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.

The Sun – 6th May 2022

The latest image of the Sun taken by Simon Dawes. 

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

Comet C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) by Simon Dawes

A fantastic image of Comet C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) in Gemini taken by Simon Dawes on the 24th April 2022 from Bexleyheath in Kent. 

Simon has included detail about how and when he acquired the image on the photo below showing the comet which is the fuzzy round shape in the centre of the image.

Comet C/2019 L3 (ATLAS) was discovered on the 9th of June 2019 by the ATLAS program.

Jupiter & Venus Conjunction 2022 by Richard Bohner

Whilst CMHASD member views of Venus & Jupiter from the UK were blocked by cloud, two superb images of Venus & Jupiter were captured in the early morning skies of the 28th & 30th April 2022 by member Richard Bohner in Arizona, USA.

The first image taken on the 28th at 04:30 MST was acquired using a Canon 6D, ISO 500 and an 8 second exposure time.  Jupiter is on the left and Venus on the right and only 2.3 degrees apart.

The second image, taken on the 30th at 05:00 MST (using a Canon 6D, ISO 500 and a 6 second exposure time) shows Venus & Jupiter appearing even closer together, in fact very close. The planets were separated by the same angular distance as a full moon: about 1/2 degree!!!  Three moons of Jupiter; Ganymede, Io and Callisto can also be seen in the 2nd image. 

The Venus-Jupiter conjunction happens about once a year but this year the two planets appeared closer than they usually do. The last time the two planets were closer than this year’s conjunction was in August 2016 but it was more difficult to see since they were closer to the sun.  The next time they will get this close is in 2039.

Jupiter & Venus 28th April 2022

Jupiter & Venus 30th April 2022

Although Venus and Jupiter appear next to each other in the sky they are nowhere near each other in space. The actual orbit of the planets is around 430 million miles apart (690 million km) nearly five times the Earth–sun distance!

You can also understand why the ancients called planets wanderers too.

Rainbows – not 1, not 2 but 3! captured by Martin Crow

Oh my word, what a fortunate man member Martin Crow was last evening whilst out Kayaking on the river near Burnham on Crouch in Essex.  Martin got to witness something very rare and absolutely stunning; 3 rainbows together!!!  Two rainbows are often seen by people but 3 rainbows or the beginnings of a 3rd is a rare sight to see. 

Luckily Martin captured this special event on his phone, see below and member Honor Wheeler explained the 3rd rainbow  ”It’s a reflection of the main rainbow from the water reflecting back into the sky.  A reflection bow. Super capture lucky you”.

The Sun by Simon Dawes

The Sun on the 30th April 2022 taken by Simon Dawes.  As you can see the Sun was still ‘active’ re sunspots on that day.

As of today (5th May) we are now up to AR3006 and in the past 24 hours sunspot AR3004 has produced over 18 solar flares (15+ C-class flares and 3 M-flares). 

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

The Sun on the 30th April 2022

Mercury & M45 by Richard Bohner

Planet Mercury at the bottom & M45 (The Pleiades) above right taken on the 28th April 2022 at 2015 local time MST in Arizona, USA.  Richard acquired this splendid image using a Canon 6D, 400mm tele f2.8, ISO 800 and 12 second exp.

WASP-92b by Simon Dawes

The latest set of observations by Simon for the ExoClock project of the exoplanet WASP-92b which orbits its parent star WASP-92, an F7 star, every 2.17 days.

Deep Sky imaging by Dr. Mike Rushton

Dr. Mike Rushton took advantage of some clear skies recently (25th April 2022) and took these 3 super deepsky images using his eVscope of Messier 13, Messier 51 and the Bow Tie Nebula.

Messier 13 (M13) also designated NGC 6205 and also called the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules and the Hercules Globular Cluster, is a globular cluster of a several hundred thousand stars in the constellation of Hercules.


