

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.36 BST at the start of the week and 20.22 BST at the end
  • The Moon is Last Quarter on Tuesday
  • The Sun has one stable sunspot
  • The ISS returns making some of its best passes this week: On Monday at 19.39.8 from W to E reaching 89 degrees and 21.15.40 from W to W to 36 degrees. Tuesday 20.23.46an overhead pass through the Zenith from W to E to 90 degrees and 22.00.21 W to W to 11 degrees. Wednesday 19.31.51 W to E to 81 degrees and 21.08.23 W to W to 34 degrees. Thursday 20.16.27 W to SE to 71 degrees. Friday 19.24.32 W to ESE to 86 degrees and 21.01.08 W to WSW to 28 degrees. Saturday 20.09.07 W to SSE to 47 degrees and Sunday 19.17.09 W to SSE to 64 degrees and 20.54.06 W to SW to 19 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of September 24th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.54 BST at the start of the week and 20.41 BST at the end
  • The Moon is Full on Tuesday (Harvest or Equinox Moon) is will then wane to Last Quarter on 2nd October
  • The Sun is blank
  • The ISS returns making good passes this week: On Monday at 20.52.57 from SW to S reaching 39 degrees. Tuesday at 20.01.24 from SSW to ESE reaching 29 degrees and 21.37.16 from WSW to WSW to 23 degrees. Wednesday at 20.45.24 from WSW to SE to 66 degrees. Thursday at 19.53.36 from SW to E reaching 49 degrees and 21.29.55 from W to W to 31 degrees. The best pass is on Friday at 20.37.59 from W to E reaching 87 degrees and 22.14.31 from W to W to 10 degrees. Saturday at 19.46.02 from WSW to E to 73 degrees and 23.33.32 from W to W to 35 degrees and Sunday at 20.30.33 from W to E to 84 degrees and 22.07.05 from W to W to 11 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of September 17th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.12 BST at the start of the week and 20.56 BST at the end
  • The Autumnal Equinox falls this year next Sunday (23rd) when the Sun will rise due East and sets due West. This is the moment that the Sun (at RA 12h and declination 0 degrees) crosses the Celestial Equator from North to South and our nights become longer than our days. Though referred to as the First Point of Libra, due to precession over the last 2 millennia, the Sun will actually be in Virgo<br.
    </br.
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week
  • The Sun is blank
  • The ISS returns next week-end: Saturday at 21.00.30 from SSW to SSW reaching 15 degrees altitude. Sunday at 20.09.15 from S to SE reaching 17 degrees and 21.44.13 from WSW to WSW to 13 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of September 10th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.31 BST at the start of the week and 21.12 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Sunday
  • Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner makes its closest approach for 72 years (0.39 AU or 58 million miles) to Earth on 10th September. It is now shining nearly at magnitude 7, just beyond naked-eye capability but possible in binoculars. It will cross in front of the Open star cluster M35 in Gemini on 15th September. 21P is the ‘parent’ comet of the Draconids meteor shower, which peaks annualy on 8th October. It may be worth watching closely in case it is richer than normal
  • The Sun has one typical solar-minimum sunspot
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of September 3rd

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.52 BST at the start of the week and 21.34 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New next Sunday
  • Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner is heading for a close approach (0.39 AU) to Earth on 10th September. It is predicted to only now reach magnitude 11 next week-end when it will be just below the bottom stars of Auriga (see www.cometwatch.co.uk for details). It will only be low on the ENE horizon till after midnight
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Saturday at 22.43.15 at 10 degrees altitude in NNE

 

Week of August 20th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.35 BST at the start of the week and 22.13 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Sunday
  • Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner is heading for a close approach (0.39 AU) to Earth on 10th September. It should be visible at magnitude 7 in binoculars (more details next week)
  • The Sun has one small quiet sunspot
  • The ISS makes no passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of August 13th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.58 BST at the start of the week and 22.35 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday
  • The Sun remains blank
  • The ISS makes no passes this week
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Saturday at 23.06.51 at 18 degrees altitude in NNE

 

Week of August 6th

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.23 BST at the start of the week and 23.02 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday
  • The annual Perseid meteor shower (Tears of St Lawrence and debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle) peaks at 2am on morning of 13th August. Before dawn on 12th and 13th may be best. There is no Moon, so conditions this year are very favourable and some extimate up to 150 meteors and hour. Already bright Perseids are being seen and rates up to 10 per hor recorded. It is worth watching out all week after 10pm or so. The Radiant rises late in the North East but any patch of dark sky is worth watching, eg Uras Major and Minor and the Summer Triangle
  • The Sun remains blank at the end of Cycle 24
  • Mars is past its very brightest but follows dim yellow Saturn and bright Jupiter from E to W along the Ecliptic
  • The ISS one last pass this week on Tuesday at 21.39.03 from WSW to SSW, reaching 12 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of July 23rd

