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© Croydon Astronomical Society 2012 Croydon, Surrey, England. Charity Registered in England and Wales No. 251560


Croydon Astronomical Society
est. 1956

Latest News (and Member Images below)

Kenley Observatory Openings

Our observatory at Kenley may be open this Saturday 25th January, subject to favourable weather - decision will be made no later than early afternoon on the day. Visible are the two outermost planets as well as many deep sky objects. Look for bright Venus in the south west from early evening. Last Saturday opening: 18th January when over 40 people visited.

All Saturdays are open to the public (when open) unless otherwise stated (no need to book, just turn up). Details here.

An important note on the weather. Please see here before setting off.

The Observing page shows what is visible this night/week/month.

Details of the last regular openings are here, along with forthcoming Events.

Meetings at the Royal Russell School

The next meeting at the Royal Russell School: Friday 10th January 2020 at 7:45 pm. We welcome Dr Dirk Froebrich: Hunting Outbursting Young Stars. There will be more details of this meeting in due course. Other details and the schedule of dates and talks can be seen here, which are updated as soon as they are confirmed.


 • Photo Gallery updated 20th July with a new gallery on our recent SolarDay in June. Galleries can now be viewed across many browsers and devices.

 • The Latest News page has new items (updated: 4th July).

 • The Events page has new events (updated: 6th July). Observing events at Kenley, past and for the rest of the year.

 • The Observing page now has links to what can be seen in the night sky right now, choosing a telescope, online calculators etc.


 • Photo Gallery updated 6th August.

 • Events and Observing sessions: we have the following events planned, listed here, at our Kenley Observatory.


Recent member images

Above are photographs taken by some of our members (click on any photograph for a larger image and can also be viewed here). The supernova is the star below centre about half way down the galaxy. Now at magnitude 10.5 it can be viewed through small to medium sized telescopes against a dark sky.

 • 2014-01-05:  The planet Jupiter reaches opposition tonight and is the closest it gets to us during the year. It is also particularly high in the sky so it’s the best time to view it.

 • 2014-01-05:  There is an exceptionally large sunspot on the Sun, which is at naked eye visibility and expected to be so for at least another week.

 • The annual BBC Stargazing LIVE occurred last week and here is the list of events following on from it. Our society participated by attending the Royal Holloway University, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX on Thursday 9 Jan from the afternoon to 9:30pm. Given the clear skies and many telescopes it was a great success, with an estimated several thousand people observing the Moon, the planet Jupiter and several deep sky objects. Event photographs.

 • 2013-12-19:  The space probe Gaia lifted off on this date on a mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Milky Way in unprecedented detail, as well as revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy. Our society hosted a talk by Mark Cropper of MSSL who told us about ESA's Gaia Mission back in June 2005. It is the European Mission to conduct a census of one thousand million stars in our Galaxy.

M82_2901_jmu_web.jpg M82_nova_rb_web.jpg M82_SN_LRGB_jmi_web.jpg

 • The Astronomy page has links to what can be seen in the night sky right now.

 • 2014-05-23:  A new supernova SN2014bc has been discovered near the core of M106 at RA 12h 19m, Dec. +47.3 degs, placing it almost in the very centre of this barred spiral galaxy.

Discovered on 19th May by Pan-STARRS1 at about mag 15.0. It is currently (21st May 2014) at about mag 13.5, too faint to see visually with medium amateur telescopes but easily within range to capture even with small amateur equipment.

The light curve is consistent with that of a Type II-P supernova.

M106 is well placed almost overhead in Canes Venatici (right next to the Plough) in the evening sky and observations are encouraged. Please report any magnitude estimates you are able to make to both Guy Hurst and the VSS.

The recent supernova SN2014j in the M82 galaxy, slowly fading, was seen as recently as last Saturday 17th May, from Kenley, in less than ideal conditions, which makes it still a relatively easy object to photograph (images from January and February below).

 • 2014-05-03:  AstronomíA Magazine, the leading astronomy magazine in Spain, has launched its English version. It is available in digital format (pdf and tablet -for both IOS and Android). The April issue in pdf is freely available here (6 MBs download, 157 small pages [so readable on a tablet]). You can also see a video (in English) of the magazine.

 • 2014-03-12:  The latest edition of the Society newsletter Altair has been published.

 • 2014-01-23:  A type 1a supernova has occurred in the nearby galaxy Messier 82, the Cigar galaxy, in Ursa Major. It is currently high in the sky and well placed. It is still visible (last seen 19th April) although now slowly fading.

IMG_9488_L48.jpg IMG_55270_L160_Q66.jpg

Early in the eastern sky on the 18th August 2014 the two planets Venus (brighter and to the left) and Jupiter were in conjunction.

The first image was taken just after 5 am on the 18th Aug by Tim Rickard, and the second just after 5:30 am on the 20th by William.

Left: a recent image by Tim Coskun; the Witch’s Broom in the constellation Cygnus.

A total Lunar eclipse on the 28th Sept 2015 was observed by our members, mostly in the south London area. Centre image by William and on the right a time montage by James Robertson. Click on each to enlarge.


 • 2012-12-09:  Sir Patrick Moore, the ‘present day father’ of amateur astronomy, passed away today at the age of 89. He is known as having introduced amateur astronomy into the living room through his record holding BBC TV programme the Sky at Night, and through many books and appearences. We are truly sorry to lose an excellent self taught, highly dedicated and motivated astronomer, a major inspiration for many of our members through the years. Rest in peace Sir Patrick, we will never forget you.

Below is a half hour programme (YouTube) made as a tribute to his life and work.

Click to show larger view

North American nebula - James Robertson

Andromeda galaxy - Trevor Searle

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