AAS

Our inaugural meeting was on the 8th November 2010 and we officially formed in February 2011.
AAS holds monthly meetings with guest speakers.

All guests are welcome!
No knowledge necessary, just a curious mind.

We are able to provide assistance with setting up your telescope or just helping to find your way around the night sky.

AAS is able to host discussions on subjects as varied as Dark Energy through to 'How dark is your sky'.

Come along and get a new perspective on the universe in which you live!

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Comet hunt time!

The comet with the snappy name of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is now quite easily visible with binoculars and is presently very high in the sky, virtually overhead.  it was first discovered by Horace Tuttle in May 1858 and later described again by Michel Giacobini in 1907 and then again by Ľubor Kresák in 1907 – hence its long name.  It is a short period comet and comes around every 5.4 years.  Comets move across the sky and to see where it is on any given night you can find a map here

As I write this on the 21st March 2017 it is high overhead in Ursa Major, near to the star Merak (Beta Ursae Majoris).  Scanning around the area will quickly spot a hazy blob and that is the comet.  It is quite diffuse at the moment and its core is just visible in my 200 mm reflector but not with 80 mm binoculars.

Its magnitude (how bright it appears) is quoted as about 9.1 at present, that is well below naked eye visibility but an easy binocular or telescope object.  It should brighten quite a bit by the end of March as it moves through the body of the Great Bear and ends up in Draco in early April.  It is forecast to reach maximum brightness (mag. 8.65) around the 9th April but will still not be visible without binoculars.

So if it is clear go out and have a look for it, this is an easy comet to find and nice and high.  If anyone manages to image it please send it to me and I will add it to this post.

Nick

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