Newsletter – February 2020



Welcome to the February edition of this newsletter.

Quite unexpectledy the Practical/Observing night started off very clear and several of the attendees set up equipment. Unfortuantley cloud soon appeared on the horizon and at one point it even rained a little ! Fingers crossed for next time and for out “Stargazing in Audley” event on February 29th from 6.30pm – more details here.

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 Rodger King – Building a Home Observatory  (NSAS Members £FREE – Non Members £3. Further details are here.

This month’s Practical/Observing night will be on Friday 21st February from 7pm.

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 March 3rd,  which is Julian Onions – Far side of the Moon, is it just Aliens?

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

Wishing you clear skies,




Sky Calendar — February 2020

2 First Quarter Moon at 1:42 UT.
3 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 14h UT.
 The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
4 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 7h UT.
 Aldebaran (Wikipedia)
7 Moon near Castor (evening sky) at 9h UT.
7 Moon near Pollux (evening sky) at 13h UT.
8 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 (evening sky) at 12h UT.
 Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
 M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
9 Full Moon at 7:33 UT.
10 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 0h UT.
 Regulus (Wikipedia)
10 Mercury at greatest elongation east (18° from Sun, evening sky) at 14h UT. Mag. −0.5.
10 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 20:31 UT (distance 360,461 km; angular size 33.1′).
13 Moon near Spica (morning sky) at 16h UT.
 Spica (Wikipedia)
15 Last Quarter Moon at 22:18 UT.
17 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 0h UT.
 Antares (Wikipedia)
18 Moon near Mars (morning sky) at 14h UT. Mag. 1.2.
 Mars (Wikipedia)
19 Moon near Jupiter (43° from Sun, morning sky) at 20h UT. Mag. −1.9.
 Jupiter (Wikipedia)
20 Moon near Saturn (34° from Sun, morning sky) at 15h UT. Mag. 0.6.
 Saturn (Wikipedia)
23 New Moon at 15:33 UT. Start of lunation 1202.
 Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
26 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 2h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
26 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 12h UT (distance 406,278 km; angular size 29.4′).
27 Moon near Venus (44° from Sun, evening sky) at 18h UT. Mag. −4.2.
 Venus (Wikipedia)
The Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1−2 hours after sunset, and look west for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October−November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
 Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
All times Universal Time (UT).


Regular Meetings

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

Practical/Observing Evening

Friday 21st February from 7pm