Scruton Sky at Night
by Peter Williams
Whilst there is always something happening in the night skies, March will be relatively quiet from a viewing point.
There are planets-a-plenty throughout 2022 and in February, Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, will be visible in the night sky above the first-quarter Moon on the 7th of the month.
On 7 January the planet Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation, which means that it appears to us to be in the furthest part of its orbit from the Sun.
This month there will be a magnificent parade of planets after dark.
The constellation of Orion (The Hunter) is a familiar sight during winter months and is a fine spectacle in the southern sky as it climbs up around midnight.
A New Moon on 6 Oct. means a dark, clear sky compared with the Full Moon on 20 Oct. which will impede viewing, due to its brightness.
Skies are gradually getting darker, and a New Moon on 7 September means there will be a better opportunity to view the sky since there will be no moonlight to interfere.
The night skies are still very light, making celestial viewing difficult. But with the passing of the Summer Solstice in June we will be gradually getting shorter days and hence darker nights.
The main event in June should not cause a problem, and this is the partial solar eclipse on 10 June. This will be the largest eclipse in the UK for the last 6 years
After spending the winter months of 2020-21 as a ‘Morning Star’, Venus will emerge into the post-sunset western sky as an ‘Evening Star’ from April.