Newsletter – January 2020



Welcome to the January edition of this newsletter.

I’ll start by wishing you all a “Happy New Year”, let’s hope for lots of clear skies and good weather for 2020!

The Practical/Observing Evening was reasonably well attended, the sky didn’t clear so we concentrated on software, covering cartes du ciel to APT.

The Christmas meal at the “Polite Vicar” was well attended and everyone enjoyed the evening.

The NSAS Calendar 2020 is still available at the next meeting and is priced at £9, with all profits going into society funds.

This month’s presentation is Chris Suddick – Mythology of the Stars  (NSAS Members £FREE – Non Members £3. Further details are here.

This month’s Practical/Observing night will be on 17th January.

If you would like to upload an image for the NSAS Members Image Gallery please follow this link

This and any other events are listed on the NSAS Events page.

May I remind everyone that the society solar scope is available throughout the winter too! It is on a monthly basis and there is just a £25 returnable deposit required. Contact me at the email below or see me at the meeting. More details here.

If anyone has any ideas for new features on the website or on any improvements you’d like to see to existing ones then please drop me an email or text.

Also keep an eye on our Facebook page as any breaking news will more than likely appear there first as I can update that from my phone.

Our new members Facebook group is here

The sky maps can be downloaded from here

Next month’s  regular meeting is on February 4th,  which is Rodger King – Building a Home Observatory

If anyone has anything they want to include on the website/newsletter/etc then please email me

Wishing you clear skies and a Happy New Year!




Sky Calendar — January 2020

2 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 1h UT (distance 404,580 km; angular size 29.5′).
3 First Quarter Moon at 4:46 UT.
4 Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks at 8h UT. Active between December 28 and January 12. Produces up to 120 meteors per hour. Radiant in northern Boötes.
 Quadrantids (Wikipedia)
 Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
5 Earth at Perihelion (closest to Sun) at 8h UT. The Sun-Earth distance is 0.983244 a.u. or 147.1 million kilometers.
 Sun at Aphelion and Perihelion (Anthony Ayiomamitis)
7 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 4h UT.
 The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
7 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 21h UT.
 Aldebaran (Wikipedia)
10 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 15h UT. The elusive planet passes into the evening sky.
10 Full Moon at 19:22 UT.
 Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
10 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse from 17:08 to 21:12 UT, mid-eclipse at 19:10 UT. Best seen near mid-eclipse. Visible worldwide except from most of North and South America.
 NASA Lunar Eclipse Page (NASA)
 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2020 January 10 (PDF) (NASA)
10 Moon near Castor (morning sky) at 22h UT.
11 Moon near Pollux (morning sky) at 3h UT.
12 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 (morning sky) at 2h UT.
 Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
 M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
13 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 15h UT.
 Regulus (Wikipedia)
13 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 20:23 UT (distance 365,958 km; angular size 32.7′).
17 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 9h UT.
 Spica (Wikipedia)
17 Last Quarter Moon at 12:59 UT.
18 Mars 4.7° N of Antares (morning sky) at 9h UT. Mags. 1.5 and 1.0.
20 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 18h UT.
 Antares (Wikipedia)
20 Moon near Mars (morning sky) at 21h UT. Mag. 1.5.
 Mars (Wikipedia)
23 Moon near Jupiter (21° from Sun, morning sky) at 3h UT. Mag. −1.9.
 Jupiter (Wikipedia)
24 New Moon at 21:43 UT. Start of lunation 1201.
 Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
27 Venus 0.07° SE of Neptune (40° from Sun, evening sky) at 21h UT. Neptune appears like a pale blue dot. Mags. −4.1 and 7.9.
28 Moon near Venus (40° from Sun, evening sky) at 11h UT. Mag. −4.1.
 Venus (Wikipedia)
29 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 21h UT (distance 405,393 km; angular size 29.5′).
All times Universal Time (UT).

Regular Meetings

21st Hartshill Scout Group HQ, Mount Pleasant, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. ST5 1DP

Practical/Observing Evening

Friday 17th January from 7pm