Asteroid 2023 CX1 caught by CMHASD meteor camera on Monday 13th February 2023

Updated: 19th February 2023

Exciting news!!!!!! An asteroid that had only been discovered in space a few hours before impacting the Earth has been caught by the Crayford (CMHASD) meteor camera on Monday 13th February 2023 at 2.59am.

It is only the seventh time an asteroid strike had been successfully forecast, in what the European Space Agency said was ‘a sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities’.

Despite all the cloud that was around at the time; our meteor camera managed to capture the small 1 meter asteroid now called 2023 CX1 as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere creating a brilliant fireball as it disintegrated, lighting up the night sky over the English Channel as it travelled eastward over the coast of Normandy, France. The 3ft meteoroid created an ‘airburst’ that could be seen across southern England and Wales and in parts of northern France as far south as Paris. 

Below is the CMHASD meteor camera video showing the fireball.

The one-metre asteroid was discovered by Krisztián Sárneczky with the 60-cm Schmidt telescope of the Piszkéstető Observatory in Hungary. It is his second discovery of an impactor,

‘’The fireball event happened at the predicted time (02:59 UTC) and location, with observations mostly from Southern UK and France, but also from Belgium, the Netherlands and even Germany. It is likely that some fragments of the meteoroid may have survived the atmospheric pass and fell somewhere onshore close to the coast north of Rouen, in Normandy, France’’ ref:

Now a space rock (meteorite) from that fireball has been found in northern France and CMHASD are absolutely thrilled. On 15 February 2023 art student Loïs Leblanc found the first meteorite of 2023 CX1 in a field located in Saint-Pierre-le-Viger. 

Update on Asteroid 2023 CX1 aka SAR2667 – YouTube

More news still to follow – so do check back.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) by George Buckberry – 14th Feb 2023

The latest image of the Green Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) that is currently gracing our skies by member George Buckberry. The photo was taken on the 14th February 2023 by George.

”Having spent months climbing up out of Corona Borealis and drifting past the Big and Little Dippers, like a rollercoaster car reaching its highest point, Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF has now gone ‘over the top’ of its path across the northern sky and is falling south, fading in brightness and shrinking in size as it drops towards Taurus.  For northern hemisphere comet chasers and skywatchers E3’s show is almost over.” ref

So well done George for capturing the Comet, you did well to get it as it’s fading fast!

George has written on the image below of how he acquired the photo and the location of the star Aldebaran to the comet. Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) is a bright red giant star in the constellation of Taurus.

Collinder 26 by Simon Dawes – 14th February 2023

Super image of Collinder 26 – the heart of the Heart Nebula (IC1805) in the constellation Cassiopeia; aptly taken by member and trustee Simon Dawes on the 14th February 2023.

The Heart Nebula’s intense red output and its form are driven by the radiation emanating from a small group of stars near the nebula’s center. This open cluster of stars, known as Collinder 26 or Melotte 15, contains some stars that are 50 times the mass of our Sun.

The Collinder catalogue is a catalogue of 471 open clusters compiled by Swedish astronomer Per Collinder.

Details of how Simon obtained the image are on the photo.

The California Nebula (NGC1499) by Neil Webster

The California Nebula (NGC1499 in the New General Catalogue & Sh2-220 in the Sharpless catalogue) taken on the 13th Feb 2023 by member and astrophotographer Neil Webster.

The California Nebula is an emission nebula located in the constellation Perseus not far from the Pleiades and near the star Xi Persei. The nebula’s signature reddish glow is thanks to this nearby star, Xi Persei, which is on the top, left side of the nebula in this image. This luminous blue star (also known as Menkib) is a blue giant that is over 12,000 times brighter than the sun. This massive star ionizes the hydrogen atoms in the California Nebula and is responsible for creating this iconic deep sky object.

The Nebula was discovered by E. E. Barnard in 1884 and its name comes from its resemblance to the shape of the US State of California. It is almost 2.5° long in the sky and roughly 1,500 light-years away from Earth.

Neil acquired the image using a WOGT71, EQ6 R, ZWO294MC, Optolong LEnhance filter, Astro Essentials 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO 290MM.

50x240s Subs, 12xDarks, 40xFlats/Bias.

Processed using APT, PHD, Nebulosity, Photoshop (Camera Raw), Gradient XTerminator.

Check out Neil’s Flickr page at

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) by Martin Crow

Member and trustee Martin Crow captured the Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) on the morning of the 18th January 2023 at 03:20am. The ion tail of the comet can be seen emerging at around the 2 o’clock angle in the photos.

Beautiful Snow Moon by Jim Burchell

On the 5th February 2023, member Jim Burchell captured this absolutely beautiful image of the full moon also known as the Snow Moon.  Jim took the photo using a Pentax KP,  300 mm,  F7.1 1/25 sec and iso 400.


Active Sun – 10th February 2023 by Jim Burchell

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please see our Solar Observing safety page at

A super image of an active Sun captured by member Jim Burchell on the 10th February 2023 showing Sunspots 3213 to 3221.  Jim took the image with a Pentax KP attached to 102mm Altair Astro refractor using a solar filter.

Below is an image of the Sun on the 10th Feb 2023 taken from Spaceweather com showing the sunspots with their allocated numbers. Credit: SDO/HMI

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) on the 7th Feb 2023 by Honor Wheeler and 8th Feb 2023 by Simon Dawes

Member Honor Wheeler captured the Green Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) on the 7th February 2023 using a Canon M6 with a 400mm lens on a Star Adventurer tracking mount. ISO1600, 30″ expsoure.  The comet is centre right in the image in the constellation Auriga.  The bright star Capella is above the comet at the 10 o clock position from the comet and the star Elnath is below the comet between the 6 & 7 o clock position from the comet.

Then just before Moon rise on the 8th February 2023 member Simon Dawes captured this image of the green comet. Details of how Simon acquired the image are included on the photo.

Snow Moon – 5th Feb 2023 by Neil Webster

A Full Moon on the 5th Feb 2023 captured by Neil Webster. The February Full Moon is also named the Snow Moon after the snow on the ground in the Northern Hemisphere. Some Native American tribes also named the Moon the Hunger Moon due to the scarce food sources and hard hunting conditions during mid-winter and others called it the Storm Moon. The February Full Moon was in the constellation Leo.

7 Frames stitched in Microsoft ICE. Each: 90s x 32fps (best 20% selected in AutoStakkert).

Processed in Photoshop.

Exoplanet transit of EPIC 246851721b by Martin Crow

The transit of EPIC 246851721b measured by CMHASD member and trustee Martin Crow for the ExoClock project on the 21st January 2023. The transit depth is a mere 5 thousandths of a magnitude. EPIC 246851721b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits an F-type star in the constellation Taurus. Its mass is 3 Jupiters, it takes 6.2 days to complete one orbit of its star and is 0.07229 AU from its star. This planet was discovered by Yu et al. 2018. The discovery was made with the space telescope 0.95 m Kepler Telescope.

Heart Nebula (IC1805) and Jellyfish Nebula (IC443) by Neil Webster

Two super deep sky astroimages by CMHASD member and astrophotographer Neil Webster.

First is a stunning image of the Heart Nebula (IC1805) taken by Neil on the 22nd November 2022.  Neil acquired the image using a WO GT71 APO, 0.8x Reducer, EQ6 R, ZWO ASI194MC Pro, Astro Essentials 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO ASI290MM, Optolong L Enhance filter. 57 x 240s Subs, 15 x Darks, 35 x Flats/Bias. 

The Heart Nebula (also known as the Running dog nebula, IC 1805, Sharpless 2-190) is an emission nebula, 7500 light years away from Earth and located in the constellation Cassiopeia. It was discovered by William Herschel on 3 November 1787. The nebula got its name as it looks like a human heart and it spans almost 2 degrees in the sky, covering an area four times that of the diameter of the full moon. At the top right is the companion Fishhead Nebula.

Next, see below; is a fantastic widefield image of the Jellyfish Nebula taken by Neil on the 21st January 2023.

The Jellyfish Nebula; also known as IC443 and Sharpless 248 (Sh2-248) is a galactic supernova remnant (SNR) in the constellation Gemini. On the plane of the sky, it is located near the star Eta Geminorum. Its distance is roughly 5,000 light years from Earth.

The glowing cosmic tendrils and bulbous ‘head’ are what give this deep-sky object its name, as it resembles a jellyfish. The Jellyfish Nebula is all that remains of a massive star that ran out of fuel and exploded as a supernova, leaving behind a shell of glowing gas. IC 443 has an angular diameter of 50 arcmin, the full moon by comparison, is 30 arcmin across.

Check out Neil’s flickr page at

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) by Simon Dawes on 31st Jan 2023

Super image of Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) taken by member Simon Dawes with Bessel/Cousins photometric filters and a broadband LPS filter (IDAS LPS D2) then combined to give an RGB image, colour hasn’t been altered. More detail of how Simon acquired his image is on the photo.

C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is a long period comet from the Oort cloud that was discovered by the Zwicky Transient Facility (hence the ZTF in the Comet’s name) on 2 March 2022, using the 1.2-m, f/2.4 Schmidt telescope at Mount Palomar.  It was the 3rd such object discovered in the fifth half-month (A, B, C, D, E) of the year. Thus, 2022 E3 (ZTF).

The comet has a bright green glow around its nucleus due to the effect of sunlight on diatomic carbon and cyanogen.