Messier 51, known as The Whirlpool Galaxy and as Messier 51a, M51a, and NGC 5194, is a spiral galaxy found in the constellation Canes Venatici,  M51 was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy and is 31 million light-years away from Earth.


The Bow Tie Nebula also designated NGC 40 and Caldwell 2 is a planetary nebula discovered by William Herschel in 1788.  It is composed of hot gas around a dying star. The nebula gets its name from the fact it has an intriguing bow-tie shape.

CMHASD’s 60th Anniversary Dinner

The 30th November 2021 was Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford’s 60th Anniversary however due to Covid the society was unable to celebrate at that time. Roll on to the 23rd April 2022 and we finally managed to have our 60th Anniversary celebratory dinner at The Boathouse, Danson Park, Bexleyheath. 

Member Diane Clarke wrote ‘From the early evening of Saturday the 23rd of April 2022, a dinner was held at the Boathouse Danson Park to belatedly celebrate the Societies 60th anniversary.

Several members and their families came along but unfortunately our numbers were somewhat depleted due to some members and their families succumbing to summer colds and Covid.

But in spite of this we had a very enjoyable evening regaling each other with memories and tales of various Society lectures, social gatherings and outings, including our last summer barbeque. There was also talk about holding another barbeque later this year.

These photos give a flavour of the evening’s events that included a presentation from the Societies president Mr John Archer that included a look back at the Societies 50th Anniversary meal.

As can be seen John gave his speech to an appreciative audience.

Eventually we had to leave so everybody got together for the group photo, and with the evening’s festivities coming to a close we left in good spirits.

With several members deciding to continue the evening‘s festivities at another establishment.’


Below is a slideshow of photos taken by Diane Clarke & John Archer of the evening.

The society would like to thank Diane Clarke, John Archer and Malcolm Gough for organising the event and to Diane & John for sharing their photos.



Sunspots AR2993 & AR2994 by Kevin Langford

Superb close up of Sunspots AR2993 & AR2994 captured by member Kevin Langford on the 24th April 2022 using ASI385mc, SW 130 Reflector on a SW Adventure tracker mount. Using SharpCap, Autostakkert 2 and PS.

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

Spotty Sun

More sunspots!!!!

Now up to AR2999 and counting as there is now a new very active region of sunspots appearing on the Sun as of today which have yet to be given an AR number. 

This new source of solar activity has so far been of C-class explosions which have in the past 24 hours hurled at least two CMEs into space. We (Earth) are not yet in the line of fire but as the active region rotates toward facing our planet things could change……

Simon Dawes captured these 2 white light image of the Sun on the 24th & 26th April 2022.

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

The Sun on the 24th April 2022

The Sun on the 26th April 2022

Active Sun

And they keep coming………more sunspots appearing on the Sun as captured by Simon Dawes on the 23rd April 2022.  Now up to sunspot AR 2996 on Simon’s image below but as of 24th April – sunspot AR 2997 has put in an appearance.

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

The Sun by Simon Dawes

Nice to see some sunspots on the Sun and there are quite a few visible at the moment as Simon Dawes shows in his recent images taken of the Sun on the 20th & 21st April 2022.  NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY. Please click here for solar observing safely. 

Sunspot complex AR2993-94 is crackling away with M-class solar flares and did directly face Earth a day later. They are ‘big’ sunspots too.  The two dark cores are as large as Earth and a magnetic filament attached to one of the cores is more than 100,000 km long.

Sun on 20th April 2022

Sun on 21st April 2022

Sunspots are caused by magnetic disruptions of the visible photosphere of the sun which exposes the relatively cooler layers underneath – appearing as a black spot. 

The sun’s magnetic entanglements and disentanglement happen in 11-year cycles with each solar cycle having phases of low and high activity. Solar activity cycles have been numbered since 1775, when extensive recording of sunspot activity began.

We are currently in Solar Cycle 25, which has yet to reach its peak. The current cycle is expected to reach its maximum activity in late 2024 or early 2025, this means we may see more and bigger sunspots.