  • Astronomical twilight at last comes to an end and true darkness returns, all be it briefly. At the start of the week it gets dark at 00.29 BST and 23.52 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Friday, when it passes into the Earth’s shadow. The eclipse is Total and very long, lasting for over 6 hours (given the Moon is at apogee, it will be the longest in the 21st Century). The Moon rises already in the umbra and should be a deep red colour at 21.05 in SE. Totality starts to end at 21.45 with the Moon at only 5.5 degrees altitude. The Moon is fully in the penumbra at 23.00 at 13 degrees altitude. Full brightness will have returned by 00.45
  • The Sun has one inactive spot
  • Four planets are visible during the evening. Venus dominates the West and sets around 10pm. Jupiter is highest in the South, followed by Saturn. Mars rises just after 22.00 and is only 5 degrees from the Moon, slightly to the South at 11pm
  • The ISS makes excellent long and high passes this week: The best is on Monday at 23.21.31 from W to E passing through the Zenith at 90 degrees. Tuesday at 22.29.24 from WSW to E reaching 77 degrees. Wednesday at 23.13.44 from W to E reaching 84 degrees. Thursday at 22.21.33 from W to E reaching 87 degrees and 23.58.04 W to SE to 74 degrees. Friday at 23.05.53 from W to E reaching 88 degrees. Saturday at 22.13.41 from W to E reaching 85 degrees and 23.50.12 from W to SSW to 50 degrees and Sunday 22.57.59 from W to ESE reaching 68 degrees
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 23.22.44 at 22 degrees altitude in NNE

 

Week of July 16th

  • The Moon is wanxng and will be First Quarter on Friday. The Crescent Moon and Venus are close at the start of the week
  • The Sun remains blank
  • Four planets are visible during the evening. Venus dominates the West and sets around 10pm. Jupiter is highest in the South, followed by Saturn. Mars rises at 11pm. By midnight, Saturn is due South
  • The ISS returns this week: Tuesday at 23.50.13 from E to E reaching 16 degrees altitude. Wednesday 22.58.12 from ESE to E to 13 degrees. Thursday 22.03.12 from SSE to ESE to 12 degrees and 23.37.15 from SW to E to 46 degrees. Friday 22.45.26 from SW to E to 32 degrees. Saturday 21.53.51 from SSW to E to 22 degrees and 23.29.17 from WSW to E to 70 degrees and Sunday 22.37.15 SW to E to 52 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of July 9th

  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Friday
  • The Sun is blank
  • Four planets are visible during the evening. Venus dominates the West and sets around 10pm. Jupiter is highest in the South, followed by Saturn. Mars rises at 11pm. By midnight, Saturn is due South
  • There have been good Noctilucent Cloud displays around UK. Look West, 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. Tendrils of electric blue high altitude clouds are NLCs
  • The ISS returns with evening passes next week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of July 2nd

  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun is blank
  • The Noctilucent Cloud season has begun. Look west, 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. Tendrils of electric blue high altitude clouds are NLCs<br.
    </br.
  • There are no ISS evening passes this week
  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 22.51.10 at 23 degrees altitude in WNW. Tuesday at 22.02.02 at 43 degrees in W and Thursday at 22.51.42 at 18 degrees in WNW

 

Week of June 25th

  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Strawberry Moon) on Thursday
  • Venus in West, Jupiter in South West and Saturn in South East are all now visible an hour or so after sunset, with Mars appearing in the East a couple of hours after Venus sets. At the start of the week the waxing Moon, Jupiter and the bright star Spica for a horizontal line in South<br.
    </br.
  • The Sun has 2 sunspot groups and 2715 has the potential to be active
  • There are no ISS evening passes this week
  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week: Wednesday at 22.23.56 at 47 degrees altitude in NE and Friday at 23.44.41 at 13 degrees in NNE

 

Week of June 18th

  • The Sun rises and sets at its northern most extremes on the horizon on Thursday and its highest declination at 11.07am. At midday the Sun reaches its maximum altitude in the year (Co-latitude + Declination) of 62.5 degrees
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Wednesday
  • Saturn is now rising at 22.20 BST but remains close to the horizon, culminating at 1.30 am at 16 degrees altitude. Bright red Supergiant Antares and the 3 stars in Scorpio’s tail are also now visible low in the South
  • Mars rises at half-past midnight and is approaching Opposition (closest, largest and brightest) on .27th July and is already outshining Sirius. Though Oppositions occur every 2 years, this year Mars is near Perihelion in its orbit, so even closer
  • The Sun continues to be almost blank
  • There are no ISS evening passes this week
  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday at 21.29.41 at 23 degrees altitude in NNW. Thursday at 22.49.40 at 38 degrees in NE and Saturday 22.53.04 at 37 degrees in W