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)- 29th & 30th Jan 2023 by Jim Burchell

After seeing Honor Wheeler’s image’s of Comet  C/2022 E3 (ZTF) CMHASD member Jim Burchell decided to have a go at trying to image the Comet too.
Jim said ”It was rather difficult as the Comet wasn’t very easy to see as there was some high cloud and the Moon was in play.
I was struggling to see the Comet with binoculars so in the end I used my 70 mm telescope but it still wasn’t obvious.
The image below was taken with a Pentax KP camera attached to Altair Astro 70mm ED triplet refactor at ISO 1600 and 15 Second exposure.”
The comet is the fuzzy patch in the centre of the image below taken on the 29th Jan 2023 by Jim.
The next image below of the Comet was taken by Jim on Monday 30th Jan 2023 using the same setup as the day before.  Again, it was quite difficult to find as the Moon was bright.  The image was then processed by Jim on his phone using an enhanced image tool.

Comet C2022 E3 (ZTF) – 22nd Jan 2023 by Honor Wheeler

CMHASD member Honor has managed to capture Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) that is gracing our skies at the moment in a photo back on the 22nd Jan 2023. 

Honor said ”I watched Nick James sky notes on today’s BAA meeting about Comet E3 so decided to look for it. Not that easy to find but it is unmistakable as a faint fuzzy in binoculars. So I took a photo just to prove I wasn’t seeing things. Worth a decent image with a telescope with more time than I had.

The comet is the fuzzy patch centre right in the photo.

Enormous Sunspot AR3190 – 20th Jan 2023

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please see our Solar Observing safety page at

A fantastic image of the Sun taken on the morning of the 20th January 2023 by member Jim Burchell.  The image was taken by Jim using a pentax KP attached to 102mm Atair Astro refractor fitted with a solar filter.  At the 4 O clock position from the centre of the Sun is the large sunspot AR3190.  AR3190 is one of the largest sunspots of Solar Cycle 25 so far, at almost five times the diameter of Earth.

Boxing Day Sun in Hydrogen Alpha by Honor Wheeler

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please see our Solar Observing safety page at

A stunning image of the Sun in H-alpha on 26th Dec 2022 by Honor Wheeler. 

The image was acquired by Honor at 20221226_1212UT  using a Canon M6 Mark II and Personal Solar Telescope (PST).

Honor wrote ‘This image of the Sun was taken using a Coronado personal solar telescope or PST which shows the Sun’s H-alpha surface features. These features include Sunspots, Filaments and Prominences.  In this image there are a number of large Prominences around the edge of the Sun’s disc and on the surface these can be seen as the dark Filaments snaking across the face of the Sun. The bright areas are Sunspots which are active regions which can flare brightly as you can see at the top right of the disc.  Most H-alpha images that show Sunspot and Prominence detail and activity are composite images and are photographed separately then combined in editing software. In this case however, I was lucky and I managed to capture both Prominence, surface structures and activity in one single photo.’

The Moon & Earthshine by Honor Wheeler – Dec 2022

Three wonderful images of our Moon acquired by CMHASD member Honor Wheeler back in December 2022.  The 1st image was taken on the 29th Dec 2022 and the next two on the 26th Dec 2022, all from North Kent.

Honor acquired her super image below of what looks like a ‘Half Moon’ at 20221229_2103UT by using a Canon M6 Mark II, 102mm Refractor, EQ3 synscan mount, x2 Barlow and ISO400, exp1/320s.

The next image below of a beautiful crescent Moon was acquired by Honor at 20221226_1654UT  using a Canon M6 Mark II, 102mm Refractor, EQ3 synscan mount, x2 Barlow and ISO200, exp1/30s

Honor’s 3rd image below showing a stunning amount of Earthshine was acquired at 20221226_1737UT  using a Canon M6 Mark II, 102mm Refractor, EQ3 synscan mount,  x2 Barlow and ISO400, exp4s.  For more information about Earthshine click here.

Moon & Earthshine – 2023.01.18

Being up early on dark mornings has its rewards as member Jim Burchell shows here with these super images of a crescent Moon on the morning of the 18th January 2023.  The amount of ‘Earthshine’ captured in the 1st photo by Jim is stunning. Also in the photo – bottom left, is the star Alniyat in Scorpius. 

”Earthshine is a dull glow which lights up the unlit part of the Moon because the Sun’s light reflects off the Earth’s surface and back onto the Moon.  It is also sometimes called ashen glow, the old Moon in the new Moon’s arms, or the Da Vinci glow, after Leonardo da Vinci, who explained the phenomenon for the first time in recorded history…… Earthshine is best seen a few days before and after a New Moon, right after sunset or before sunrise. Scientists studying global warming found that earthshine is more intense in April and May” ref:

Crescent Moon & Earthshine with Alniyat in Scopius by Jim Burchell

The 2nd image below shows more detail of the crescent Moon.

The Moon – 2023.01.02

Another stunning image of the Moon taken by member Neil Webster on the 2nd January 2023.  The image is of a waxing Gibbous Moon at 85.0% and 10.39 days old. The image is a mosaic made up of 6 frames stitched in Microsoft ICE.

Below is one of the frames taken by Neil which he said was his favourite!

You can see a higher resolution image on Neil’s flickr page at

Crescent Moon by Richard Bohner – 2022.12.27

Member Richard Bohner captured these superb detailed images of the crescent Moon on the 27th Dec 2022 from Arizona, USA.  Amazing how much detail has been acquired using an  iPhone camera held up to an eyepiece 🙂


Winter Solstice Crescent Moon by Jim Burchell

Member Jim Burchell’s ‘Winter Solstice crescent Moon‘ captured on the morning of the 21st Dec 2022 – The Winter Solstice.  According to the astronomical definition, winter begins with the winter solstice in December in the Northern Hemisphere and in 2022 that was on the 21st Dec 2022.

New Society Solar Projector built by member George Buckberry – Society Meeting – 2023.01.26

Member George Buckberry with his hand built Solar Projector

Last week following our Society meeting on the 26th January 2023, we learned about the design and construction of a table-top solar projector built by George Buckberry. After all of the effort involved in building the projector, George has very kindly donated it to the Society for use by members and also as a means of educating the public at one of our outreach events. Thank you George for your very kind donation.

Below is a link to George’s PowerPoint presentation of how George built the Solar Projector in the form of a PDF file which you can download. 

SolarScope Design & Build by George Buckberry of CMHASD

98 Geminids captured on camera for the night of the 14th/15th Dec 2022

It was a very busy night for CMHASD meteor camera on the 14th/15th Dec 2022.  The Meteor camera captured 141 ‘sightings’ of which 126 were meteors including 4 sightings of 2 meteors in the same shot by the camera.  Out of the 126 meteors 98 were Geminids; the rest were other classes of meteors including some sporadics. 

Meteors, also known as shooting stars, are pieces of dust and debris from space that burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, where they can create streaks across the night sky. When Earth passes through the dusty trail of a comet or asteroid’s orbit, the many streaks of light in the sky are known as a meteor shower.  The 98 Geminid meteors detected by the camera were part of the annual Geminid meteor shower.

For more information about the society meteor camera & project click here.

For more information about the Geminid Meteor Shower please visit the UKMON website at

Below are two out of the 4 photos showing the double meteors captured by the camera.

Very Active Sun – 2023 Jan 15 – Honor Wheeler.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please see our Solar Observing safety page at

On the morning of Sunday 15th January 2023, CMHASD member Honor Wheeler captured this absolutely stunning image of the Sun.  As you can see it was very active and still is!  Details of how Honor acquired her brilliant image are on the photo. 


The information below is taken from the website

Picture above shows the Sun on 15th January 2023 – taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory with the Sun spots labelled.

”’…I can’t remember having seen so many sunspots together; indeed, the sunspot number is high. If solar activity continues at this pace for the rest of January, the monthly sunspot number will reach a 20-year high. And Solar Maximum is still ~2 years away. Contrary to predictions, Cycle 25 is shaping up to be a good one, after all.


17th Jan 2023

”NAKED-EYE SUNSPOT: One of the biggest sunspots in years (AR3190) is crossing the solar disk–and you can see it with the naked eye. “Be sure to use safe solar glasses to protect your eyes,” says Bum-Suk Yeom of Iksan, South Korea. “I tried it myself today, and I could see the sunspot clearly.” 

As shown in Yeom’s infographic, the sunspot is four times wider than Earth. It’s twice as big as any other spot on the sun, visible to the naked eye, and a magnificent target for backyard solar telescopes.

Best of all, it’s about to explode. AR3190 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for X-class solar flares. Any eruptuions will be geoeffective because the sunspot is almost directly facing Earth.” ”

CMHASD Christmas Quiz Night 2022


It was a brilliant quiz and a great night was had by all!  Member’s David Grist and Steve Floodgate aka Eric ‘n’ Ern once again pulled out all the stops to provide another night of head scratching, puzzlement and fun. 

Below are some photos and a video of the evening taken by Chairman John Archer. Thank you John.

Plus a big ‘Thank you’ to Dave & Steve for all your hard work & effort creating the quiz.  We are all looking forward to the next one!

Stunning Sun Halo

CMHASD member Jim Burchell captured this superb Sun Halo on the 14th Dec 2022 around midday which lasted for quite a long time – over an hour. A Sun halo, also known as ’22 degree halo’, is an optical atmospheric phenomenon that occurs due to sunlight refracting in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. 

More information about how Sun Halo’s are formed can be found on the Atmospheric Optics website.