BAA Picture of the Week – Diane Clarke

Congratulations to member Diane Clarke for one of her images being selected for ‘Picture of the Week’ by the BAA (British Astronomical Association). 

The image that was chosen is called ‘Eclipsed Moon Rising’ and is a composite of 14 images taken between 8.17 – 8.26pm of the full Moon as it was rising above a distant horizon – see below.  There was a band of cloud that drifted across as Diane waited and as the Moon started to rise the cloud bank obscured parts of the moon as it climbed into the sky.  

Absolutely stunning………

Click the following link to be taken to the BAA Picture of the Week page of their website where you will find more detail about Diane’s image.

Pink Moon – 16th April 2022

On the night before Easter, the sky will look a little more “pink” due to the full Moon.

This is because the 1st full moon of the spring season is known as the Pink Moon and the name derives from a pink flower called phlox subulata that blooms in spring in North America.

While the moon itself won’t actually be pink, you might notice a slight change in its colour, depending on what time you viewed it on the 16th April 2022.

Members Jim Burchell, Diane Clarke and John Howarth all captured the full Moon last night on the 16th April 2022 as it rose, which appeared as a glorious ‘pink’ colour due to taking the photos whilst the Sun was still setting.

All photos were taken from locations in North Kent.


Below is the Pink Moon rising by Jim Burchell


Photo below is by Diane Clarke


Photo below is by John Howarth


For more information about the Pink Moon, click on the link and you will be taken to a new site


Winchester 2022

BAA Winchester Weekend

2022 Apr 8 – 2022 Apr 10

A grand total of 16 members from CMHASD attended the weekend and a good time was had by all.  There was observing on both nights too and a superb presentation to the BAA by 2 CMHASD members.

Below is some information about the weekend from the BAA website, followed by a slideshow of the first submission of photos taken by members as well as Marc Gray & Pauline Philips of the BAA.


Programme of the weekend

Friday April 8

15.00 – 18.00 Reception – book in at Westley Court
19.00 Dinner
20.15 Welcome and Introduction – Alan Dowdell
Multi-messenger Astronomy – Dr Matthew Malek (University of Sheffield)
21.30 Observing if clear or adjourn to the bar

Saturday April 9

07.30 – 09.00 Breakfast
09.15 Pete and Paul’s Astronomical Challenges 2022 – Dr Paul Abel & Pete Lawrence (BAA)
10.00 Measuring Comets – Nick James (BAA Comet Section Director)
10.30 Observing Mercury – Chris Hooker (BAA Mercury Coordinator)
11.15 Coffee/Tea break
11.45 BAA Archives: Past, Present and Future – John Chuter (BAA Archivist)
12.30 Break – time to visit sales stands
13.00 Lunch
14.15 Lunar Section meeting (Organiser: Dr Tony Cook, BAA Lunar Section Director)
14:15 Overview of the BAA Lunar Section’s Activities – Dr Tony Cook (Lunar Section Acting Director)
14:30 Lunar Impact Flashes and How to Observe Them – Dr Tony Cook
15:00 Lunar Geology – Old Lunar Questions Revisited? – Barry Fitz Gerald (Lunar Circulars Editor)
15:30 Tea break
16:00 Lunar Occultations from a Personal Perspective – Tim Haymes (Lunar Occultations Coordinator)
16:30 New Space Missions and the Prospect for Future Low Cost Lunar Exploration – Nick James
17:00 Question Panel Session
17:15 End
18.00 Dinner
19.30 The Alfred Curtis Lecture
Exploring the Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope
Dr Stephen Wilkins (Sussex University)
21.00 Observing if clear or adjourn to the bar

Sunday April 10

07.30 – 09.00 Breakfast
09.15 Can you successfully 3D print a Spectrograph? – Tony Rodda (BAA)
10.00 Observing the aurorae of the giant planets with the James Webb Space Telescope
Dr Henrik Melin (Leicester University)
10.45 Coffee/Tea break
11.30 Monsters in the dark: the formation of the first stars in the Universe
Dr Paul Clark (Cardiff University)
12.30 Break – please return room keys to the reception desk
13.00 Lunch
14.15 Members’ session
Your opportunity to talk briefly about what you’ve been doing during the past year
16.00 Coffee/Tea and Goodbyes

We will not be able to live stream or record the lectures.

