VENUS and Jupiter are still dominating the western sky after sunset, but are now a long way apart and nowhere near as impressive as they were at the start of the month. I know lots of you saw their conjunction. There are more planetary ‘close encounters’ later this year. Watch this space for details.

Meanwhile, Mars is now high in the south eastern sky after dark, shining with its distinctive orange light. But it too is now past its best, and fading in brightness as it pulls away from the Earth, shrinking in size in our telescope eyepieces.

Statistically, this time of the year is the best for displays of the northern lights to be visible this far south, so any clear nights over the next few weeks be sure to look north after dark - just in case...!

Stuart Atkinson Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal