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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 unfortunately will not be open this Saturday 10th November due to unfavourable weather. It was last opened last Saturday and the next opening opportunity will be next week.

Visible in the night sky are four planets - including a favourable and rare view of Mars and the two outermost planets Uranus and Neptune - as well as many deep sky objects.

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

Details of the last regular openings are here, with details of forthcoming Events. An important note on the weather.

Meetings at the Royal Russell School

 • The next meeting at the Royal Russell School is on Friday 16th November at 7:45 pm. Details, along with the schedule of dates and talks, can be seen here, which are updated as soon as they are known.


 • Photo Gallery updated 6th August with updates to existing galleries. Galleries can now be viewed across many browsers and devices.

 • The Latest News page has new items (updated: 5th November).

 • The Events page has new events (updated: 5th November). 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.

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 • 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.

IMG_9488_L48.jpg IMG_55270_L160_Q66.jpg

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.

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 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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