Organiser: Ann Davies


Sparsholt College, Westley Lane, Sparsholt, Hampshire, S021 2NF

Sunrise & Sunset by Jim Burchell

I could not resist posting these 3 beautiful photos taken by Jim Burchell of our Sun. They were taken on the 16th April 2022 from Dartford and show our glorious Sun rising and setting.

A Sun rising…………










A Sun setting, so beautiful……..

Dick Chambers & Malcom Gough 2006

A lovely photograph of Dick Chambers with Malcom Gough taken at Winchester back in 2006 by Keith Rickard.

The Moon by Neil Webster

Neil has been busy and produced these two beautiful images of the Moon.

The image below was taken on the 8th April 2022 from Kent.

The image below was taken on the 13th April 2022 from Kent.

For a more detailed view of these images and more photos of the Moon see Neil’s flickr page at

WASP-113b by Simon Dawes

The latest exoplanet transit from Simon Dawes for the ExoClock project.  WASP 113 is a 11.7 magnitude star and Exoplanet WASP- 113b orbits it every 4.5days with a drop of 10/1000ths of a magnitude.  WASP 113 is a G type star of 1.3 Solar Masses and the exoplanet WASP-113b is half the mass of Jupiter.

Crayford members have now contributed 110 light curves.


Crescent Moon by Jim Burchell

Two beautiful photos by Jim Burchell of a crescent Moon both taken with an Olympus E-M10 Mark on the evening of 02/02/22.
The first photo is of the crescent Moon and Jupiter.  40mm F4.0 1/40 sec  Iso 800.
The second photo is of the crescent Moon and a wind turbine.  150mm F5.6 1/13 sec Iso 800.

The Sun – 3rd April 2022

A superb image of an ‘active’ Sun by Simon Dawes taken from Bexleyheath. Details of how Simon took the photo are on the image.

ISS pass on 25th March 2022 by Jim Burchell

On the evening of the 25th March 2022 there was a bright pass of the ISS.  Jim Burchell managed to capture 2 image’s of the ISS pass at 19.47.51- 19.52.51. Image’s taken with a pentax K70.

The 1st image shows the ISS passing the star Capella in the constellation Auriga.  F7.0  20″ 18mm iso 800.


The 2nd image shows the ISS passing the constellation Ursa Major – top left. F9.0 20″ 18mm iso 800.

Solar Halo by Jim Burchell

A stunning Solar Halo was sighted & captured by Jim Burchell whilst visiting Eynsford Castle on the 28th Jan 2022. 

All image’s where taken with an Olympus E-M10 Mark ll. 
Image 1: 163046 jpg  F11  1/2000s 14 mm  iso320
Image 2:102145 jpg  F11 1/3200s 14 mm iso 320
Image 3:20220128jpg F11 1/3200s 14mm iso 320
Image One
Image Two
Image Three

SN2022ewj in NGC3367

Supernova SN 2022ewj in galaxy NGC 3367 taken by Simon Dawes on the 23 Mar 2022 from Bexleyheath. 

Details of how Simon acquired this superb image is on the photo. 

NGC 3367 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Leo. It is located at a distance of around 120 million light years from Earth, which, given its apparent dimensions, means that NGC 3367 is about 85,000 light years across. The galaxy was discovered by William Herschel on March 19, 1784

Mag 15.5, SN 2022ewj was discovered on the 19th March 2022 by Koichi Itagaki and is a type II Supernova.  This is the 6th supernova to be observed in NGC3367 over the last 30 odd years.

