Newsletter – January 2022



Welcome to the January edition of this newsletter.

I have had a terrible 2021 so I can only apologise for the lack to newsletters/updates. Due to my current circumstances my time is very limited so astronomy has been put on the backburner.

Below are messages from our Chairman and Vice Chairman.

Unfortunately due to the current situation we have no meetings at all. All planned meetings are still on hold.

The scout hall driveway and doors are being refurbished and I have had no indication when this work will be complete. Hopefully we will be able to hold an AGM in April.

If you have anything to share, in the form of a photo(use link below), a write up of what you’ve been up to or useful website you have found, please send it to me at


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


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

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

Wishing you clear skies,




Sky Calendar — January 2022

1 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 22:53 UT (distance 358,033 km; angular size 33.4′). 20 hours before New Moon.
2 New Moon at 18:35 UT. Start of lunation 1225.
3 Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks at 21h UT. Active between December 28 and January 12. Produces up to 120 meteors per hour. Radiant is in northern Boötes.
 Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
 Quadrantids (Wikipedia)
4 Moon near Mercury at 3h UT (19° from Sun, evening sky). Mag. −0.7.
4 Earth at Perihelion (closest to Sun) at 7h UT. The Sun- Earth distance is 0.983337 a.u. or 147.1 million kilometers.
 Sun at Aphelion and Perihelion (Anthony Ayiomamitis)
4 Moon near Saturn at 19h UT (evening sky). Mag. 0.7.
 Saturn (Wikipedia)
6 Moon near Jupiter at 4h UT (evening sky). Mag. −2.1.
 Jupiter (Wikipedia)
7 Moon shows maximum libration for the year (9.9°) at 5h UT.
7 Mercury at greatest elongation east at 11h UT (19° from Sun, evening sky). Mag. −0.6
9 Venus at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 1h UT. The brightest planet passes into the morning sky.
9 First Quarter Moon at 18:12 UT.
13 Moon near the Pleiades at 5h UT (evening sky).
 The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
13 Moon near Aldebaran at 23h UT (evening sky).
 Aldebaran (Wikipedia)
14 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 9h UT (distance 405,805 km; angular size 29.4′).
17 Moon near Castor at 11h UT (evening sky).
17 Moon near Pollux at 16h UT (evening sky).
17 Full Moon at 23:50 UT.
18 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 at 20h UT (morning sky).
 Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
 M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
20 Moon near Regulus at 15h UT (morning sky).
 Regulus (Wikipedia)
23 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 10h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
24 Moon near Spica at 19h UT (morning sky).
 Spica (Wikipedia)
25 Last Quarter Moon at 13:42 UT.
28 Moon near Antares at 2h UT (morning sky).
 Antares (Wikipedia)
29 Moon near Mars at 16h UT (36° from Sun, morning sky). Mag. 1.4.
 Mars (Wikipedia)
30 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 7:09 UT (distance 362,252km; angular size 33.0′).
31 Moon near Mercury at 3h UT (16° from Sun, morning sky). Mag. 1.5.
 Mercury (Wikipedia)
All times Universal Time (UT).

Message from the Chairman

Dear NSAS member,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a belated happy New Year and I hope this email finds you well.

Sadly the ongoing Covid pandemic is still making things difficult and we are still monitoring the situation.

We are at present hoping to resume meetings in April, with an AGM, but obviously it all depends on how things develop over the next few weeks.

Due to personal reasons I have made the difficult decision to step down as Chairman, as I feel I am unable to offer the Society the time and commitment it deserves.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow committee members and the membership for their continued support over the last few years and would like to wish all of you the best for the future.

I do hope the Society will continue to grow under a new Chairman.
Best wishes, Tina

Vice Chairman

As you have read above, Tina has resigned as Chairman of the NSAS.

I would just like to put on record my thanks and the appreciation of the membership for the hard work and dedication that Tina has given to the Society over the last few years. I am sure we all wish her well for the future.

COVID is still giving us all cause for concern and as curtailed the Societies activities for the last two years.

The current plan is to reconvene our meetings in April, however this is dependent on the Government’s rules at the time.

If the rules are eased before April, Duncan has kindly suggested a get together at his farm. If this takes place you will be notified accordingly.

I hope you are all keeping well and hope for a Happy New Year for everyone.

Stay safe.

Kind regards,
Derek Myatt
Vice Chairman.

Moon Phases

The Moon changes its apparent shape with four distinct phases depending on the Moon’s position as it orbits around the Earth, and the Earth’s position as it orbits around the Sun. There are four main Moon phases, also known as Lunar Phases: First Quarter, Full Moon, Last Quarter and New Moon. An additional four intermediate phases make up the combined eight phases that comprise the Phases of the Moon in the following sequential order: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Last Quarter and Waning Crescent.

Green Flash

The green flash and green ray are meteorological optical phenomena that sometimes occur transiently around the moment of sunset or sunrise. When the conditions are right, a distinct green spot is briefly visible above the upper rim of the Sun’s disk; the green appearance usually lasts for no more than two seconds. Wikipedia

Regular Meetings

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