CMHASD at the BAA Christmas Meeting – 2022 Dec 10

Nine CMHASD members attended the BAA Christmas meeting on the 10th December 2022, held at the Institute of Physics.

A recording of the meeting is available to watch here on the BAA YouTube channel.

Below are the times of the talks in the recording. Please be aware the sound is a little quiet at times so you will need to turn up the sound up. Talks particular of interest to our Society are in bold; as they have CMHASD member ‘participation’ 🙂


Start – David Arditti, BAA President – Welcome, notices and awards – Here you will see CMHASD trustees Martin Crow and Simon Dawes collect their BAA Sir Patrick Moore award for their contributions to the ExoClock Project.

0h 27m – Tim Parsons – A Massive Star Menagerie: touring through the upper reaches of the H-R Diagram

1h 25m – Simon Kidd – Asteroid Occultations….an observer’s view

2h 8m – Nick James – Sky Notes – Here you will see CMHASD member Honor Wheeler’s Moon image displayed during Nick’s talk and a photo of a model of Jupiter that was used at the News Scientist Live exhibition 2022.  CMHASD member Janice McClean, who is the BAA Events Manager and several other CMHASD members helped run the BAA stand at the exhibition over the 3 days.


After the meeting for those who wished to partake – members were invited the BAA Christmas social, taking place in the Hubble Room at The Astronomer pub near Liverpool Street Station.  Several CMHASD members took up the invite 😀  I wonder who was one of the members?

Below are more photos of the day taken by CMHASD Chairperson John Archer & CMHASD Trustee John Howarth.  Thank you for sharing your photos with us.

CMHASD Star Gazing at Hall Place & Gardens – 2022, Nov 30.

On Wednesday 30th November 2022, CMHASD were back at Hall Place & Gardens to hold a star gazing event.  We had brilliant support from our members – thanks to all – who bought along a variety of telescopes, cameras, meteorites and other displays for our guests.


We had over 33 ticket-holders to entertain and those who arrived early did catch sight of Jupiter, Mars and the Moon.

We ran through a handful of short talks – including a review of popular astronomy apps by Marc and a talk from Debra on Comets, followed by a successful comet-making demo to an enthralled audience.

Further gaps in the clouds allowed visitors another chance to observe with us. It’s always rewarding to hear the “oohs and aahs” of a first-time view of Jupiter’s moons through a decent scope. The Society Dob’s are just brilliant at that.

So thank you to the whole crew (you know who you are) for setting up, interacting, educating and closing down the show. It was very successful indeed.

Congratulations to Martin Crow & Simon Dawes

A huge congratulations to CMHASD trustees Martin Crow and Simon Dawes for jointly winning the BAA Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Pro-Am work on Exoplanet observations with the ExoClock project along with a Mr Adrian Jones.

Below is a photo of Martin and Simon being presented with their certificates by the President of the BAA David Arditti on Saturday 10th December 2022 at the BAA Christmas Meeting. 

   From left to right: David Arditti, Adrian Jones, Martin Crow & Simon Dawes.

BAA ExoPlanet & ExoClock training videos of which 2 are by CMHASD members.

The videos from the British Astronomical Association (BAA) Exoplanet Division Online Workshop held on Saturday 12th November are now available to watch on the BAA YouTube Channel.

The below talk titles are links to watch the videos. 

Two videos are by CMHASD members Rodney Buckland and Martin Crow.

Introduction by Roger Dymock

Exoplanet Division update
EXPLORE introduction

Ariel and ExoClock with Anastasia Kokori

Mission and observational efficiency
ExoClock – a model of pro-am collaboration

EXPLORE Part 1 – Detecting exoplanets with Rodney Buckland

Searching databases

How to discover an exoplanet (telescope and camera not required) with Roger Dymock

EXPLORE Part 2 with Martin Crow

Introduction to HOPS
Synchronous observations to detect shallow transits
Data mining transit observations for variable star photometry

AstroImageJ with Richard Lee

An alternative to HOPS

Click to download a zip of the User Guide for the Observation Planner for AstroImageJ and sample files.

Observing with robotic telescopes by Rodney Buckland



Rodney’s Video

Martin’s Video

Sun dog

A shinning example of a Sundog captured by member Martin Crow when out and about on the 20th Nov 2022.

A Sundog (or sun dog) is an optical atmospheric phenomenon that causes a bright, rainbow-colored patch of light to occur on either side of the sun or both sides at an angle of 22 degrees.  Sun dogs occur as a result of the refraction or scattering of light from flat hexagonal-shaped ice crystals that are suspended in clouds.

In the most brilliant displays, when 2 Sundogs appear, it’s as if there are now three suns in the sky — the main sun and two little siblings.

These “side suns” are colloquially known as sun dogs, officially known as “parhelia,” which is Greek for “next to the sun.”

The Veil Nebula by Neil Webster

The latest stunning image of the Veil Nebula by member Neil Webster. Updated with another 3 hours worth of imaging grabbed on the night of the 21st Nov 2022.

Neil said ”I finally managed to get enough data to start to show the incredible subtle details in this object.  This was processed from 5 hrs of data amassed over 3 evenings.”

The Veil Nebula is a diffuse nebula located in the northern constellation Cygnus, the Swan.  It is the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.

Called the Veil Nebula, the debris is one of the best-known supernova remnants, deriving its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, covering six full moons on the sky as seen from Earth.

It lies a few degrees to the south of the star Epsilon Cygni, also known as Aljanah.

Aljanah is one of the stars of the Northern Cross and marks the right wing of the celestial Swan. 

The Veil Nebula is also known as Witch’s Broom Nebula, Bridal Veil Nebula, Cirrus Nebula or Filamentary Nebula.  It is located approximately 1,470 light years from Earth.

The Veil Nebula has three main parts: the Eastern Veil, the Western Veil, and Fleming’s Triangle (Pickering’s Triangle). It has the designations NGC 6960, NGC 6992, NGC 6995, NGC 6974 and NGC 6979 in the New General Catalogue.  The southernmost part of the Eastern Veil Nebula is assigned the catalogue designation IC 1340.

To see a more detailed view of this image check out Neil’s Flickr page at

Partial Solar Eclipse – 2022 Oct 25 – Open Morning at the Pavilion

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

On Tuesday 25th October 2022, CMHASD held an Open Morning at the Parsonage Lane Pavilion for members & members of the public to view the rare spectacle of a Partial Solar Eclipse visible from the UK.

It turned out to be an absolutely fantastic day and one that people who were there will not forget.

It was a warm sunny day with clear skies at the start of the partial eclipse and come 10.09am BST we were rewarded with the first views of the Moon partially obscuring the Sun.

Members used a variety of safe techniques to view & image the partial eclipse for nearly 1 1/2 hours (with a few breaks due to cloud cover) until a little after 11.30am when it started to rain.

The setup shown below is using the image projection method with a 4 1/2” Tal Newtonian reflector.



Member Gary Hunt who was present that day at the pavilion and took many of photos used in this post wrote “Whenever there is an astronomical event in our locality of the UK, CMHASD is pleased to take the opportunity to share with the public the wonders of the Universe. The morning of Tuesday 25th 2022 was such an opportunity as we were treated to a partial eclipse of the sun. This is quite a rare phenomenon for the UK and even a few tens of miles can make a big difference to what you will see. Sadly for our observatory and home that is the ‘Pavilion’ in Sutton-at-Hone Dartford this would be only be around 15% covering of the sun in the nearly two hour solar eclipse by the Moon, but with the aid of SAFE observing techniques and equipment provided by CMHASD members we were able to demonstrate and explain to our visitors just what was happening. Besides the eclipse, and with most of our telescopes we were able to see two sets of sun spots and even a few solar prominences. The sun was visible until the last half-an-hour when clouds and some spots of rain spoiled our observing session, but we were lucky that most of the best parts of the eclipse was pretty cloud free! We had a small, but enthusiastic number of guests come along to observe the eclipse, and I can confidently claim that they were all suitably impressed with their experience. We had challenges that day because on the Sunday before, a thunder storm knocked out electrical power supply to the Pavilion and so we had no lighting or power for hospitality for our guests, however we used thermos flasks of tea/coffee and generous Society members brought along some cakes, so I think we were forgiven? All-in-all, I would judge that we had a successful solar/eclipse public out-reach session and guests and members enjoyed the solar-show immensely.”

















Below are a collection images of the partial solar eclipse including a time lapse video by members who were at the pavilion………….


Jim Burchell

All 6 of Jim’s superb images were taken with a Pentax KP attached to an Altair Astro 102 Refactor using a white light Solar filter. Image’s then coloured using Snapseed. 

Image 1 start of the eclipse.  Iso 200 1/200 sec F7.5 approx 

Image 2 roughly mid eclipse. Iso 200 1/250 sec 

Image 3  a couple of minutes before the end of the eclipse. 
ISO 200 1/160 sec.

This image was taken roughly mid eclipse and shows more surface detail than Jim’s other images.

A very atmospheric image of the partial eclipse near the end.



Diane Clarke

Diane Clarke’s stunning image has been rotated to match event and also shows sun spots 3126, 3130 & 3131.  Diane acquired the image using a Camera EOS M50m2 at ISO  400 @ 1/2000 Sec. Jpeg from RAW.


Mike Rushton

Dr. Mike Rushton’s super image was taken just before clouds intervened at about maximum eclipse time.  Mike acquired the image using a Canon EOS 60D Lens: EF70-300mm f/4-f/5.6 IS USM, Focal length 300m f/8 1/500s ISO 200.