Not the easiest of objects to image from the London Borough of Bexley!

Exoplanet KPS-1b observations by Simon Dawes

Another for the ExoClock project……

KPS-1b orbits a star similar to the Sun with a period of 40 hours.

The mass and size of the exoplanet KPS-1b are close to the characteristics of Jupiter, but it is located very close to its parent star so the temperature of the atmosphere KPS-1b is much higher than that of Jupiter.

The discovery was made by the prototype Kourovka Planet Search (KPS) project, which used wide-field CCD data gathered by amateur astronomers using readily available and relatively affordable equipment with astronomers from Belgium, USA, England, France, the Netherlands, Turkey, Portugal, Lithuania, Italy and Canada contributing. 

The night Simon did the observations for KPS – 1b Simon said ”the transparency was low – when I left the society meeting you could see the water particles in the air in the headlamp and under the street lights, so I’m pleased I got anything at all!” 

Exoplanets WASP-148b & HAT-P-44b observations

Simon Dawes has been busy again with his exoplanet observations for the ExoClock project. Below are his observations.

Exoplanet HAT-P-44b was discovered in 2013 by the HATNet transit survey. Its mass is 0.39 mass of Jupiter and has an orbital period of 4.3 days.

Of Exoplanet WASP -148b Simon said ”This is a 11.8 magnitude star and the dip is 8 thousandths of a magnitude – I think it must be one of the most challenging to observe with my 8″ telescope, but the conditions were obviously good and I got this fit very quickly (this is the one I said at last night’s meeting that I hadn’t submitted because I wanted to see if I could improve – this is the improved reduction) .  WASP 148b is a hot Jupiter, there is another planet in this system (WASP 148c with a 35 day orbit) and the gravitational tug of the outer planet (WASP-148c) perturbs the orbit of the hot Jupiter WASP-148b”



The Sun – 25th March 2022

A lovely image of the Sun showing 3 sunspots taken by Simon Dawes on the morning of the 25th March 2022 from Bexleyheath. Details of how Simon acquired the image is on the photo.


ISS pass – 23rd March 2022

A superb composite image showing part of tonight’s bright 19.46 International Space Station (ISS) pass taken by Diane Clarke.
Diane said ‘This is a composite image consisting of 3 x 10 sec images.  I missed the start of the pass due to local roof lines obscuring my view but did manage to capture the 3 images that I put together to create this composite image.  The gaps are due to the self timer to reduce/remove camera shake.’
Diane used a Canon M50m2 Tripod Mounted Sigma 18-250mm lens @ 18mm  f4.5 10 sec @ ISO 100 to acquire the images.

The Sun – 23rd March 2022

Another great image of the Sun by Simon Dawes taken today from Bexleyheath. Details of how the image was acquired is written on the photo. Three sunspot groups are visible.

The Sun – 18th March 2022

A very nice image of the Sun with sun spots taken by Simon Dawes on the morning of the 18th March 2022 from Bexleyheath. Taken using a Baader solar safety filter, skywatcher 190mn telescope, ZWO ASI1600mm pro CMOS camera, mesu e200 MkII mount and sharpcap pro image capture software.

Lunar Halo – 15th March 2022

A beautiful Lunar Halo last night photographed by members Jim Burchell and Gary Hunt.

Jim’s photo above was taken around 9.30pm and Gary’s photo below at 11.30pmish.

Exoplanet TOI-1298b observations by Martin Crow

These are the latest exoplanet observations by Martin Crow.

TOI-1298 b is a gas giant exoplanet that orbits a G-type star TOI -1298 in the constellation of Ursa Minor.  Its mass is 0.356 Jupiters.  It takes 4.5 days to complete one orbit of its star and is 0.059 AU from its star. TOI-1298 b was discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) observatory, in 2021-09.

