What’s Up

September Night Sky

The total solar eclipse hunters have now returned to the UK full of wonderful descriptions and plans to be in Chile in July 2019 for the next one; enough time to wash your socks and learn Spanish. September is the month we say goodbye to Cassini. Having dropped off Huygens on Titan all those years ago, it has been busy undertaking scientific research that has rewritten a great deal of what we knew of Saturn, its moons and its rings. Friday 15th September at about 13:00 will see the probe re-enter Saturn's atmosphere which to date it has only skimmed. Not designed for re-entry and an antennae...

Read more...

August Night Sky

The big tickets for August this year are the Perseid meteor shower and for those with flights to the USA, the Solar Eclipse. However, with the skies rapidly darkening again, its a good time to look up with you eyes, binoculars and/or telescope. We start the month with 3 hours of official darkness from 23:45 to 02:45 and by the end of the month that has doubled from 22:00 to 04:15; deep sky objects that were too hard to see over the early Summer months will be within reach again. The Moon this month is not kind to the Perseid meteor shower as Full Moon is on 7th August and, within a week, the Perseids...

Read more...

Telescopes for Loan to Young People

Bath Astronomers have generously been given two telescopes for loan to young people taking up an interest in observing the night sky. The new kit is: A Meade DS-2080AT-LNT. It is a 80mm f/10 refractor with a goto mount and a red dot finder. It has a diagonal and 26mm(x31) and 9.7mm(x81) eyepieces; both 1.25". It comes with a reproduction Meade manual; A Europa 150 f8 Newtonian reflector. It is 6" in diameter with a focal length of 1200mm; it uses Orion Optics. It is on a Sky Scan 2001 manual equatorial mount. It has a 6 x 30mm sight scope and comes with a x2 barlow, and 25mm(x48) and 10mm(x120)...

Read more...

July Night Sky

The 'star' of the show this month is, of course, Saturn. Its 29.4 year rotational period around the Sun offering us a changing aspect of the rings each year with an edge on view every 15 years or so. We've recently had the rings open to their maximum extent giving good views of the Cassini division and other detail. So much so that Damian Peach and collaborators have produced the most amazing ground based image of Saturn this year. The next edge on view isn't due until 2024 and so there's still time to have a look at the rings in all their glory!   Credit:  Damian Peach and six colleagues...

Read more...

June Night Sky

June is the gateway to the summer months whereupon Astronomy Societies appear to commence hibernation for three months awaiting the retreat of the Sun. But there is no reason for observing to stop; yes we've temporary lost 'darkness' and at best see just astronomical twilight but there is much more out there to enjoy. Firstly, you may be starting late in the evening/approaching midnight but it's t-shirt weather even in the early hours. Secondly, the firmament above doesn't stop to go on holiday. The spectacular solar eclipse will still occur in the US on 21st August. Cassini will continue...

Read more...

Observing evening at Wellow, Thu 25th May

REPORT: A good night in Wellow last night and this morning even though the sky remained in astronomical twilight for the duration. A 3 hour session from just after 10:00pm meant that many would be tired at work in the morning. 5 members were able to attend and enjoy the night's celestial delights with a good proportion of observing through binoculars although 5" abd 8" telescopes were also on site. A special thank you to Stephen M for his guided tours of his favourite objects. The evening kicked off with Jupiter and with the transparent skies, the equatorial belts were very impressive....

Read more...

May Night Sky

Spring is moving steadily onto Summer and the frosts are diminishing. May is a month where we lose the night time and are simply bathed in astronomical twilight as the Sun is approaching its highest northerly declination and never retreats far below the horizon. This same physics leads to the land of the midnight Sun as your latitude increases. To some the end of May is the death knell for serious observing until late Summer but there is the alternative view; the medium to bright objects are still readily visible, the nights are warmer and you can spend time either just starring at the sky with...

Read more...

Observing evening at Wellow, Sat 22nd April

REPORT A hugely successful Saturday evening under the stars with Bath Astronomers at Wellow on Saturday night. The sky clouded over soon after meeting up at 21:30 but even the poor weather forecast by metcheck.com suggested the high cloud would clear. To fill the time, we looked at the two new scopes brought to the evening, a 5" Newtonian on an equatorial mount and an 8" Dobsonian. Problems with focusing, mount alignment and navigating the sky were all openly chatted about. Hopefully Marjorie, Rachel, Steve and Francis who attended with Simon found it helpful. After almost an hour, the skies...

Read more...

Members gathering at the Raven, Bath, Thu 20th July

Venue: The Raven, Queen Street, Bath Date/Time: Thursday July 20 at 20:00 Attendees: Any keen members of the group Purpose: An informal chat on plans for observing and participation in outreach events as well as about astronomy in general.

Read more...

Informal group gathering at the Star Inn, Bath, Wed 12th April

Venue: The Star Inn, The Vineyards, The Paragon, Bath Date/Time: Wednesday April 12 at 20:00 Attendees: Any keen members of the group Purpose: An informal chat on plans for observing and participation in outreach events as well as about astronomy in general.

Read more...