Below is a time lapse video of the partial solar eclipse put together by Mike.


Meanwhile members who were unable to be at the pavilion acquired these images below of the partial eclipse at various locations around Bexley including a time lapse video……


Simon Dawes

Details of how Simon acquired the image are on his photo.

Member Simon Dawes who was at home that morning wrote ”I hadn’t intended observing the partial solar eclipse,  my plan had been to process some exoplanet data from the the night before but the day started out so nice and cloud free, I thought why not.  As I was setting up I heard that one of our members wouldn’t be able to see it, they were isolating due to COVID.  So armed with a connection on my mobile phone and the societies Zoom details I set up an impromptu zoom stream to share my observatory PC so that anyone wanting to see it that couldn’t get to the pavilion would be able to.”

Below are a couple of images of the partial solar eclipse broadcast via Zoom set up by Simon and a time lapse video of the eclipse.


Janice McClean

Member Janice imaged the partial eclipse until the rain came.  Details of how Janice acquired her great images are on the photos.



Terry Miles

Terry Miles super set of images were acquired using a Coronado Personal Solar Telescope (PST) using a 8mm-24mm zoom and an  iPhone 13.


Some members who were at work that day managed to get some images too……..


John Archer

In the City of London CMHASD Chairman John took this image.


Honor Wheeler

On a tea break at work Honor took this image using a BAA solar viewer with her phone.


And those members who live further a field shared their images they got of the partial solar eclipse also.


Martin Crow

Martin took this image of the partial eclipse showing some sunspots too from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. Shot using a DSLR 550d, 200mm lens with an astro solar filter, iso 100 & shutter speed 1/15sec.


Stephen Cohen

Stephen took this image from Cumbria using an iPhone through Mylar film.


CMHASD would like to say a big thank you to Gary Hunt, Diane Clarke, Dr. Mike Rushton and John Archer for organising the day and to the members who shared their photos & images. Absolutely brilliant!

CMHASD supporting the BAA at New Scientist Live 2022

Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford (CMHASD) were out in force at the recent New Scientist Live event at ExCel Centre, London Docklands on the 7th to 9th October 2022.  We were there to help the British Astronomical Association (BAA), in which we have many members; on their stand in the Cosmos Section this year.  

Everybody pitched in; helping the BAA team organised by CMHASD member Janice McClean who is a trustee and the Events Coordinator of the BAA to promote membership of the BAA and answer questions ranging from ‘What type of telescope should I buy?’ to ‘How do you use a Planisphere?’

Janice said ”After three years closure, it was great to be back.

A big Thank you to CMHASD members Steve Floodgate & David Grist (our own Eric and Ernie) who were there for all three days of the event with Janice together with Mark Radice from Basingstoke Astronomical Society. 

Thanks fully to CMHASD members Rita Whiting and Debra Holton who were there to keep the peace on Friday (School’s day) and to CMHASD member Diane Clarke who got pulled in after rashly accepting a guest pass when the sheer number of visitors became overwhelming.  CMHASD trustee Mike Rushton added some calm and gravitas to the mayhem on Saturday and Rita returned on Sunday for even more!


Anita and Tinie the societies Dobsonian telescopes were the favourites with all the visitors. 
It was worked out that approximately 1200 people had a look through Tinie at Jupiter – a hand painted 3D printed scale model that was ”Cunningly positioned on top of the biggest combine harvester you ever saw.  Thank goodness the threshing bar wasn’t attached.” said Janice.
The BAA sold several hundred pounds worth of moon maps, beginners books and observation guides too.
Have we got the stamina for next year?” asked Janice to which she also replied ”Hopefully the Crayford ‘A’ Team will not be put off by all the hard work but attracted to the odd free beverage provided by the organisers!” 
Thankyou to Mike, Janice and Diane for sharing your photographs with us and to Janice & Diane for their help writing this post.

Neil Webster’s latest deep sky image of Sadr and music video titled ‘Pickering’s Triangle’.

Member Neil Webster has been busy……….

This is the latest stunning deep sky image by Neil of Hydrogen Alpha nebulosity surrounding the star Gamma Cygni (Sadr) taken on the 20th October 2022. 

Neil acquired the image using a AA 115mmAPO, EQ6 R, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, Optolong L enhance filter, Orion 50mm Guide Scope and ZWO ASI290MM.

47 x 240s lights, 12 x Darks, 35 x flats/bias.

APT, PHD, Nebulosity & Photoshop.

To see a higher resolution photo of this image check out Neil’s Flickr page at

Sadr, Gamma Cygni (γ Cyg) is a yellow-white supergiant star located in the constellation Cygnus. Sadr is the constellation’s second brightest star after Deneb with an apparent magnitude of 2.23. It is the star forming the intersection of an asterism of five stars called the Northern Cross an asterism that dominates the summer sky in the northern hemisphere. Sadr lies in a rich field of the Milky Way and is surrounded by the diffuse emission nebula IC1318 also known as the Gamma Cygni Nebula or Sadr Region. 

Plus hot off the press today – the latest music video created by Neil titled Pickering’s Triangle.  Take a trip round Pickering’s Triangle in Cygnus imaged by Neil to a pulsey soundtrack and seriously wayward piano near the end.


Exoplanets WASP-114b and Qatar-5b observations by Simon Dawes

Two more sets of exoplanet observations for the ExoClock project by member Simon Dawes of WASP-114b and Qatar-5b.  These are the 56th and 57th set of observations Simon has completed for the project.

WASP-114b is a Hot Jupiter in a 1.5-day orbit around a G0 star.


Qatar-5b is a Hot Jupiter orbiting the star Qatar-5 located in Andromeda constellation.  It orbits its star every 2.87 days. It was discovered in 2016 by the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES).

Cosmic Camp 2022

Several society members attended Shears Green Junior School on Friday 23rd September 2022 with their own or a society telescope to take part in the school’s ‘Cosmic Camp’. 

Below are 2 accounts of the evening by CMHASD members Diane Clarke and Gary Hunt who both helped at the event.

Diane wrote ”The Society was invited for its second visit to the “Cosmic Camp” at Shears Green Junior School  on Friday the 23rd of September.  Several members were present, bringing 5 telescopes including Anita & Isaac, 2 of the Societies “Dobs”.

When we arrived we were enthusiastically greeted by several of the campers in spite of the somewhat overcast conditions that never dampened their spirits.  So we decided to persevere and set up our telescopes with an initial idea of focusing on various cranes & other industrial architecture along a distant horizon to give the campers something to see through the eyepiece.  All the while hoping the sky would clear.

Eventually the clouds started to break initially giving views of Altair & Deneb,  two of the stars that form the asterism known as the “summer triangle”.  As the cloud continued to break the campers were treated to views of Jupiter & its 4 main Galilean Moons through our telescopes.  Unlike last year there was no Moon and unfortunately the clouds did not break enough for us to offer the campers views of the planets Saturn or Mars.

Apart from having the 5 telescopes present we also gave 3 indoor presentations, these included showing the campers some astronomical images taken by the members, along with talks and demonstrations covering both the solar system & the constellations.

The campers had also been learning about the ISS and a visible Pass was expected so with great anticipation we gathered the camper’s together as the clouds broke enabling them to see the ISS that was greeted with a resounding cheer as it passed overhead.  This was a very enjoyable evening for members & campers alike so much so that yet again we stayed longer than expected.”

Gary wrote “From a personal point of view and as an enthusiastic member of Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford (CMHASD), I found the experience of helping the young students of Shears Green Primary School see the night sky very rewarding. This night was Shears Green’s annual Cosmic Camp and CMHASD was very happy to help again (we helped out last year), as we love to share our fascination of astronomy and all things space! Most CMHASD members have started our fascination with astronomy at an early age and we are committed to inspire young minds to look into the night sky and wonder just like we did many years ago.

 Last years event had clear night skies, sadly this year was mostly cloudy, but fortunately no rain. However, there were the occasional gaps in the clouds that allowed us to show some of the children Jupiter and some of its moons. We were also fortunate enough to show the children the International Space Station passing high overhead, the resulting cheers and screams of delight were deafening! Some CMHASD members also gave talks and educational games indoors to the children which were very well received.
The staff of Shears Green were very welcoming and enthusiastic, with themselves peering though our telescopes (including our Dobsonian telescopes Issac and Anita) and asking astronomical questions… we hope they enjoyed it as much as we did, especially as some of them were to stay with the children for the rest of the night in their outdoor camp!  We enjoyed our visit and if there is another Shears Green Cosmic Camp next year we will be pleased to be asked to attend again I am sure!” 

The Society did not take any photos of the event as there were too many safeguarding issues however the school blog hopefully will post some photos soon as they did with Cosmic Camp 2021– so do keep checking.

The Society would like to say a big Thank you to all the members who helped make this event a success.

Sun Pillar by John Archer

CMHASD Chairman John Archer captured a beautiful sunrise on the morning of the 12th October 2022 along with an atmospheric phenomenon called a ‘sun pillar’ albeit a small one. 

‘A sun pillar is a vertical streak of light that appears above or below a low Sun that is shining through ice-crystal clouds, such as Cirrus, Cirrostratus and Cirrocumulus, or the ground-level ice-crystal fog, diamond dust.’

They can be 5 to 10 degrees tall and sometimes even higher. They might lengthen or brighten as you gaze at them.

The Hunter’s Moon – 9th October 2022

Members Jim Burchell, John Howarth and Honor Wheeler took the opportunity to photograph the glorious full moon, also known as The Hunter’s Moon on the 9th October 2022 from various locations in North Kent and below are their superb results.