Martin wrote ”The observations were done as part of the ExoClock synchronous observations group. This particular transit has a depth of <5 thousandths of a magnitude!! To get useful data for this target would require a telescope diameter of at least 400mm or greater. My telescope at 235mm is too small although the dip is clearly detectable buried in the noise. The aim of the project is to combine three or more data sets from similar sized small instruments taken on the same night to increase the accuracy to that achievable with a bigger telescope. This method will help to make otherwise impossible targets viable for the majority of instruments registered on the ExoClock project.”

Diane Clarke’s The Moon & M45 The Pleiades on the 8th March 2022

A lovely image of the Moon 4.1° south of M45 taken on the 8th March 2022 by Diane Clarke.
Diane said ”I had my doubts about capturing this event due to the cloud forecast, but there were breaks starting to appear as 19.00 hrs approached, so I went to set up but there was a strong breeze forcing me to find a sheltered spot to stop my equipment suffering wind blast, the breeze was also making the clouds scud across the sky very quickly.  So much so that any breaks in the cloud could disappear as quickly as they appeared the image was taken in one of these short lived break’s in the cloud cover.
Image Details: Camera EOS M50m2 using a 100mm Canon EF Lens.
2.5 sec’s @ f5.6, ISO 2000, on a static tripod, with a 2 sec delay to remove camera shake.

Neil Webster’s Moon 7th March 2022

A spectacular image of the Moon by Neil Webster; taken on the 7th March 2022.

Waxing Crescent Moon, 23%, 4.72 days

4 frames stitched (each 44fps x 75, 20% stacked in AutoStakkert) and then processed in PS.


Below is 1 image taken from the above stitch of 4.

For a more detailed view of these images see Neil’s flickr page at

22 day old Moon by Simon Dawes

Latest super image by Simon Dawes of a 22 day old Moon taken on the 23rd Feb 2022 in Bexleyheath.

Rosette Nebula in Ha by Kevin Langford

This is the latest stunning deep sky image by member Kevin Langford of the Rosette Nebula (Caldwell 49, NGC 2237) in Ha. Taken on the 26th Feb 2022 in Bexley, Kent using ES 102ED APO, EQ5 Pro, ZWO ASI071, Orion MMAG and Ha filter.

3Hrs of exposures.

To see this image in more detail and to see Kevin’s other superb astro images check out his flickr page at

Latest deep sky images from Neil Webster

Member Neil Webster has done it again and produced 2 fantastic deep sky images. 

The first image is of NGC 2264 Cone Nebula Xmas Tree Cluster.  Taken on Feb 24th 2022.

AA115mm APO, EQ6 R, ZWO ASI294MC Pro, Orion 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO ASI290MM, Optolong L Enhance Filter.

63 x 240s Lights, 15 x Darks, 50 x Flats/Bias

St Marys Platt, Kent

This is a vast star forming region with H gas excited by young O, B stars.


The second image is of  NGC 2024 “Flame Nebula”, IC 434, B33 “Horsehead “, and NGC 2023, Alnitak.  Taken on the 26th Feb 2022

AA115mm APO, EQ6 R, ZWO ASI294MC, Orion 50mm guide scope, ZWO ASI290MM

APT, PHD, Nebulosity, Photoshop

56 x 240s Lights, 15 x Darks, 50 x Flats/Bias

St Marys Platt, Kent.

Check out Neil’s flickr page at for a more detailed view of these images and the many others he has done!

Exoplanet Qatar 8b

Another exoplanet transit observed by Simon Dawes of Qatar 8b for the ExoClock project. Qatar-8b is just over a third of Jupiter’s mass (0.37) and is considered a “hot Saturn.” It takes less than four days to orbit its star, which is about 900 light-years from Earth.
Simon said it was a tricky one to process, but the result came out very well with a depth almost identical to the published data. Well done Simon.

Star Count 2022

All citizen scientists we need you!

Take part in Star Count 2022 (26th Feb 2022 to 6th March 2022) organised by The Countryside Charity and British Astronomical Association. Click image below for more information.

Star Count 2022 is happening!