Continuing the tour of stellar objects crossing the meridian line this month: a double-star in Canis Major, a unique object called "The Intergalactic Tramp" takes the place of our galaxy; we present the Eskimo nebula and the Heart-shaped cluster.

  • Star - h 3945 (145 Cma) in Canis Major: the ‘winter Alberio’.
  • NGC 2419: "The Intergalactic Tramp or Wanderer".  At almost 300k lightyears from the centre of our galaxy, this globular cluster is nearly twice as far as the Large Magellanic Cloud. 
  • Nebula: The Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392) or Clown face nebula.  A disk of material containing a number of comet-shaped objects appearing to stream away from the nebula’s central star.

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Neptune, Venus and Mercury
  • Meteors: Alpha Aurigids
  • February 2018 Sky Charts

Continuing our new feature, we take a brief look at this month’s selection of objects of particular interest crossing the meridian line.

  • Star: 119 Tauri (CE Tau) – The Ruby star in the constellation Taurus.
  • Cluster: The 37 cluster – it would have been very easy to go for the Pleiades, however I'd like to highlight an object you may not have heard of, yet it certainly deserves scrutiny.
  • Nebula: The nebula Messier 78 (or NGC 2068) is a reflection nebula in the constellation Orion.

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Saturn
  • Earth Reaches Perihelion
  • Supermoon and Blue Moon
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • January 2018 Sky Charts

Starting this month is a new feature in which we take a brief look at various celestial objects of particular interest for one reason or another.  These are a star, a galaxy, a nebula and a cluster.  To keep matters simple all the objects are located on or close to the meridian line, due south, around mid month at 20:00h ( GMT time).  The objects are ranked as Easy, Medium or a Challenge to observe with the type of optical aid required to spot them... [Read more about Crossing the Line: objects of the month]

The Winter Solstice

The Sun reaches its lowest position in the sky on December 21st this year; the date of the winter solstice and officially the start of winter in the northern hemisphere.  From our latitude the Sun arcs little more than 12 degrees above Southern horizon at local noon, standing before the stars of Sagittarius.  Useful daylight amounts to just 7½ hrs - ’the shortest day’... [Read more about The Winter Solstice]

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Uranus, Neptune, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury
  • Meteors: Geminids, Ursids
  • December 2017 Sky Charts

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Saturn, Mercury, Uranus, Neptune, Venus, Mars and Jupiter
  • Meteors: Leonids, South Taurids
  • November 2017 Sky Charts

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars and Mercury
  • Meteors: Orionids, Piscids, Draconids
  • October 2017 Sky Charts

In this month's edition:

  • Planetary Skylights: Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Mars and Mercury
  • Meteors: Piscids
  • Septmber 2017 Sky Charts

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