Keep an eye on the sky for the northern lights

Thanks to everyone who came to our ‘astronomy night’ at The Box last week, for Stargazing Live. I hope you all took home lots of goodies.

This coming week - if this lousy weather breaks - we have a chance to see two truly beautiful Moon/planet conjunctions, which will be striking to the naked eye, stunning through binoculars and very easy to photograph. After sunset tonight (Thursday, January 26) look to the west and you'll see a slender crescent Moon shining to the upper right of dazzlingly-bright Jupiter. They really will look lovely shining so close together.

Then, four nights later, on the 30th, the Moon will have slid eastwards and be shining very close to the planet Jupiter, almost directly above it at sunset. And as a bonus, if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you'll be able to see three of Jupiter's moons forming a tiny triangle of pinpoint 'stars' just to the right side of Jupiter if you look before 6pm.

Finally, any clear night from now on, keep an eye on the northern sky after dark for the northern lights. The Sun is very active right now, and a big display could happen very soon.

Stuart Atkinson Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal

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