20 March 2015 - 86% partial solar eclipse visible from Bristol

A date for your diary: mid-morning on 20 March 2015. Weather permitting, there is a chance to see an 86% partial solar eclipse from Bristol. BAS hope to run a couple of morning events in and around Bristol city centre, with special solar-viewing telescopes and projection screens. Check this website for details closer to the date. In the meatime you can find more information on EarthSky.org.

26-27 January 2015 - Asteroid 2004 BL86 fly-by

Monday 26 January: Here's a good opportunity so see a 'mountain-sized' asteroid for yourselves with either a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope. It will fly past the Earth at a distance of 750,000 miles (three-times as far as the moon) and to Earthbound observers we'll see it move at 2-degrees per hour. As a rough guide, the moon appears to us as half a degree-of-arc across, so asteroid 2004 BL86 will appear to travel 4-moon-diameters per hour.

There are good star charts and observing guides available in Astronomy Now and EarthSky.org.

This event is typical of how dynamic astronomy can be. The whole fly-by will occur over one night only and with patience, over a few minutes, you should actually see this object move!

April 2014: Mars is back!

Mars reached opposition on April 8 and makes its closest approach to Earth this week in more than 6 years.  To help you see Mars for yourself, One-Minute Astronomer has published a guide on how to understand and observe the planet Mars during its opposition in 2014.  In this 26-page guide to the planet Mars, you will discover...

  • Where and when to see Mars this month (Hint: Look east at 10 p.m... you can't miss it)
  • Mars basics: the size, geography, and surface features of this captivating world
  • A history of observing Mars, including the well-meaning but dead-wrong observation of the evidence of life on Mars by a wealthy 19th-century amateur astronomer
  • What the "opposition of Mars" means and why this is the best time in more than 6 years to see the Red Planet
  • The ideal eyepieces and telescopes for observing Mars
  • The one essential color filter for detecting detail on the Martian surface with a small telescope
  • The major features to look for on the Martian surface, as well as smaller features just at the limit of perception in a small telescope in good sky
  • And a fair bit more...

Here's the link to the page where you can download the guide...




February 2014: Take Note Amateur Astrophotographers!

BAS has recently been contacted by Steve Lindon who promotes the free online "Amateur Astrophotography" magazine. A first glance at this 61 page web first edition suggests plenty of useful tips and stories of interest for those of you with an astro-photography interest. Check out future editions at:


We will add this one to our Resources page for future reference.

October 2013: Sky at Night Reprieved!

The BBC has confirmed that The Sky at Night will continue next year. The show will move to a new monthly half-hour slot on BBC Four from February 2014, with repeats on BBC Two.

It follows an online campaign to save the BBC One series, with a petition signed by more than 52,000 people.

Thanks to all those BAS members that signed the petition. 

October 2013: Save The Sky at Night!

You may be aware that there are suggestions that BBC may be about to axe The Sky at Night in December 2013. It goes without saying that the BBC has not separately indicated how else they would take astronomy forward so it is vitally important that the Sky at Night - which has transitioned well after the sad death of Sir Patrick Moore - is given time to bed down.

A e-petition has therefore been started by Karen Barker and we at BAS applaud her efforts. A link to this can be found HERE. Please support!

October 2013: One Day Imaging Masterclass from Sky at Night (Nov 12th)

Sky at Night Magazine is organising a masterclass on November 12th in astro-photography at the Bristol Science Centre @Bristol. Further details can be found HERE

October 2013: One Day Meeting on Comets (London 20th Oct)

Astronomy Now magazine is holding a one day meeting on Comets on 20th Oct in London to coincide with interest around Comet ISON. See HERE for details.