Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Astronomy Show 22.03.17

The Astronomy Show 22.03.17

On this week's show I will be looking at the lack of sunspots on the Sun as we start to approach the solar minimum. ,

The usual features will include the A-Z of the constellation when I will be looking at Circinus in the southern hemisphere, don't worry if you have not heard of it,  Circinus is one of those little obscure constellations.

There will also be the astronomical scrapbook looking at astronomical anniversaries this week,  our journey through the solar system continues with the planet Venus, there will be the latest news plus what is happening in the astronomical societies in the north. All this plus a little music.

Join me on the Astronomy Show on Drystone Radio 103.5FM, or listen on line  at www.drystoneradio.com or catch up on the show using the podcast.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Astronomy show 15.03.17

The Astronomy Show 15.03.17

In this week's Astronomy Show  I will be looking at 2 important astronomical events in history this week, on March 13th 1781 the planet Uranus was discovered and on March 14th 1881 the Middlesbrough Meteorite landed.

There will be the usual features looking at with the Messier Marathon looking at M 20 the Triffid Nebula. The A-Z of constellations will be looking at Chameleon in the southern skies. The look at the solar system continues with Mercury,  this plus the latest astronomy news the rest of the astronomical scrapbook and a look at what is happening with astronomical societies in the north of England.

The Astronomy Show every Wednesday on Drystone Radio on 103.5 FM or listen on  line on www.drystoneradio.com or catch the programme on the podcast.




 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Astronomy Show 08.03.17

The Astronomy Show 08.03.17

On this week's Astronomy Show I will be starting a new feature exploring the solar system I begin   with the Sun,

I will be looking at the life of Thomas Cooke who was born on March 8th 1807  a Yorkshire man Cooke  was one of the greatest of all telescope makers.

The messier marathon continues with M 19 in Ophiuchus, the A-Z of constellations this week features Cetus which started life as a terrible monster but has evolved into a harmless whale.

I will be looking at what can be seen  in the night sky at the moment, plus the latest astronomy news, the astronomy scrapbook and the astronomy society scene.

And there have been some apparently spooky goings on at Drystone Radio so I will be looking briefly at some of the ghost nebula in our galaxy.

The Astronomy Show every Wednesday from 3 - 5 pm on Drystone Radio 103.5 listen on line at www.drystoneradio.com or hear me on the podcast.


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Astronomy Show 22.02.17

The Astronomy Show 22.02.17

On the Astronomy Show this week I will be looking at how scientists have discovered that clay pots made over 2,500 years ago show that the magnetic field of the Earth became temporarily 2.5 times stronger than today. And that is all down to bureaucracy!!

There will be the regular features with the A-Z of constellations looking at Cepheus with an emphasis on Delta Cephei, this plus the Messier marathon looking at Messier 18 in Sagittarius and the final star in the top 20 brightest stars, this time it is Beta Crucis. This together with the latest astronomy news, the astronomy scrapbook plus what is happening in astronomical societies.

The Astronomy Show on Drystone Radio 103.5 FM listen on line on www.drystoneradio.com or catch the Astronomy Show on the podcast.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Astronomy Show 15.02.17

The Astronomy Show 15.02.17

After spending two weeks in the neutral zone the Astronomy Show is back today.

Dis you know that astronomers thought that a doomsday asteroid might be coming our way in February. No! I didn't either but the good news is that  it won't happen at least this month. You can hear the story this afternoon.

I will also be looking at the regular features with the Messier Marathon continuing with M 17 in Sagittarius, the A-Z of constellations is Centaurus and we are approaching the end of the top 20 brightest stars, this week number 19 is the star Deneb in Cygnus.

There will also be the latest astronomy news, the astronomy scrapbook for this week in history and what's going on in the astronomical society scene.

The astronomy show, Wednesday afternoons from 3 p -5 pm on Drystone Radio 103.5 FM live on line at www.drystoneradio.com or listen later on the podcast.


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Astronomy Show 25.01.17

The Astronomy Show 25.01.17

On the Astronomy Show this week I will be looking at not only how to find Venus in the sky , which is actually very easy but also talking about a gravitational wave that has been observed on the 'Evening Star'

All the normal features are back this week, with the18th brightest star in the sky Fomalhaut being featured, this  together with M 16 in the Messier Marathon and the constellation of the week is Cassiopeia.This plus the latest news, the astronomy scrapbook looking at what happened this week in astronomical history and the round up of astronomical society news.

Join me at Starbase 82, on Wednesday afternoon between 3 pm and 5 pm at Drystone Radio 103.5 FM or on line at www.drystoneradio.com or hear it later on the podcast.


Monday, 23 January 2017

The Craven Star Party and 83 Ursa Major

The Craven Star Party and 83 Ursa Major

Despite the weather being very cloudy on January 18th over 60 people visited the village hall in Cracoe to hear a series of astronomy talks and meet people from the Earby, Bradford and Keighley astronomical societies and have a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

When not looking for astronomical anniversaries as the astrognome I do when ever possible observe the sky. My great interest was always high latitude novae, these are novae which appear 3-4 kpc above the galactic plane. This means that I tend to look at the less fashionable areas  of the night sky.

I have recently been observing the area around the handle of the plough, it is an area I have watched many times in the past. A star which is of great interest to me is the star 83 Ursa Majoris which  is a spectral class M2 III v  and is officially classed as a semi regular long period variable varying between 4.6- 4.7 and has the designation IQ UMa. There appears to be little information available on
 this star.



On January 20th while observing the star using 15 x 70 binoculars I am a very old fashioned kind of astronomer 83 UMa did not look much brighter than either 81 UMa mag 5.6 or 84 UMa mag 5.7 both are A class stars, in fact 84 UMa is a alpha2 CVn type variable with a very small amplitude.

It should be remembered that the vats majority of red giant stars will vary to some extent as they are approaching the end of their time lines.

According to Miss Agness Clerke it was reported that on August 6th 1868 that 83 Ursa Majoris a  6th magnitude star near  Mizar was seen by the Irish astronomer John Birmingham to be equal to delta Ursa Majoris or Megrez which has a mag of 3.3, though for only that night only. Birmingham went on to say that the star was worth an occasional glance at in the future.

What is of interest is that the 83 UMa was classed as 6th magnitude by Flamsteed in his catalog of 1725 and in 1868 where as today it is around mag 4.5 . I wonder what is going on. As I make more observations I will keep you posted.