 

Week of June 11th

  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday
  • The young crescent Moon and Venus will be close and make a super picture at the end of the week, around 9pm low in the West
  • Mars is approaching Opposition (closest, largest and brightest) on 27th July and is already outshining Sirius. Though Oppositions occur every 2 years, this year Mars is near Perihelion in its orbit, so even closer
  • The Sun conitnues to be blank
  • There are no ISS evening passes this week
  • There are eight bright evening Iridium flares this week (a great chance to catch one if you havent before) On Tuesday at 22.42.20 at 20 degrees altitude in WNW and 23.23.45 at 22 degrees in NNE. Wednesday 22.19.50 at 12 degrees in NNW and 22.43.20 at 19 degrees in WNE. Thursday ay 23.31.40 at 45 degrees in WSW. Friday at 22.49.56 at 14 degrees in WNW. Saturday at 22.3.27 at 12 degrees in WNW and Sunday at 23.09.35 at 30 degrees in NNE

 

Week of June 4th

  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes one last evening pass on Tuesday at 22.41.00 from WSW to SSW reaching 12 degrees
  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares this week, on Thursday at 21.51.34 at 27 degrees altitude in W and Saturday at 22.48.41 at 25 degrees in W

 

Week of 28th May

  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Flower Moon)on Tuesday
  • The Sun has one fast growing spot which may become active over the next few days
  • The ISS makes a number of good passes this week: On Monday at 23.11.46 from W to ESE reaching 83 degrees. Tuesday 22.19.34 W to E to 87 degrees and 23.56.06 W to S to 43 degrees. Wednesday 23.03.51 W to ESE to 60 degrees. Thursday 22.11.38 W to ESE to 78 degrees and 23.48.19 W to SSW to 26 degrees. Friday 22.55.56 W to SSE to 37 degrees. Saturday 22.03.38 W to ESE to 53 degrees and 23.40.55 WSW to SW to 15 degrees and Sunday 22.48.09 W to S to 22 degrees
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday at 23.15.16 at 33 degrees altitude in W

 

Week of 21st May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.36 BST at the start of the week, then from Tuesday, does not return till 21st July and the nights have no Astronomical darkness
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Tuesday
  • Venus appears in the twilight sky from 9pm and for 2 hours dominates the Western sky till it sets at 11pm. The waxing Moon increses its separation from the planet during the week
  • The Sun is again blank and there have now been over 50% of days this year with no sunspots
  • The ISS makes good passes in the evening this week: On Monday at 22.51.32 from SW to E reaching 89 degrees. Tuesday 21.59.45 SSW to E to 26 degrees and 23.35.27 WSW to E to 78 degrees. Wednesday 22.43.17 WSW to E to 60 degrees. Thursday 21.51.14 SW to E to 43 degrees and 23.27.27 W to E to 87 degrees. Friday 22.35.12 WSW to E to 83 degrees. Saturday 23.19.26 W to E to 85 degrees and Sunday 22.27.08 to E to 85 degrees
  • There are two bright evening Iridium flares:Monday at 22.17.05 at 11 degrees altitude in NNW and Wednesday at 23.45.09 at 41 degrees altitude in WSW

 

Week of 14th May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.50 BST at the start of the week and 00.27 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Tuesday
  • The Sun has one stable spot 2709
  • The ISS returns from Sunday 20th: 222.08.34 from S to ESE reaching 15 degrees and 23.43.14 from WSW to E reaching 54 degrees
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare on Thursday 22.58.02 at 22 degrees altitude in

 

Week of 7th May

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.17 BST at the start of the week and 23.46 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be First Quarter on Tuesday
  • The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower (debris from Halley’s Comet) peaks in the early hours of 7th. With clear skies up to 20 shooting stars per hours may be visible in the hour before dawn, but they are not usually easily viewed from UK
  • The Sun has one short lived spot 2708, now decaying
  • There are no ISS passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 30th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.45 BST at the start of the week and 23.05 BST at the end
  • The Moon will be Full (Flower Moon) on Monday
  • Tuesday is the start of summer with May 1st festivals all over UK. It is the feast of Beltane in the celtic tradition and a time of ‘union’. It is one of the ancient cross-quarter days, half-way between the Equinox and the Solstice
  • The Moon and Jupiter are in conjunction (in Libra) and are well placed to view rising in the East after sunset (around 20.45). Perhaps of interest is the possibility that an April conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter (though in Aries) is a contender for the ‘star’ of Bethlehem origin
  • Jupiter itself reaches Opposition on 9th May (Culminating at midnight), reaching its closest point to Earth and hence potentially the best conditions for observation
  • The Sun is blank again
  • There are no ISS passes this week

