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Croydon Astronomical Society
est. 1956

Latest News (and Member Images below)

Meetings at the Royal Russell School

 • The next meeting at the Royal Russell School is this Friday 10th February at 7:45pm, when we welcome Peter Bull who will speak to us on: Cosmology. More details here.

Kenley Observatory Openings

 • Our observatory at Kenley is unlikely to be open this Saturday 11th February, partly due to the weather and partly because the main telescope is under maintenance, hopefully not for long. Whenever open the public are welcome, just turn up.

Notification of all openings are given here, our forum, Facebook and a message on this telephone: 020 8668 9642.

Facilities at the observatory are hot water for drinks and wireless broadband Internet. A reminder that there is no parking at the observatory itself; visitors are asked to park at the off-road parking area just 4 minutes walk away at the RAF Kenley Tribute.

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 • Photo Gallery updated 2nd September with a new gallery.

 • Transit of Mercury, the crossing of this planet across the Sun, was observed by many of our members on Monday 9th May, at Kenley and further afield. Images here and in our Gallery.

 • Messier Marathon. This is an observing session to see as many Messier (deep sky) objects as possible in one night. An otherwise open event; members and public; no need to book. More information and support materials here.

 • Unfortunately the weather for the solar eclipse (partial from London), was not favourable, though several members from our society attended on Friday morning, 20th March at our Kenley observatory just in case.

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 • 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. We are truly sorry to lose an excellent self taught and highly dedicated and motivated astronomer, a major inspiration for many of our members through the years. We will never forget you, Sir Patrick.

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

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 now has links to what can be seen in the 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.

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Early in the eastern sky on the 18th August 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.

The forecast for the 21st is clear; please submit any photographs you may take.

Recent member images

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.

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