”Hunter’s moon is mentioned in several sources as the Anglo-Saxon name for the Full Moon of October. This is the month when the game is fattened, and it is time to start preparing for the coming winter. Traditionally, this included hunting, slaughtering and preserving meats for use in the coming winter months.  Other names are Travel Moon and Dying Grass Moon. Some also called it Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon, which also refers to the hunting season. However, this name should not be confused with the term Blood Moon to describe a Total Lunar Eclipse.”

Moonrise by Honor Wheeler.  3 Moonrise images layered using android app Snapseed.  Images acquired using a camera – Canon M6 mark II with 18-400mm lens. ISO500, exp1/10sec at F8.

The Moon by Jim Burchell. Image acquired using a Pentax KP camera.

The Hunter’s Moon & Jupiter by Jim Burchell.

The Hunter’s Moon by John Howarth.

The Moon, Mercury, Mars & Orion by Jim Burchell

Member Jim Burchell was up early on Sunday the 9th October 2022 and took a super collection of photos of the early morning sky using his Pentax camera from Dartford. Jim captured Mercury at greatest elongation that morning; along with Mars, the Moon plus the constellation Orion.

Looking East – Mercury at greatest elongation

Looking South – the constellation Orion and Mars. Mars is above Orion (top, centre)

Looking South West – the Moon

The Moon as it set


The Moon & Jupiter – 8th October 2022

The Moon & Jupiter on the 8th October 2022 taken by member Jim Burchell using a Pentax KP camera.

Jupiter is top left of the Moon in the photo.

The latest ExoClock observations by Simon Dawes

Three more sets of observations of exoplanet transits for the ExoClock project by Simon Dawes. WASP-52b, Qatar-1b and HAT-P-6b.

WASP-52 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a K-type star. Its mass is 0.46 Jupiters. Exoplanet WASP-52b orbits at a distance of 4.07 million km from its host star WASP-52, taking 1.75 days to go round its orbit. Its discovery in the constellation Pegasus was announced in 2012.


Qatar-1 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a metal-rich K-dwarf star, which is one of the faintest around which a planet has been discovered by ground based surveys. Its mass is 1.294 Jupiters, takes 1.4 days to complete one orbit of its star and is 0.02332 AU from its star. Its discovery was announced in 2010.


HAT-P-6b was discovered on October 15, 2007.  It is located in the constellation Andromeda.  It takes 92 hours, 28 minutes, 17 seconds and 9 deciseconds to orbit its host star.  The planet HAT-P-6b is named Nachtwacht. The name was selected in the NameExoWorlds campaign by the Netherlands, during the 100th anniversary of the IAU, after Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch.  It is one of the few planets that is in a retrograde orbit around its host star.

New music video & stunning image by Neil Webster

Member Neil Webster has been busy and produced this wonderful image of NGC 6823 & SH-2-86 in the constellation Vulpecula plus a new music video.

SH-2-86 is an H Alpha emitting region (red glow) from the Sharpless Catalogue and NGC 6823 is a small open cluster just above the central dark spike in the image. 

Published by Stewart Sharpless in 1959, the SH2 catalogue lists 312 emission nebulae, planetary nebulae and supernova remnants visible in the northern hemisphere. Despite overlapping with deep-sky objects in the Messier and NGC catalogs that are visible to the unaided eye, SH2 is primarily composed of obscure, dim nebulae which can only be revealed through astrophotography.

Neil acquired the image on the 2nd October 2022 using a AA 115mm APO, EQ6-R, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, L EnHance filter, Orion 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO ASI290MM

90 x 140s Lights, 15 x Darks, 30 x Flats/Bias.


Nebulosity, Photoshop (Camera Raw)

To view a higher resolution image visit Neil’s Flickr page at


Then sit back and relax and take a tour of the Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443) in the constellation Gemini imaged by Neil whilst listening to a piano based soundtrack. To do so click on the following link The Jellyfish Nebula IC 443 – YouTube where you find Neil’s latest music video.

Congratulations to members Martin Crow & Simon Dawes

On Friday 30th September 2022 at the ExoClock 2 day meeting held at University College London, CMHASD trustees Martin Crow & Simon Dawes were awarded certificates for their impressive contribution to the ExoClock Project. 

ExoClock is a project to monitor the ephemerides of transiting exoplanets by the ARIEL Ephemerides Working Group. 

ARIEL is a space telescope (Atmospheric Remote‐sensing Infrared Exoplanet Large‐survey mission) that was selected by ESA as part of its Cosmic Vision plan and is ESA’S next science mission that will focus on the nature of planets orbiting stars in other systems.  It will be ESA’s fourth medium-class science mission to be launched in 2029.

Both Simon and Martin have contributed over 50 exoplanet observations each to ExoClock and more are yet to come. 

Their certificates were presented to them by Anastasia Kokori, Coordinator of the ExoClock project & Professor Giovanna Tinetti, Principal Investigator of the Ariel mission. 

Congratulations Martin & Simon. Well done!

Martin Crow receiving his certificate.

Simon Dawes receiving his certificate.

You can view some of Simon & Martin’s observations on the CMHASD ExoClock Project page.

The North America Nebula by Kevin Langford

An absolutely stunning image by member Kevin Langford of The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20).  The North America Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to the star Deneb.

ES 102ED APO, 0.7x focal reducer corrector, EQ5 Pro

ZWO ASI071, Orion MMAG,L-eNhance filter

1 1/2 Hrs of exposures


Bexley Kent

To see a higher resolution photo of the image check out Kevin’s Flickr page at

Exo Planet HAT-P-29b observations by Simon Dawes – Sept 2022

One more for the ExoClock Project by Simon Dawes of HAT-P-29b also known as Surt.  Surt is the ruler of Muspelheim and the fire giants there in Norse mythology. At Ragnarok, the end of the world, he will lead the attack on our world and destroy it in flames.



The Veil Nebula by Kevin Langford

An absolutely fantastic widefield image of the Veil Nebula taken by member Kevin Langford on the 12th August 2022 from Bexley, Kent. The image was acquired using an ES 102ED APO, 0.7x focal reducer corrector, EQ5 Pro, ZWO ASI071, Orion MMAG and L-eNhance filter.

The 3 hours of exposure was then processed in photoshop.

To see a higher resolution photo of this image click on the following link to be taken to Kevin’s flickr page

Exoplanets TrES-3b & WASP-60b by Simon Dawes

Taken from a few days ago; this is member Simon Dawes 48th accepted transit for the ExoClock project of exoplanet TrES-3b.  TrES-3b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a G-type star GSC 03089-00929. It has an orbital period of just 31 hours, is nearly twice the mass of Jupiter and is 0.02282 AU from its star.

The planet TrES-3b is named Umbäässa. The name was selected in the NameExoWorlds campaign by Liechtenstein during the 100th anniversary of the IAU. In the local dialect of southern Liechtenstein, Umbäässa is a small and barely visible ant.

Its discovery was announced in 2007.  It is the 3rd transiting planet found by the Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey. It was discovered in the constellation Hercules about 10 degrees west of the star Vega.  If you look at the curve you can see that it doesn’t have a flat bottom which means from our viewpoint the planet occults the star right on its edge – a grazing occultation.

Also measured by Simon is the transit of exoplanet WASP-60b.

WASP-60b orbits at a distance of 8.25 million km from its G1-type star, taking 4.3 days to go round its orbit in the constellation of Pegasus. The system is a distance of 400 parsecs away from us.

Unusual Sunspot AR3088 – 26th August 2022 by Simon Dawes

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

On the morning of the 26th August 2022 member Simon Dawes imaged 3 of the sunspots on the sun – AR3086. AR3088 and AR3089 and superb images they are too.  Sunspot AR3088 however looked a little bit different from the usual sunspots seen and indeed it was according to – see below.

Details of how Simon acquired the images are on each photo.

Unusual sunspot AR3088

Screen shot from explaining why sunspot AR3088 looks unusual….


Sunspot AR3089


Sunspot AR3086

0.01 Phase Moon by Jim Burchell – 25th August 2022

Two absolutely fantastic images of the Moon at 0.01 phase taken by member Jim Burchell on the morning of the 25th August 2022 from Dartford. The second image shows the Moon with Venus on the right.


The Crescent Moon at 0.01 phase – taken using a Pentax KP at  F6.3, 1/4s, 210mm and iso 200.
The Crescent Moon (0.01 phase) and Venus – Taken using a Pentax KP at F6.3, 1/4s, 120 mm and iso 200.

The Sun – 22nd August 2022

Our sun on the 22nd Aug 2022 imaged by member Simon Dawes. Despite seeing being very poor that morning; a great image was achieved by Simon showing an active sun. Details of how Simon acquired the images are on the main photo.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Sunspot AR3085

Sunspot AR3081



Waning Crescent Moon by Neil Webster

A superb image of the moon at 3.30am on the 20th Aug 2022. This is Neil’s first waning crescent moon image of the moon at 40.9% & 33 days old.

Full Moon Rising – 11th August 2022

Three CMHASD members imaged the full moon – the 4th and last supermoon of the year rising on the 11th August 2022 and below are their stunning photos.

A full moon occurs when the moon and sun are opposite each other and sunlight strikes the moon face-on.

The August full moon is also known as the Sturgeon Moon so this was a Sturgeon supermoon! 