 

Week of 23rd April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.34 BST at the start of the week and 22.45 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full at the start of next week
  • The Sun is very innactive, though it now has 2 small spot groups
  • There are no ISS passes this week
  • There are four bright late evening Iridium flares this week: On Monday at 23.35.00 at 12 degrees altitude in W. Tuesday at 23.29.04 at 12 degrees in W. Wednesday at 23.32.22 at 11 degrees in W. Saturday at 22.09.11 at 11 degrees in N

 

Week of 16th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.15 BST at the start of the week and 22.32 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter next Sunday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • There are no ISS passes this week
  • There are two bright Iridium flares this week: On Wednesday at 23.41.21 at 16 derees altitude in W and Friday at 23.33.27 at 15 degrees in W

 

Week of 9th April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.57 BST at the start of the week and 22.15 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Sunday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes one last evening pass this week on Wednesday at 20.59.29 from WSW to SSW reaching 13 degrees altitude
  • There are three bright Iridium flares this week, unusually 2 of them very close together, within 2 minutes: Thursday at 20.58.48 at 30 degrees altitude in N and Saturday at 23.50.14 at 17 degrees in WSW and 23.51.50 at 17 degrees in WSW

 

Week of 2nd April

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.41 BST at the start of the week and 21.55 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday
  • The Sun has one active region 2703
  • The first Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will make an uncontrolled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere in the early hours of 2nd April, the debris will not be visible from MCBO
  • The ISS continues to make good passes this week: Monday 21.30.53 from W to ESE reaching 83 degrees altitude. Tuesday 20.38.35 from W to E to 87 degrees and 22.15.07 W to WSW to 32 degrees. Wednesday 21.22.46 W to SE to 60 degrees. Thursday 20.30.26 W to ESE to 78 degrees and 22.07.08 W to SW to 25 degrees. Friday 21.14.39 W to ESE to 38 degrees. Saturday 20.22.16 W to ESE to 54 degrees and 21.59.30 WSW to SW to 15 degrees and Sunday 21.06.40 W to SSE to 22 degrees
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 26th March

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.24 BST at the start of the week and 21.39 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Paschal Moon) on Saturday, thus enabling Easter Day to fall on 1st April
  • Just after sunset around 7.30pm Venus is visible low in West
  • The Sun is still blank
  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday 21.11.04 SW to SSE to 38 degrees. Tuesday 20.20.13 SSW to E to 26 degrees and 21.54.55 WSW to WSW to 39 degrees. Wednesday 21.02.42 WSW to E to 61 degrees and 22.39.06 W to W to 16 degrees. Thursday 21.10.34 SW tp E to 43 degrees and 21.46.47 W to WNW to 78 degrees. Friday 20.54.28 WSW to E to 83 degrees and 22.30.58 W to W to 24 degrees. Saturday 21.38.37 W to E to 85 degrees and Sunday 20.46.16 W to E to 85 degrees and 22.22.46 W to W to 31 degrees
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 19th March

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.11 UT at the start of the week and 20.26 UT at the end
  • The Vernal Equinox this year falls on Tuesday 20th, wehn the Sun will rise due East and set due West. Days will start to be longer than night and it should be the start of Spring!
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Saturday
  • Just after sunset around 7pm, Mercury and Venus are now visible close together in the west and at the start of the week Mercury is apparently furthest from the Sun
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS will make passes again from next week-end: Saturady at 20.19.30 from SSW to SSW reaching 12 degrees and Sunday 19.28.07 S to Se to 15 degrees and 21.02.49 WSW to SW to 14 degrees
  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week on Monday at 19.55.12 at 30 degrees in N

 

Week of 12th March

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.58 UT at the start of the week and 20.10 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday
  • The Sun is blank
  • There are no ISS passes this week
  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 20.26.51 at 18 degrees altitude in N

 

Week of 5th March

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.45 UT at the start of the week and 19.56 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • There are no ISS passes this week
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 26th February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.33 UT at the start of the week and 19.43 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Friday (Lenten Moon)
  • The Sun is blank again
  • There are no ISS passes this week
  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week on Monday at 17.60.34 at 45 degrees altitude in SSW

 

Week of 12th February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.08 UT at the start of the week and 19.17 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday
  • The Sun has a growing sunspot group 2699 which may lead to increased activity
  • Elon Musk’s red Tesla is now more than 1 million km from Earth and shining at 17th magnitude
  • The ISS makes its last pass for a few weeks on Tuesday at 18.17.51 WSW to SSW reaching 13 degrees
  • There are two bright Iridium flares this week on Monday at 18.47.58 at 46 dgrees in SSE and Friday at 17.29.14 at 16 degrees altitude in W

