Astronomy

"It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards, and draws it from the things of this world to the other" - Plato in The Republic

Latest Events

The short nights of summer usually mean little in the way of astronomical activity at 56 degrees north, however, Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE has delighted astronomers around the world with a spectacular showing - the first naked eye comet for many years.

After passing around the sun in early July it was soon being reported as naked eye in clear dark skies. Photos started pouring in from across the northern hemisphere. Afer waiting out a few cloudy nights I finally saw NEOWISE for the first time on the 11th July. It was a completely mesmerising sight. I saw it on four subsequent occassions through July.

Introduction

Whilst at University I became a keen amateur astronomer, interested in a variety of different areas including deep sky targets, the planets and Moon, comets and phenomenon closer to home such as Noctilucent Clouds and the Aurora Borealis.

I have two telescopes - an 8" Newtonian reflector (pictured right) and a 3.5" apochromatic refractor and the majority of the reports found in my Observations Log, which contains images, information and observing reports, were made with these 'scopes.

Whilst at University I was a member of the Durham University Astronomy Society serving as both Obs Officer (2004-2005) and President (2006-2007). The Society Website contains a lot of information as well as articles and observing reports.

I was a member of Aberdeen Astronomical Society from 2007 to 2010.

To see all my blog postings related to astronomy please click here.

Special Events

Since becoming interested in astronomy I have tried my best to observe some of the more special and unique events and targets that have cropped up in the skies over the UK. These are reports from some of the best.

Observing Projects

There are many different aspects to the study and enjoyment of the night sky and this section collects information on my primary interests.

Noctilucent Clouds - images and observations of this summer phenomenon
Aurora Borealis - images and observations of the Northern Lights
Iridium Flares - images and observations of man-made satellites flaring in the dark
Atmospheric Optical Phenomenon - generally interesting things in the (daytime) sky such as rainbows and sundogs

Articles

See the articles I have written on this page

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, 12th July 2020

Comet NEOWISE

Sky-watcher 200M

200mm Newtonian 'Scope

Milky Way and Aurora

Milky Way and Aurora