What to look out for in 2018

  1. Jupiter is currently bright in the west at nightfall – look for a brilliant bright “star”.  Binoculars will show its biggest moons. Saturn is low, but good for viewing in the south when it gets dark. It appears as a yellow star.  A small telescope will reveal its rings.  Much brighter and to its left is the brilliant Mars – shining with a distinct red tint.  The planet is nearing its closest approach to Earth for many years.
  2. A total eclipse of the moon takes place on 27 July and is visible from the UK – it will rise in the east already in totality and will look very red.  Partial eclipse from about 10pm.  Great event – don’t miss it, but you will need a low eastern horizon to make the best of it.
  3. Until early August look for noctilucent clouds on the northern horizon. They are the highest clouds on earth and shine after dusk and before dawn. UK one of best locations in world to see them.  Glow in the dark hence their name.  This year has so far been a vintage one (see below taken with a mobile!).
  4. Major meteor showers this year are the Perseids (13 August), Orionids (22 October), Leonids (17 November) and Geminids (13 December).
  5. Click the blog thoughts tab above for advice on buying telescopes.

NLC new 2.jpg

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