It looks as though lockdown restrictions are being eased as planned; so far. As we continue to take tentative steps to some form of normality, it is time to map out a likely summer Star Party events schedule.  [Read more about Summer Star Party Schedule - in Brief]

High up in the sky, almost overhead at this time of year, two dogs are snapping at the heels of a bear, held in check by a man with hook and leads in hand. Has the author been out picking mushrooms, or is there a strange tale to tell here.  [Read more about Canes Venatici - the Hunting Dogs ]

"We have lift off", or so it might have been said in days gone by, but such a phrase could aptly have been coined when Ingenuity - NASA's small helicopter drone, took to the thin Martian air on April 18th - 2021...around breakfast time BST. Having located a suitable piece of Martian ground in proximity to the initial landing site, Percy dropped off its small 'cling on' companion late last month. Since then scientists have been conducting tests in readiness for the first flight. [Read more about Ingenuity Takes One small Flight]

Sky Notes - May 2021

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights 
  • Meteors: The Eta Aquarids
  • Noctilucent cloud season 
  • Comet 2020 ATLAS R4
  • May 2021 Sky Charts

Sky Notes - April 2021

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights 
  • Meteors: The Lyrids
  • Comet 2020 ATLAS R4
  • April 2021 Sky Charts

NASA's Mars rover, Perseverance, or Percy for short, has now been on Mars for almost 40 Sols and appears to be functioning satisfactory. Attention, however will soon turn to the small 'helicopter drone'- Igenuity, attached to Percy in readiness for the first unmanned flight on another world.  [Read more about Perseverance - Update ]

Still the Way Ahead?

I guess so...for the foreseeble future.  [Read more about Still the Way Ahead?]

NASA's latest Mars rover, Perseverance, has successfully landed on Mars following a nail biting descent into Jezero crater; hope you watched it. Its mission will shortly commence in earnest, but what will Perseverance discover? Will it stay the distance?  Will its clingon fly? All these questions, and hopefully numerous others, are going to be answered over the coming year...or so.  [Read more about Will Perseverance Pay Off?]

The Way Ahead

The roadmap to freedom has been laid out by the government, but will we be able to meet sooner ... or later. [Read more about The Way Ahead]

Having ridden with the charioteer-Auriga in last month's edition, this time we are going to take a stroll with the celestial brothers in arms; the heavenly twins of Castor and Pollux, otherwise known as Gemini, one of the oldest of constellations. [Read more about The Heavenly Twins - Gemini]

There will be no formal society meeting in March or April ... [Read more about Spring Society Meetings and Observatory Open Nights. ]

Sky Notes - March 2021

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights 
  • Meteors
  • March 2021 Sky Charts
  • Vesta at opposition in Leo

  [Read more about Sky Notes - March 2021]

Having had a retrospective look back at 2020 last month, it's time to look at some of the planetary skylights ahead in 2021; March to June. [Read more about Planetary Skylights: A look ahead; March-June]

 

February is perhaps the best month to appreciate the magnificence of the winter night sky. With so many impressive constellations to choose from it's hard to know where to begin. One very important northern constellation sometimes overlooked is located above the 'hub of attention' to the south, and so it is on this group our spotlight shall be directed; Auriga the Charioteer.  [Read more about The Charioteer - Auriga ]

You can still download Paul Money's excellent Night Scenes almanac for 2021, but on PDF or Kindle e book format only. Details are as follows..

 

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