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Saturday, March 24

March meeting 27th March 2012

This Tuesday (27th March) is our March meeting. After our usual round up of news items Dennis will be giving us a talk in his experiences starting out in astrophotographs. There should be plenty of tips for anyone interested in taking their own photos of the night sky.

See you there.


Tuesday, March 20

Supernova SN2012aw captured in M95

Many thanks to Robin for pointing out that my image below also captures the very recently discovered Supernova in M95.

Amazing to think of the power of this single star shining so brightly from such a great distance.


Monday, March 19

Mars passes M95 and M96 Galaxies

The sky was beautiful last night and I managed to get a nice conjunction of the planet Mars as it passes by two Messier Galaxies, M95 and M96.

Mars, M95 & M96
Skywatcher MN190 f/5
Canon EOS300D modified
EQ6 Pro autoguided

30 x 3 minute exposures @ ISO800

M95, shown on the right in this image, is a magnitude +11.4 barred spiral 36 million light years away from us.

M96, on the left, is a magnitude +10.6 type Sa spiral 31 million light years away.

Mars was shining brightly at magnitude -1.0 and is shown massively over-exposed here in this series of 3 minute exposures.

Look out for some great conjunctions on 25th or 26th March with the crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus in the western early evening sky ; and Venus passing very close to the Pleiades (M45) on 2nd-4th April.

Tuesday, March 6

Venus & Jupiter reflected in Lake Windermere

On a visit down to the Eddington Astronomical Society last night to do a talk, I was stunned to see the beauty of Venus and Jupiter reflecting in the still waters of Lake Windermere.

Two bright beacons blazing low in the Western sky!


Sunday, March 4

February 2012 Meeting report

We had a great turn out for our February meeting where Jeremy gave us a talk on some of the fantastic images of Saturn returned by the Cassini probe which is still orbiting around the ringed planet years after its initial mission duration.

One of my favourites was the image of a backlight Saturn which included the Earth seen as a tiny dot peeping through Saturn's rings.

We also covered the latest news topics and I used a diagram showing where all the current space exploration missions in the Solar System currently are. You can see that close up at this Planetary Society Blog post.

Next month Dennis will be giving us a talk on his experiences starting out in astrophotographs.



Did you see the meteor?

Last night 3rd March there were lots of sightings of a pretty big meteor, known as a fireball, seen from northern England and southern Scotland. The event has made the news and caused a lot of people seeing it to call the police who were said to have been inundated.

So if you saw something very bright moving across the sky at about 9.40pm last night that's probably what you were looking at. Universe today has a good report with a nice picture and a couple of videos.

If you did see this why not let us know in the comments?