Nasa explain: ‘The term ‘supermoon’ was coined in 1979 and is often used to describe what astronomers would call a perigean (pear-ih-jee-un) full moon: a full moon occurring near or at the time when the Moon is at the closest point in its orbit around Earth. Therefore the moon appears larger and brighter than usual as it reaches the full moon stop of its cycle.  A supermoon will usually cast around 30 per cent more light onto Earth than it does when it is at its dimmest.  This is because the supermoon will be closer to the sun’s rays and therefore able to reflect more light.’  

We have already witnessed three supermoons this year, in May, June and July.  Surprisingly, supermoon streaks like the one we have seen this year are not uncommon. 2023 will also see four consecutive full supermoons, as will 2024. Even 2025 has three in a row.

Member Diane Clarke wrote  ‘Fellow member Honor Wheeler sent out a message reminding us that the full moon would be rising, so along with fellow member Jim Burchell, Honor & myself went to a local vantage point to await moonrise above the distant horizon.  Unfortunately we were a little late in arriving and from the remaining colour in the sky we no doubt missed a superb sunset.  The image below shows moonrise over a 15 minute period as it breached the horizon and proceeded to climb into the late evening sky.  The middle image was taken 8 minutes after the initial breach and the image at the top of the frame was taken 7 minutes later as the evening was moving into night.  Shortly after we all decided to depart after experiencing another spectacular moonrise.
Diane’s image was acquired using EOS M50m2, Sigma 18-250mm @ 250mm, 1/6 – 1/15 sec f/6.3 and ISO 1600 at 8.57pm to 9.12pm.


Jim Burchell’s full moon rising images below were all taken with a Pentax KP at 300mm, F7.1, 1/3s & iso 200.



Honor Wheeler’s full moon rising images.

CMHASD Solar Observing at Hall Place & Gardens – Saturday 20th Aug 2022


NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

On Saturday the 20th of August several members of the Society were present for the second of our 2 solar observing sessions at Hall Place & Gardens. The event took place on the patio with a small farmers market close to the gallery so there was a constant stream of people wanting to look, some just wondering what was going on and and others who clearly had an untapped interest in astronomy.  Hopefully we will see some of those people in the future.

At our previous session at Hall Place on Sunday the 7th of August we and those who came to see us were treated to 4 hours of sunshine unfortunately on this occasion we were not so lucky with varying amounts of cloud being present throughout the session.  When the clouds did clear and the sun became visible we were able to offer safe views of the sun to the public through the telescopes.  When we did get glimpses of the Sun – the public were thrilled with what they saw; even if it was often in 20 second bursts!!!

Overall we had 7 telescopes on hand including ‘Anita’ one of the clubs Dobsonian telescopes and during clear spots every telescope was in use. We also had a couple of tables of displays including details of Sun spots, a solar projector and other interesting Astronomy facts which proved popular too with the public.

Whilst the weather was disappointing the day was a great success and the Society would like to thank all those members who helped on the day.

Below is a slideshow of photos taken of the day by members John Archer, Simon Dawes, Diane Clarke and Dr. Mike Rushton – Thank you for sharing them with us.  Also thank you to Diane Clarke & Simon Dawes for your help writing this post.

Prior to going to the event member Simon Dawes took the opportunity to image the lone sunspot on the surface of the Sun at home and this is his image.  This was the sunspot that the public would have seen through the telescopes during clear gaps in the cloud.

Astronomy Apps & Software document

A word document that you can download detailing some useful astronomy apps and software has been uploaded to the New to Astronomy page.  Thank you to member George Buckberry for compiling the list.

Solar Observing at Hall Place, Bexley – Sun 7th Aug 2022

Sunday 7th August 2022 – What a glorious sunny day to be out Solar Observing which is what Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford (CMHASD) where doing at Hall Place in Bexley.  What a busy day it was too! Several telescopes were set up to observe the Sun safely and members of the public were invited to do some solar observing which was readily accepted by many.  The Sun put on a good display having several sunspots and prominences for the public to view.

CMHASD will be back at Hall Place on Saturday 20th August 2022 to do some more Solar Observing with the public. Please do come and join us!

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Thank you to all CMHASD members who helped on the day and to Dr Mike Rushton and Terry Miles for sharing your photos of the day too.

Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford awarded National Archives; Archives Revealed Scoping Grant

Some very good news announced yesterday 21st July 2022 – The National Archives; Archives Revealed Scoping Grant has been awarded to CMHASD to assess the value and future of our Hewitt Camera Archive Collection!
Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford (CMHASD) are the authorised custodians of the Hewitt Camera Archive Collection, containing over 11,000 wide-field sky glass/plastic satellite and astronomical photographic plates. This unique collection covers a historic period of 30 years from 1965 and relates to both the Northern and Southern hemispheres (the UK and Australia). 

This Archives Revealed scoping grant is the first stage for funding the restoration, conservation, safeguarding, cataloguing, digitisation, and public sharing of this unique collection before deterioration and loss occurs. The Hewitt Camera Archive Collection is an insightful, historical and scientific resource into the UK’s part in the early days of space exploration. CMHASD is committed to sharing this valuable astronomical research archive with current and future generations as a physical and digital resource for all.

Quote from CMHASD President John Archer: “CMHASD is thrilled and grateful to The National Archives, The Pilgrim Trust, and the Wolfson Foundation for the award of this Archives Revealed scoping grant for our Hewitt Camera Archive Collection. This grant will enable our small charitable society to fund expert opinion and guidance to assess the digitisation, cataloguing, and planning towards making this unique UK space history and astronomical photographic collection safe and publicly available to the world. So…watch this space!”
The Society would like to thank Gary Hunt and team for your efforts securing the scoping grant.  Fantastic news & well done!
Gary wrote ‘This is exciting news but this is only the first step on what may be a long journey? Further substantial funding will be required to undertake the completion our objectives derived from the outcomes of the forthcoming Archives Revealed scoping report. The scoping report will determine the value (in terms of scientific, cultural and historical context) of the CMHASD Hewitt Camera Archive Collection and will also make recommendations on how to maximise exploitation and preservation of the collection. 

We are grateful for this opportunity to move the current situation on and provide future access of the Hewitt Camera Archive Collection to the world before it further degrades or suffers calamity!

We are always grateful for offers of help or ideas for achieving our objective of fulfilling our solemn commitment to keeping the Hewitt Camera Archive Collection safe and allowing full exploitation by the astronomical, scientific, historical community… and lets not forget yourself!’


Dartford’s Big Day Out – July 2022

On the 16th July 2022 Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford  (CMHASD) exhibited at Dartford’s Big Day Out in Central Park, Dartford.

It was an extremely busy & interesting day.  Several members of the public took the opportunity to drop by for a chat, observe the current activity on the surface of our nearest star the Sun using the 3 telescopes that were on display and to view our various display boards showcasing the societies activities.  Our 3D photographs & the planet game also proved to be very popular too!

Safe views of the Sun were offered by various CMHASD members that helped throughout the day using ‘Anita’ one of the societies Dobsonian telescopes built by members Steve Floodgate and David Grist (see Building Dobsonians) whilst member Jim Burchell offered safe views through his refractor.  Both of these telescopes were showing white light views of the sunspots currently visible on the Sun’s surface. 

Member Diane Clarke offered safe views of the sunspots on the Sun too as well as the Sun’s various prominences and surface detail with her Ha (Hydrogen alpha) line telescope, see the 2 photos below.


Both images captured an absolutely massive prominence on the Sun at the 11 O’Clock position; this wall of plasma was more than five times taller than our entire planet Earth!  There were also prominences captured at the 1,2,6 and 10 O’Clock positions too in the images.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

More photos of the day taken by members John Archer, Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke and Janice McClean are in the slideshow below. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Also a big Thank you to Colin Wheeler for providing the marquee we used and to member Steve Floodgate for allowing us the use of his van for transporting the displays and equipment. Plus thank you to all the CMHASD members that helped on the day too 🙂 and to Diane Clarke for helping to write this post.

Beautiful Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) spotted early morning on the 15th July 2022

OK so it is the NLC season but WOW another sighting of these rare clouds by members.  A very bright & beautiful display it was too that lasted again for quite a while into dawn until 4.15am. 

An alert went out at 2.33am from member Sonia as she had spotted them very low down in the North East.  Two members; Diane Clarke and Jim Burchell picked up the alert and so joined Sonia in photographing the beautiful display that was to follow.  All photos where taken from various locations in North Kent by the members.

Below are 4 images by Jim Burchell taken at around 3:30 am. All image’s were taken with a Pentax K70 and there has been no processing.


Below are 2 images taken by member Diane Clarke.

Panoramic view of the NLC.  Diane wrote ”It went on to develop enabling me to capture 6 separate images taken at 03.30hrs that I used to create this panorama encompassing the splendour of this NLC.”

NLC at 4am as it began to fade in the North West.


Below are some images taken by Sonia using an iPhone. Also seen & photographed that morning were the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, the Moon and a very curious fox who kept watch on Sonia whilst she took her photos.

NLC and the star Capella at 2.41am.

NLC developing nicely at 3.03am.

NLC at 3.10am – more finer detail emerging.

NLC at 3.21am.

NLC at 3.22am. You can see how bright they were next to a street light.

NLC at 3.38am. The NLC moved from the North East to the North West as dawn approached.