 

Week of 5th February

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.58 UT at the start of the week and 19.08 UT at the end
  • The Sun is currently blank
  • The ISS makes good evening passes this week: Monday at 18.48.19 from W to ESE reaching 84 degrees altitude and 20.24.56 W to W to 10 degrees. Tuesday at 17.56.06 W to E to 86 degrees and 19.32.38 W to WSW to 36 degrees. Wednesday 18.40.23 W to SE to 61 degrees and 20.17.23 W to WSW to 12 degrees. Thursday 17.48.08 W to ESE to 79 degrees and 19.24.49 W to SSW to 26 degrees. Friday 18.32.26 W to SE to 38 degrees. Saturday 19.17.21 WSW to S to 15 degrees and Sunday 18.24.37 W to SSE to 23 degrees
  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week on Thursday at 19.03.06 at 45 degrees altitude in SSE

 

Week of 29th January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.47 UT at the start of the week and 18.58 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full on Wednesday. This month’s moon is being called the Super-Blue-Blood moon! This is because it is near perigee and thus closer in its orbit, so will appear a little brighter and bigger than usual and also on Wednsday it is the second Full Moon in the month and these have become known as Blue moon (hence the expression, though they are not that rare) and to top it all the Moon passes into the Earth’s shadow at 13.00 UT (so not visible at all in the UK) for a Total Lunar Eclipse, where the deepest shadow is blood red
  • The Sun is currently blank
  • The ISS returns making good evening passes this week: Monday at 18.27.59 from SW to ESE reaching 37 degrees altitude and 20.04.04 W to W to 13 degrees. Tuesday at 17.36.04 SSW to E to 25 degrees and 19.11.44 WSW to WSW. Wednesday 18.19.27 WSW to E to 59 degrees and 19.55.50 W to W to 18 degrees. Thursday 17.27.16 SW to E to 42 degrees and 19.03.27 W to W to 80 degrees. Friday 18.11.04 WSW to E to 82 degrees and 19.47.34 W to W to 23 degrees. Saturday 18.55.09 W to ENE to 85 degrees and Sunday 18.02.44 W to E to 85 degrees and 19.39.13 W to W to 31 degrees
  • There are three bright Iridium flares this week: Monday at 17.03.07 at 15 degrees in SW. Tuesday at 17.20.21 at 20 degrees in W and Thursday at 24 degrees in W

 

Week of 22nd January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.37 UT at the start of the week and 18.46 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be First Quarter on Wednesday
  • The Sun has one small inactive spot
  • The ISS returns with evening passes from Friday: Friday at 19.28.33 from SW to SSW reaching 14 degrees. Saturday 18.36.45 SSW to SSE to 22 degrees and Sunday 17.45.20 S to ESE to 14 degrees and 19.19.56 SW to SW to 29 degrees
  • There are three bright Iridium flares this week: Monday at 17.17.03 at 23 degrees altitude in SSW. Wednesday at 17.10.25 at 22 degrees in SSW and Friday at 18.20,09 at 10 degrees in WNW

 

Week of 15th January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.28 UT 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 one small inactive spot
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week<br.
    </br.
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 8th January

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.19 UT at the start of the week and 18.26 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Monday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

2017 – What’s Up

Week of 18th December

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.03 UT at the start of the week and 18.07 UT at the end
  • The Winter Solstice falls on Thursday, when the Sun rises and sets at its extreme southerly point on the horizons and only reaches 15.5 degrees altitude at midday
  • The Moon will wax from Monday and will be First Quarter on Boxing Day
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes its last pass on Tuesday at 16.38.32 from WSW to SSW reaching 13 degrees altitude
  • There are two bright Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 17.00.41 at 18 degrees altitude in SSW and 18.17.29 at 33 degrees

 

Week of 11th December

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.03 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week
  • The Geminid meteor shower (debris from asteroid 3200 Phaethon) will peak early Thursday morng at around 2am. Wednesday night should be a good time to view the build up, especially with no Moon till much later. Peak rates of up to 120 per hour are predicted
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes its last passes this week: Monday 17.09.33 W to ESE reaching 83 degrees and 18.46.10 W to SW to 27 degrees. Tuesday 17.53.49 W to SE to 43 degrees. Wednesday 17.01.29 W to ESE to 60 degrees and 18.38.32 W to SSW to 17 degrees. Thursday 17.45.54 W to SSE to 17 degrees. Friday 16.53.26 W to SE to 38 degrees. Saturday 17.38.20 WSW to S to 15 degrees and Sunday 16.45.31 W to SSE to 22 degrees
  • There are two bright Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 17.00.41 at 18 degrees altitude in SSW and 18.17.29 at 33 degrees

 

Week of 4th December

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.02 UT at the start of the week and 18.02 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Sunday. The ‘Cold Moon’ on 3rd was thew brightest of 2017 with it being at Perigee, 8% increase in diameter and 16% in brightness
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday at 16.49.27 from SW to E reaching 38 degrees altitude and 18.25.34 W to W to 57 degrees. Tuesday 17.33.23 WSW to E to 78 degrees and 19.09.53 W to W to 17 degrees. Wednesday 16.41.15 WSW to E to 61 degrees and 18.17.40 W to WNW to 70 degrees. Thursday 17.25.25 W to E to 86 degrees and 19.01.57 W to W to 21 degrees. Friday 16.33.11 WSW to E to 84 degrees and the best at 18.09.42 W to SSE to 87 degrees. Saturday 17.17.27 W to E to 85 degrees and 18.53.58 W to W to 25 degrees and Sunday 18.01.41 W to SE to 66 degrees
  • There are three bright Iridium flares this week: Monday at 17.21.07 at 28 degrees altitude in S. Thursday at 17.12.16 at 24 degrees in SSW and Friday 18.32.23 at 33 degrees in SSE

 

Week of 27th 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 (Cold Moon) on Sunday
  • The Sun almost blank with one young spot 2689 which is growing in activity
  • The ISS returns on Tuesday making late aftrnoon passes this week: 18.49.57 from SSW to SSW reaching 14 degrees altitude. Wednesday 17.58.13 from SSW to SSE to 19 degrees. Thursday 17.07.01 SSE to ESE to 13 degrees and 18.41.14 from SW to SW to 27 degrees. Friday 17.49.08 SW to SE to 33 degrees and 19.25.07 W to W to 12 degrees. Saturday 16.57.16 SSW to E to 22 degrees and 18.32.45 WSW to WSW to 43 degrees and Sunday 17.40.27 WSW to E to 54 degrees and 19.16.48 W to W to 15 degrees
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 20th 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 Sunday
  • The Sun almost blank with 2 small innactive spots
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this weekbut returns on 28th
  • There is one bright Iridium flare this week: Wednesday at 18.05.44 at 37 degrees altitude in SSE

 

Week of 13th November

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.17 UT at the start of the week and 18.11 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Saturday
  • The waning Moon is now a fine sight in the pre-dawn sky with Mars below it and, at the start of the week Jupiter and Venus in a close (less than degree) Conjunction
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There is one super-bright Iridium flare this week: On Monday at 18.41.39 at 39 degrees altitude in SE

 

Week of 6th November

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.26 UT at the start of the week and 18.18 UT at the end<br.
    </br.
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Friday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 30th October

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 18.36 UT at the start of the week and 18.26 UT at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Hunters Moon) on Saturday
  • Tuesday is the ancient Feast of the Pleiades or in Celtic tradition, Samhain (the Cross Quarter day, half-way between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Soltice)..now Haloween
  • The Sun has two fading spots, neither is active
  • The ISS makes no evening passes this week
  • There are no bright Iridium flares this week but there is one extremely bright Iridium flare next Monday at 17.48.10 at 59 degrees altitude in NNE

 

Week of 23rd October

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 19.48 BST at the start of the week and 18.40 UT at the end as we return to Universal Time (GMT) early Sunday morning
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Friday
  • The Orionids (debris from Halley’s comet) are active at the start of the week and best seen when Orion is high in the early morning
  • The Sun has one spot 2685 which unusually is on its 3rd return, it was originally the highly active region 2673
  • The ISS makes no evening passes week
  • There are two bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday at 18.53.06 at 57 degrees altitude in NNE and 20.31.47 at 26 degrees in NNE

 

Week of 16th October

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.02 BST at the start of the week and 19.50 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Thursday
  • The Sun is blank for the 7th day in a row
  • The ISS makes no passes week
  • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 19.23.47 at 49 degrees altitude in NNE

 

Week of 2nd October

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.33 BST at the start of the week and 20.19 BST at the end<br.
    </br.
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Thursday<br.
    </br.
  • The Sun has three quiet sunspot regions
  • The ISS makes good passes week: Monday at 20.37.28 W to ENE reaching 87 degrees. Tuesday 19.45.19 WSW to E to 83 degrees and 21.21.49 WSW to E to 27 degrees. Wednesday 20.29.39 W to ENE to 85 degrees. Thursday 19.37.28 W to E to 85 degrees and 21.13.59 W to W to 28 degrees. Friday 20.21.47 W to ESE to 84 degrees. Saturday 19.29.35 W to E to 86 degrees and 21.06.06 W to W to 27 degrees and Sunday 20.13.52 W to SSE to 61 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 25th September

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 20.51 BST at the start of the week and 20.33 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waxing and will be First Quarter on Thursday
  • The Sun has two quiet sunspot regions, but 2673 is about to return around the Eastern limb. It is unlikely to be as powerful as 2 weeks ago
  • The ISS returns thus week with good passes next week-end: Monday at 20.19.26 from SSE to SSE reaching 10 degrees altitude. Tuesday 21.01.30 SW to SSW to 18 degrees. Wednesday 20.09.42 SSW to SE to 22 degrees and 21.45.09 WSW to WSW to 12 degrees. Thursday 20.52.55 SW to SSW to 42 degrees. Friday 20.00.46 SW to SSW to 37 degrees and 21.36.51 W to W to 19 degrees. Saturday 20.44.29 WSW to S to 76 degrees and Sunday 19.52.10 WSW to E to 59 degrees and 21.28.33 W to W to 24 degrees
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 18th September

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.09 BST at the start of the week and 20.51 BST at the end. The Autumnal Equinox falls on Friday at 21.02 BST. The Sun will rise due East and set due west and we will have equal day and night length
  • The Moon is waning and will be New on Wednesday
  • The Sun is quiet with one mature spot 2680
  • The ISS makes no visible evening passes this week but return from next Monday
  • There are bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

Week of 11th September

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.28 BST at the start of the week and 21.14 BST at the end
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter on Wednesday
  • On Friday just before 2.30pm, the Cassini spacecraft will end its 20 year mission by diving into the gaseous planet Saturn
  • The Sun is now quieting down again as huge active spot 2673 rotates round the limb. It will almost certainly be back in 2 weeks time
  • The ISS makes no visible evening passes this week
  • There is bright evening Iridium flare this week on Monday 21.06.22 at 25 degrees in N

 

Week of 4th September

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 21.48 BST at the start of the week and 21.31 BST at the end
  • The Moon will be Full (Harvest Moon) on Wednesday
  • The Sun has 5 spot groups and 2674 is huge, stretching some 150,000 km and highly active
  • The ISS makes no visible evening passes this week
  • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Wednesday 21.41.03 at 15 degrees in N and Friday at 21.18.53 at 21 degrees in N

 

Week of 28th August

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.09 BST at the start of the week and 21.51 BST at the end
  • The Moon will be First Quarter on Tuesday and will then wax to Full at the start of next week
  • The Sun has 2 spot groups which are mildly active
  • The ISS makes no visible evening passes this week
  • There are 2 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday 23.58.03 at 10 degrees in W and Wednesday at 20.04.53 at 45 degrees in N

 

Week of 21st August

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.31 BST at the start of the week and 22.09 BST at the end
  • The Moon will be New on Monday, when it will align exactly with the Sun causing a Total Eclipse, viible across 14 states of the USA
  • The Sun is active again with an extended spot groups 2671
  • Venus is dominent in the pre Dawn sky
  • The ISS makes no visible evening passes this week
  • There are 4 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Thursday 23.45.39 at 19 degrees in WSW. Friday 23.48.42 at 16 degrees in WSW. Saturday 23.51.48 at 14 degrees in W and Sunday 23.03.54 at 12 degrees in W

 

Week of 14th August

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 22.54 BST at the start of the week and 22.34 BST at the end
  • The Moon will be Last Quarter on Tuesday and will then wane to New at the start of next week, when it will align exactly with the Sun causing a Total Eclipse, viible across 14 states of the USA
  • Perseid meteors will continue to be seen throughout the week
  • The Sun is blank again
  • The ISS makes no visible evening passes this week
  • There are 3 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Tuesday 22.27.23 at 12 degrees altitude in W. Wednesday at 21.45.09 at 19 degrees in N and Friday at 23.54.39 at 28 degrees in WSW

 

Week of 7th August

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.20 BST at the start of the week and 22.57 BST at the end
  • The Moon will wax to Full (Storm Moon) on Monday and will then wane to Last Quarter at the start of next week. On Monday the Moon will move into the Earth’s shadow and will be partially eclipsed (fully visible from Asia and mainland Europe). We will see the Moon rise already covered by the Earth’s penumbral shadow at 20.45 BST. The Moon will return to full brightness at 21.50 BST
  • The Persied meteor shower peaks at 1800 hrs on 12th but already fireballs are being seen as Earth moves into the debris stream left by comet swift-tuttle. It is worth watching out this week and certainly from 10th to 13th as the moonlight becomes less obtrusive
  • The Sun has one mature spot 2670 (the remains of the huge spot 2665) and has little activity
  • The ISS makes a couple of last passes on Monday at 22.08.31 from W to S reaching 24 degrees and Wednesday 21.00.54 WSW to S reaching 13 degrees
  • There are 6 bright evening Iridium flares this week: Monday 23.21.33 at 20 degrees altitude in W. Tuesday 23.20.15 at 19 degrees in W. Wednesday 23.23.26 at 16 degrees in W. Thursday at 23.26.39 at 14 degres in W. Friday 23.29.56 at 12 degrees in WNW and Saturday at 23.33.02 at 10 degrees in WNW

