I hope you enjoy my short livestream of the Orion nebula – the closest region of massive star formation to our Sun. Roughly 1,300 light years away in the sword of the constellation Orion, the nebula is visible naked eye or in binoculars or telescope.
This live stream was originally streamed from my Facebook page and later archived on my YouTube channel. The stream was filmed using a 200mm telescope and 32mm eyepiece.
A new comet C/2021 Leonard is now at binocular visibility and ‘could’ potentially sneak into naked eye visibility in the days ahead. Watch my video and audio guide which will hopefully ground your expectations and help you find it in the days ahead.
Here’s a slightly shaky camera image I took from my home in the west of Inverness late on Saturday night. This is the strongest I’ve seen the Aurora from suburban Inverness. The glow was clearly visible naked eye with a bright arc and scintillating movement over the Black Isle.
There’s some speculation this display was connected to a large CME that erupted from the Sun on Thursday. While this is possible events like this are notoriously hard to predict with huge uncertainty in the transit time and direction of these high energy particle ejections from our home star.
Northern lights are not as rare as people think, especially in northern Scotland. The main impediment to seeing them is the simple fact that many people spend the winter evenings indoors. If you go for regular extended walks away from city lights and can find a good vantage facing north your chances of seeing aurora will increase significantly.
I’m very happy to announce the launch of the 2021 Star Stories astronomy programme up at Abriachan Forest on October 30th.
If it’s clear I look forward to guiding you under Abriachan’s Milky Way class dark skies. Otherwise I’ll present an indoor talk on the naked eye planets, covering their observational history right up to the advent of modern astronomy.
Meanwhile the Abriachan team will host an outdoor walk and talk about Bats. A creature of darkness so very appropriate for our first dark sky astronomy event.
Tickets will go on sale September 30th. Please follow my Facebook page for the latest.
I hope you enjoy this short video about the planet Mercury, which you can currently see during late evening, low on the NW horizon. Mercury is also approaching its maximum evening elongation on the 17th May.
Joining me once again is Steve Owens, astronomer at Glasgow Science Centre and author of Stargazing For Dummies.
In this video podcast we discuss:
1. Tips for observing Mercury safely.
2. Mercury’s phases.
3. The surface geology of Mercury and how this reveals tantalising hints about its history and formation.