The Sun – 15th July 2022

More super images of the Sun by member Simon Dawes taken on the 15th July 2022 showing the Sun speckled with sunspots.  Details of how Simon took the images are on the pictures.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Sunspots at Sundown – 13th July 2022

Whist waiting for the Moon to rise on the 13th July 2022 members Honor Wheeler and Jim Burchell photographed the Sun as it set with just their cameras.  When they looked at their images they saw that they had captured some of the massive sunspots on the Sun that day too in their photos.  In both images you can see sunspot AR3055 bottom middle right and sunspot AR3057 top left on the Sun.  In Honor’s image you can also see Sunspot AR3053 middle right too.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Honor Wheeler’s image

Jim Burchell’s image

The Moon – 7th July 2022 by George Buckberry

Two super images of the Moon taken by member George Buckberry on the 7th July 2022 whilst at the pavilion on a society informal night.  George acquired the images using a Canon 550D ISO 800 1/60s with T-mount and 2xBarlow on Isaac.  Isaac being one of the societies Dobsonian telescopes built by members Steve Floodgate & Dave Grist.

NLC – 12th July 2022

Another sighting of Noctilucent Cloud or night shining cloud by member Sonia on the 12th July 2022.  Photos taken using an iPhone. Looking North East.

NLC at 3.27am

NLC at 3.32am

Active Sun – 11th July 2022

Member Simon Dawes imaged our Sun on the morning of the 11th July 2022 and as you can see the Sun is very active.  Details of how Simon acquired the images are on the photos.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Sunspot AR3053

Sunspot AR3055 – stretching more than 100,000 km from end to end with more than a dozen dark cores.  Simon said ‘AR3055 its seems to be getting longer as I couldn’t get it in the frame so had to do a composite.’

Sunspot AR3056

New Sunspot – this new active region was just peeping round the limb of the Sun on the 11th July. Now Sunspot AR3057


Exoplanets XO-1b and Qatar-10b

Two more sets of observations for the ExoClock project by Simon Dawes.  Exoplanets XO-1b & Qatar-10b.

XO-1b is an exoplanet approximately 536 light-years away in the constellation of Corona Borealis. The planet was discovered orbiting the yellow dwarf star now designated XO-1 in 2006.  The planet XO-1b is named Negoiu. The name was selected in the NameExoWorlds campaign during the 100th anniversary of the IAU. Negoiu is the second highest peak in Romania.  It is a little bit larger than Jupiter. It is a hot Jupiter.

The XO Project team employed the relatively inexpensive XO Telescope, made from commercial equipment, to search for exoplanets. This telescope is on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.


Qatar-10 b is a gas giant exoplanet orbiting an F-type star. Its mass is 3/4 that of Jupiter and takes 1.6 days to complete one orbit.  It is 0.0286 AU from its parent star. Discovered in 2019.

Sun Halo with a difference!

Member Stephen Cohen spotted something quite rare in the sky at midday on the 11th July 2022 over Cumbria – A  22° Solar Halo with an added Circumscribed Halo around that. Unusual to see in the UK so well spotted Stephen!

Spectacular Early Morning NLC – 6th July 2022

Well what a sight! Four planets, the ISS and Noctilucent Cloud that just kept giving…….

At 2.32am an alert went out to members via WhatsApp from member Sonia who had spotted the NLC developing in the North East.

Several members picked up the alert and so too got to witness & photograph a fantastic NLC spectacle which lasted a long time into dawn.  The last photograph taken was at 4.05am!  The planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn (which was in the South) where photographed with the NLC too. Then starting at 3.08am there was a bright ISS pass overhead. wrote ”This morning, sky watchers in Europe woke up to some of the brightest noctilucent clouds (NLCs) in years. The clouds were amazingly bright and remained very evident deep into dawn.  The clouds didn’t stop there. They spread south across Europe, backlighting the Eiffel Tower and completely filling skies in places where, normally, NLCs are confined to a thin band near the horizon.’

Below are a selection of stunning photos taken by members , Honor Wheeler, Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke, John Howarth and Sonia – all from North West Kent.


Four images of the NLC on the 6th July 2022 taken by Honor Wheeler.


Three images of the NLC on the 6th July 2022 taken by Jim Burchell.

NLC with Venus at 3.30am

NLC at 3.45am


Three images of the NLC on the 6th July 2022 taken by Diane Clarke.

Diane said ‘Again following  a message from fellow member Sonia, I set up my equipment and watched in fervent hope that the NLC would develop, as there is always the possibility that they will dissipate shortly after becoming visible.

Like the other members of the society who were watching I was not to be disappointed as the NLC went on to develop into a fantastic display that really started to develop around 02.40 until 04.00 when it started to fade into the east as dawn approached.

The 1st image is a panorama created from 6 frames as the entire NLC was spread out over a large portion of the N-NE sky, that a panoramic view was the only option to encompass the majestic splendour on display.

This panoramic view includes the asterism known as the “Plough” or “Saucepan” within the constellation of Ursa Major, as well as the double stars Capella in Auriga & Mirfak in Perseus,  it should  be noted that the “Plough” contains 3 double stars including Mizar (Alcor), a rising Venus is also visible lower right above the tree line.’
The NLC over Essex
NLC with Jupiter in the East
Four images of the NLC on the 6th July 2022 taken by John Howarth.

Images by taken by Sonia using an iPhone of the NLC, ISS and Planets on 6th July 2022.

NLC developing in the North East at 2.46am. You can also see the star Capella.

NLC at 2.56am. Getting brighter & higher.

NLC at 3.03am with Capella.

The ISS appearing in the West at 3.08am.

NLC continuing to develop and spread with Capella at 3.15am.

NLC at 3.24am

NLC at 3.26am

NLC and Mars in the East at 3.36am.

NLC with Mars & Jupiter in the East at 3.42am.

NLC at 3.45am nearly overhead.

NLC directly overhead at 3.48am.

NLC at 3.49am spreading overhead.  Saturn can be seen bottom right in the image, which was in the South.


Faint NLC – 8th July 2022

Well they just keep coming – more NLC albeit very faint spotted at 3am on the 8th July 2022 by member Honor Wheeler who sent the alert out to members.  As the NLC were faint to the naked eye members were willing them to get bigger and brighter but alas just a small patch is all that developed that morning.

Below are a selection of photos taken by members who responded to the alert.  All photos taken from North West Kent.

NLC by Honor Wheeler – The faint NLC are middle left.


NLC by Jim Burchell taken with a Pentax K70 – The faint NLC are middle left. 

NLC by Jim Burchell – The NLC are centre left in this image.


NLC by Diane Clarke


NLC at 3.30am.  A white whispy patch of NLC can just be seen in the centre of the photo. They are 7 O’Clock from the star Capella which is in the photo. Photo taken using an iPhone by member Sonia.


The Sun by Simon Dawes – 10th July 2022

Member Simon Dawes captured some superb images of the Sun this morning. The Sun is quite active at the moment with several sunspots.

Details of how Simon took the images are on the photos.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) – 5th July 2022

On the 5th July 2022 Noctilucent Cloud were spotted again.  They lasted from 2.25am until 3.40am and were in the NE to NNE direction.


Diane Clarke said ‘Fellow member Sonia sent an alert at 02.25 to say that NLC were visible, so having pre-packed my camera & lens, I was off to take some pictures.  87 frames later I finally decided to get a little more sleep as dawn was approaching.’ 
Below are 2 panoramic images of the NLC taken by Diane using a Canon EOS M50m2, Canon 100mm macro lens at f2.8 1/8 sec @ISO400.
NLC on 5th July 2022 from North Kent.
NLC, the star Capella & the Pleiades (M45).  North Kent.
Member Sonia captured the NLC using her iPhone from North Kent.  Below is one of her images.
NLC at 2.59am with stars Capella and Menkalinan.

Jubilee Moon – 2nd June 2022

Several members took the opportunity to photograph the waxing crescent Moon on the evening of 2nd June 2022 – The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Day and some stunning shots were acquired.


Neil Webster’s Jubilee Moon

A composite of three images shot at about 9.20pm before it disappeared behind trees/buildings. It was still very light and the setting Sun was nearby.


Martin Crow’s Jubilee Moon & Beacon

Taken from Burnham On Crouch, Essex.


John Archer’s Jubilee Moon


Jim Burchell’s Jubilee Moon with Earthshine


Diane Clarke’s Jubilee Moon with Earthshine

Young Moon

A great capture of a very young Moon at 33.5 hours old on the 31st May 2022. Photo taken by member John Howarth from North Kent.

Moon – 10th June 2022

A superb composite image of 8 frames showing a Waxing Gibbous Moon (79%) taken on the 10th June 2022 by member Neil Webster.  Acquired using a ZWO ASI 290MM + R/IR filter.

22 degree solar halo 2022-06-26


A 22 degree solar halo created by tumbling plate ice crystals in the high atmosphere, taken by John Archer on a Samsung Smart Phone

1st sightings of NLC by member’s Jim Burchell & Diane Clarke

Whilst up early to photograph Venus and the crescent Moon on the 26th June 2022 at Dartford top road, member Jim Burchell also saw some Noctilucent Cloud too around 3am!  The 1st Noctilucent Cloud (NLC) sighting for CMHASD NLC season 2022. 

Jim sent out an alert via Whatsapp to members which Diane Clarke picked up and so too managed to photograph the NLC that morning from North Kent.

NLC by Jim Burchell – 26th June 2022

NLC by Diane Clarke – 26th June 2022

Venus & Crescent Moon by Jim Burchell

Two image’s of Venus in the morning sky both taken from Dartford top road by Jim Burchell on the 22nd and 26th June 2022. 