 

Week of 31st July

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 23.51 BST at the start of the week and 23.20 BST at the end
  • The Moon will wax to Full (Storm Moon) at the start of next week. The Moon will move into the Earth’s shadow and will be partially eclipsed on Monday 7th (fully visible from Asia and mainland Europe). We will see the Moon rise already covered by the Earth’s penumbral shadow at 20.45BST. The Moon will return to full brightness at 21.50 BST
  • The Sun is almost blank again with one inactive sunspot group
  • ISS pass times and Iridium flare times to follow

 

Week of 24th July

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.21 BST at the start of the week and 23.51 BST at the end
  • The Moon will wax to First Quarter at the start of next week
  • The Sun is now blank again
  • The ISS makes good passes this week: Monday 23.05.49 SW to E to 52 degrees. Tuesday 22.13.45 SW to E to 36 degrees and 23.49.49 W to E to 89 degrees. Wednesday 22.57.30 WSW to E to 76 degrees. Thursday 22.05.14 WSW to E to 58 degrees and 23.41.37 W to E to 84 degrees. Friday 22.49.15 W to E to 88 degrees . Saturday 21.56.53 WSW to E to 81 degrees and 23.33.22 W to E to 89 degrees and Sunday 22.40.59 W to E to 84 degrees
  • There are three bright evening Iridium flares this week on Monday at 23.16.39 at 11 degrees altitude in WNW and at 23.55.53 ar 39 degrees in WSW and on Tuesday at 21.50.47 at 19 degrees in NNW

 

Week of 17th July

 

  • Astronomical twilight ends at 00.55 on Friday for the first time true darkness returns
  • The Moon is waning and will be New at the start of next week
  • Saturn, though low, is well placed for viewing due south mid evening
  • The Sun has been active with the enormous sunspot group 2665 causing strong auroral activity as it rotates out of sight on the western limb
  • The ISS more passes at the end of the week: Saturday 23.14.20 SW to E reaching 32 degrees and Sunday 22.22.34 SSW to E reaching 21 degrees and 23.57.59 WSW to E to 70 degrees
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flare this week on Tuesday at 23.03.29 at 19 degrees in WNW

 

Week of 10th July

 

  • There is no Astronomical darkness
  • The Moon is waning and will be Last Quarter at the start of next week
  • The Sun has one enormous (largest of 2017) sunspot group 2665, which is currently active
  • The ISS makes no passes this week
  • There is one superbright evening Iridium flare this week on Wednesday at 23.14.42 at 32 degrees altitude in W

 

Week of 3rd July

 

  • There is no Astronomical darkness
  • The Moon is waxing and will be Full (Thunder Moon) on Sunday
  • The Sun is blank again
  • Noctilucent Clouds, which were wiped out by the heat wave, have again been sighted. On clear evenings it is worth looking west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset
  • The ISS makes no passes this week
  • There are no bright evening Iridium flares this week

 

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<br.
    </br.
  • 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

2016 – What’s Up

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

    <li<>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</li<>

 

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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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

 

2015 – What’s Up

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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • The Sun has 5 sunspot groups, 2321 is potentially active<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • The Sun has 8 sunspot groups; 3 are potentially active<br.
    </br.
  • 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 them<br.<br.
  • Jupiter rises around 7.30pm and then dominates the southern sky<br.
    </br.
    </br.<br.
  • 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

2014 – What’s Up

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<br.
    </br.
  • 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
    ,br>
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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 active<br.<br.
  • The ISS does not make any passes this week

    </br.<br.

  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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

2013 – What’s Up

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<br.
    </br.
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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
  • 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<br.
    </br.
  • 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 Sunday
  • 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
  • There is one bright evening Iridium flares this week on Friday at 19.28.31,652 degrees altitude in SE

 

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
    <br
  • There is one bright Iridium flare on Wednesday at 17.45.58 at 39 degrees in SSW</br

 

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
  • The 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

2012 – What’s Up

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

 

2011 – What’s Up

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

2010 – What’s Up

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
  • 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

 

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

2009 – What’s Up

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
  • 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