Translate this page ►►
Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for October

The Godlee Observatory re-opened to Members on 23rd September. There are still a few things to do to get the Godlee back to "normal", so we are asking that non-members hold off their visit for a few more weeks, please.

In the Sky for the next few weeks (images taken at 10pm on 15th):-









The Moon

New Moon on 6th

1st Quarter on the 13th

Full Moon on 20th

3rd Quarter on the 28th

(Dwarf) Planet of the month: Eris

Diameter: 2326 km
Mass: Unknown
Density: Unknown
Gravity: Unknown
Rotation Period: 25.9hr
Distance: 68 AU



We don't often look at the Dwarf planets, but with Eris at opposition this month, here's an ideal time to look at this Dwarf Planet. Eris is one of the largest known dwarf planets in our solar system. It's about the same size as Pluto but is three times farther from the Sun.

At first, Eris appeared to be larger than Pluto. This triggered a debate in the scientific community that led to the International Astronomical Union's decision in 2006 to clarify the definition of a planet. Pluto, Eris, and other similar objects are now classified as dwarf planets.

Eris will reach opposition when it lies opposite to the Sun in the sky. Lying in the constellation Cetus, it will be visible for much of the night, reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight local time. However, even with a large telescope, this will appear to be no more than a 'star point'.

From Manchester, it will be visible between 22:00 and 04:29. It will become accessible around 22:00, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above your south-eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 01:15, 35° above your southern horizon. It will become inaccessible around 04:29 when it sinks below 21° above your south-western horizon.

Constellation of the Month: Cetus (shown 15th October 00:00)


Cetus (The Whale) was named after the sea monster from the Greek myth about Andromeda. In the myth, the princess was sacrificed to the monster as punishment for her mother Cassiopeia’s boastfulness. The constellation Cetus lies in the region of the sky called the Water, along with several other constellations with names evocative of water: Eridanus (the river), Aquarius (the water bearer), Pisces (the fish), etc. It was catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.

Cetus has 14 stars with known planets and contains one Messier object, Messier 77 (M77, NGC 1068). The brightest star in the constellation is Diphda (Beta Ceti). There are three meteor showers associated with Cetus: the October Cetids, the Eta Cetids, and the Omicron Cetids.

Cetus is the fourth largest constellation in the sky, occupying an area of 1231 square degrees. It is one of the 15 equatorial constellations. It lies in the first quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ1) and can be seen at latitudes between +70° and -90°. The neighbouring constellations are Aquarius, Aries, Eridanus, Fornax, Pisces, Sculptor, and Taurus.

Messier 77

Copyright - NASA, ESA & A. van der Hoeven

Meteor Showers

Draconids - 7-11th Oct (Peak 8th / 9th) - ZHR Variable

Orionids - 1st Oct - 6th Nov (Peak 21st / 22nd) - ZHR 15

MAS Society & MAS Facebook members' recent images

Here is a selection of some of the recent images from our members, there are far more excellent pictures on our Facebook page & in the Image Gallery section of this website; check them out.

M16 Eagle Nebula

M16 Eagle Nebula © Alan Griffiths - 09/09/21


M106 © Bob Stuart - 10/09/21

Milky Way

Milky Way © Martyn Jones - 08/09/21


Saturn © Tara-Elizabeth Hewitt - 16/09/21




NWGAS logo   BAA logo   Lottery logo   University of Manchester logo   FAS logo   SHA logo   CfDS   MAS Facebook   Share on Twitter