I HOPE some of you got up early or stayed up late to watch the lunar eclipse last week? If you missed it, your next chance will be in July 2018.

The next week or so will be great for planet spotters, as three of them line-up together in the sky before dawn. Go out at around 5am and you won't be able to miss Venus blazing high in the east, lantern-bright. To its lower left Mars will look like a fainter, orange star. Closest to the horizon, down on the left, Jupiter will be shining above the treetops.

On the morning of the 8th a beautiful crescent Moon will join the party, glowing close to Venus on its right; 24 hours later the Moon will have moved on to lie between Venus and Mars, but by then the crescent might be so thin you'll need binoculars to see it.

Stuart Atkinson

Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal