Dark Skies July Update
The chart is timed at 22.00hrs for mid July. With the nights still very short, you'll need to be awake very late to get truly dark skies again for this month, but you will still just see the bright pairing of Jupiter and Venus in the evening twilight. As you may have noticed, Venus has “flown” by Jupiter over the past month or so, treating us to a spectacular union at the start of July. Hopefully you've had your cameras out capturing the conjunction.
The other bright Planet visible is Saturn, low in the Southern skies. A beautiful sight in a telescope, you can just make out the rings and one of it's massive family of moons with tripod mounted binoculars.
July is also the “start” of the main meteor shower period of the year. Several minor showers start up in the month, so keen eyed observers should note a few more shooting stars during the next couple of months.
International SUNday Event report - 21st June.
Held around the world on the Summer Solstice, the Elan Valley Astronomy group held a viewing event in conjunction with international SUNday. We were well prepared with specialist solar telescopes, display material, a solar “slide show” and even a simple but effective home made Radio Telescope on site. The only slight hiccup being that nobody told the Sun that it too was supposed to make an appearance!
Despite the cloudy skies, visitors provided a steady flow of enquiries for the volunteer Astro Rangers on hand for the event. We'd like to thank all those visitors who took time to travel to see us under less than ideal conditions.
True to form, around 40 minutes after the event concluded the Sun started to break through the clouds!