Venus in the dawn Sky 22nd June 2022 taken with a Pentax KP. F9.0 1/2s  60 mm iso 200.
Venus and the Crescent Moon taken in the early hours of 26th June 2022 with a Pentax KP.  F7.1 1″ 1/2 sec 88 mm  iso 200. 

Crepuscular Rays by Jim Burchell

An absolute stunning image taken by Jim Burchell just before he went to bed on the 25th June 2022 of Crepuscular Rays. 

Image taken with an Olympus E-M10. F4.5  1/80sec 14mm iso 200.

Super Strawberry Moon – by Jim Burchell on the 14th June 2022

June’s Full Moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon after the wild strawberries that start to ripen during early summer.  On Tuesday evening 14/06/22 member Jim Burchell took these lovely photos of the Strawberry Moon rising from Dartford top road. The Full/Strawberry Moon was near its closest approach to Earth on that day too, so making it a Supermoon as well.  Therefore this Full Moon was a Super Strawberry Moon!
Image 1 Moon just appearing above the horizon. 
135mm F9.00 5 sec iso 200
Image 2 Moon halfway  above the horizon  this image has been under exposed to bring out more detail and colour. 
135 mm F9.0  1.5 sec iso 200
Image 3 Moon above the horizon image under exposed. 
135mm F7.1 1/30 sec iso 400.

Lunar Eclipse – 16th May 2022 by Jim Burchell & Honor Wheeler

On the 16th May 2022 the Moon passed through the Earth’s shadow between 03:28 and 06:55 BST, creating a total lunar eclipse.

It was difficult to see from North Kent.  Firstly the Moon set partway through the eclipse and secondly the Moon was only 5° above the horizon when the eclipse started but this did not deter members Honor Wheeler and Jim Burchell; who got up early to photograph the event from Dartford. 

Unfortunately it was rather cloudy and misty that morning too.

The first image below was taken by Jim Burchell and shows the Moon in partial eclipse. Jim used a Nikon D5100 set at F6.0, 1/2 sec and iso 640 attached to an Altair Astro refractor to acquire the image.

The next set of images below were all taken by Honor Wheeler from the same location as Jim.




The last image before the Lunar Eclipse was obscured completely by cloud.


Early Morning Planets

Members Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke and Richard Bohner were up very early on the 29th May 2022 to do a bit of planet spotting. 

Jim captured the Mars & Jupiter conjunction from Dartford at 3.30am and a little bit later Saturn with Mars & Jupiter.

Mars & Jupiter

Mars, Jupiter & Saturn


Meanwhile Diane Clarke captured Jupiter & Mars and then Venus from Belvedere at 4am.

Jupiter & Mars

Venus above a cloud bank


Then 8 hours later in Arizona member Richard Bohner captured Mars & Jupiter (with Moons) too in the early morning sky. Richard said ‘It was very windy this morning and was having camera shake in some of my photos. These are 3 second images at ISO 2500.’

Mars & Jupiter from Arizona. 

Richard Bohner – Milky Way – Arizona

Member Richard Bohner took the opportunity to photograph the Milky Way from his back garden on the 26th May 2022 and these are the results…….stunning!

Richard said ‘Was outside last night taking a few photos. a perfect night. It was 22C, wind – calm, no moon , “seeing” was very good and steady. These photos were taken with Canon 6D with Canon wide angle telephoto set at 24mm and 16 mm, f2.8. ISO 4000, exp time 20 seconds. Single frame.

These images were taken at 01:30 AM, AZ time. Scorpius is just above pine tree top and the Tea Pot just above roof line to left of galaxy.

Martin Crow – Exo Planets WASP-58b, TOI-2076b & HAT-P-57b

The latest Exo planet observations by Martin Crow for the ExoClock project.

TOI-2076 b is an extrasolar planet (exoplanet) that orbits a K-type star TOI -2076 in the constellation of Bootes. An exoplanet is a planet that orbits a star other than the Sun. The star is located 136.86 light years away from Earth. TOI-2076 b is a Neptune-like exoplanet, its mass is 6.89 Earths, it takes 10.4 days to complete one orbit of its star and was discovered in 2021.


WASP-58b was discovered in 2011 and has an orbital period of 5 days.


HAT-P-57 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits an F-type star. Its mass is 1.41 Jupiters and it takes 2.46 days to complete one orbit of its star in the constellation of Aquila. Its discovery was announced in 2015.

Simon Dawes – Exo Planet TOI-1296b

One more for the ExoClock project by Simon Dawes. Exoplanet TOI-1296b.

TOI-1296b was discovered in 2021 and observed with TESS and SOPHIE.  It is a hot Saturn-mass exoplanet with an orbital period of 3.944 days.

Simon said ‘Got this Friday night; 7 milli mag dip on a mag 11.5 star – quite a noisy measurement due to twilight observation.’


Informal Night & UFO – 21st April 2022

Thursday 21st April 2022 was an informal night at the pavilion and some members took the opportunity to do some observing with some members viewing a very rare sight indeed.

Chairman John Archer summed the evening up in his ebulletin to members dated 27th April 2022. He wrote ‘Last week we had another opportunity to get together for an observing evening and a variety of instruments were rolled out – everything from EV Scope and iPhone to Mark 1 eyeball was scanning the night sky.

Members sought out the elusive planet Mercury, and once skies darkened, other more distant objects could be seen.

A flurry of excitement and speculation surrounded the appearance of a mysterious, moving object in the night sky which turned out to be a SpaceX Falcon upper stage conducting a de-orbit burn prior to re-configuring itself into a marine reef / insurance claim – depending on where it finally landed.”

Some objects were also observed using the societies 16″ Peter Hindle telescope they were M81, M82, M44 and the Eskimo Nebula.

Below are some images from the evening taken by member Jim Burchell.

Mercury in the constellation Aries just before sunset taken using a Pentax KP 135mm F11.0, Exp 1/2sec &  ISO 800.

The Observatory taken using a Pentax KP 18mm F3.5, Exp 10sec & ISO 800.

Constellation Leo taken using  Pentax KP 48mm F7.1, Exp 2.50sec & ISO 800.


The next 2 images below are snapshots taken from a video that member Steve Goldson managed to capture of the UFO that four other CMHASD members witnessed too at 8.46pm.  The 1st photo shows what looks like a small cloud moving very quickly through the sky.  The 2nd photo shows the same unidentified object a few seconds later now as a bright dot with a cloud in front of it moving through the sky.


The members were perplexed but excited by what they had seen with most sighting it as their 1st UFO.  Later after some detective work by Honor & Sonia it was concluded that they along with Jim Burchell, David Freed and Steve Goldson had witnessed the second stage deorbit of SpaceX Falcon 9 after launching another batch of Starlink internet satellites (Starlink 4-14).

Jim Burchell – The Moon – Sept 2021

This fantastic image of the Moon was taken by Jim Burchell back in September 2021.  Jim used his Samsung A10 mobile phone attached to one of the society Dobsonian Telescopes called Isaac at F1.9, 1/50 sec and ISO50.


The Sun

The Sun on the 14th May 2022 taken by member & trustee Simon Dawes. 

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Moon by Neil Webster – 5th & 7th May 2022

These two superb images of the Moon were captured by member Neil Webster on the 5th & 7th May 2022. 

Neil acquired the images using and Altair Astro 115mm triplet APO, EQ6 R mount, ZWO ASI290MM camera plus Astronomik R/IR filter.

Each image consists of 3 frames stitched: each 90s x 33fps….20% selected, aligned, stacked in AutoStakkert3 and processed in PS.

The Moon – 5th May 2022 – Waxing Crescent 19% and 4.23 days old.

The Moon – Moon 7th May – Waxing Crescent 36% and 6.02 days old.

The Moon – 8th May 2022

A lovely image of the Moon taken by Simon Dawes on the 8th May 2022 from Bexleyheath, Kent.

Details of how Simon acquired the image are on the photo.

Exoplanet KELT-23Ab by Simon Dawes

Another set of observations by Simon for the ExoClock project.  

KELT-23Ab was discovered using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT). 

The Sun – 8th & 9th May 2022 by Simon Dawes

Two more great images of our Sun on the 8th & 9th May 2022 by Simon Dawes and now up to Sunspot number AR3007.  

Sunspot AR3006 however is behaving a bit odd as described on  ”A MIXED-UP SUNSPOT: Sunspot AR3006 is having an identity crisis. It is supposed to have a +/- magnetic field. Mostly it does. But deep inside the sunspot’s primary core, the polarity is opposite: -/+…………….The mixture of magnetic polarities makes this sunspot interesting and dangerous. When opposite polarities bump together, it can light the fuse of magnetic reconnection–the explosive power source of solar flares. If AR3006 flares today, it will be geoeffective. The sunspot is directly facing Earth.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely.

The Sun 8th May 2022

The Sun 9th May 2022


Type 1a Supernova SN2022hrs in NGC 4647

An awesome capture by Simon Dawes of a Supernova called SN2022hrs in NGC 4647.

NGC 4647 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo.  Supernova SN2022hrs was discovered in the galaxy NGC4647 on the 16th April 2022 by astronomer Koichi Itagaki.  NGC 4647 is 63 million light years away, so, this star exploded 63 million years ago and it took that long for the light of the explosion to reach us.

Messier 60 (NGC 4649), an elliptical galaxy, is also in the image and it is in the centre of the frame and NGC 4647 is slightly down and to the right of it.  SN2022hrs looks like a bright star in front of the galaxy but it is actually an exploding star within the galaxy.