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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for September

Manchester University have kindly provided a new room for us to meet on a Thursday 7-9pm whilst the Godlee Observatory building is under regeneration. We will be holding our meeting in the Blackett Lecture Theatre, Schuster Building, Brunswick Park, University of Manchester Main Campus (between Oxford Road & Upper Brook Street). Members: Please use the University car park just off Dover Street (You must have registered your car's numberplate beforehand - see AWC).

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









The Moon

3rd Quarter on the 6th

New Moon on 15th

1st Quarter on the 22nd

Full Moon on 29th

Planet of the month: Neptune

Diameter: 49528 km 3.883 Earths
Mass: 17.15 Earths
Density: 1.62 g/cc (water=1)
Gravity: 1.14 G
Rotation Period: 0.67 days = 0d 16h 06m 36s



This incredible image of Neptune's rings comes from the JWST NIRCam in the near-infrared range from 0.6 to 5 microns. Image taken in Sept 2022.

Neptune will reach opposition this month on the 19th September, when it lies opposite to the Sun in the sky. Lying in the constellation Pisces, it will be visible for much of the night, reaching its highest point in the sky around midnight local time.

From Manchester, it will be visible between 22:01 and 04:09. It will become accessible around 22:01, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above our south-eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 01:05, 33° above our southern horizon. It will become inaccessible around 04:09 when it sinks below 21° above our south-western horizon.

Constellation of the Month: Andromeda (shown 15th September 22:00)


The Andromeda constellation is located in the northern sky, between Cassiopeia’s W asterism and the Great Square of Pegasus.

The constellation was named after the mythical princess Andromeda, the wife of the Greek hero Perseus. It is also known as the Chained Maiden, Persea (wife of Perseus), or Cepheis (daughter of Cepheus). Andromeda was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.

Among other notable deep sky objects, Andromeda constellation contains the famous Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31) and the dwarf elliptical galaxies Messier 32 (Le Gentil) and Messier 110

Andromeda is the 19th largest constellation in the sky, occupying an area of 722 square degrees. It is located in the first quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ1).

In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of King Cepheus of Ethiopia and Queen Cassiopeia, who offended the Nereids (sea nymphs) by claiming she was more beautiful than they were.

The nymphs complained to the sea god Poseidon and he sent a sea monster, Cetus, to flood and destroy Cepheus’ lands as punishment for his wife’s boastfulness. When the king sought advice from the Oracle of Ammon on how to prevent complete destruction of his lands, he was told that the only way to appease the gods and nymphs was to sacrifice his daughter to Cetus. Subsequently, Andromeda was chained to a rock and would have been left to the monster if Perseus had not come along and saved her. The two were later married and had six children, including Gorgophonte, who fathered Tyndareus, the famous Spartan king, and Perses, who was an ancestor of the Persians.

In the story, it was the goddess Athena who commemorated the princess Andromeda by placing her image among the stars, next to the constellations representing her husband Perseus and mother Cassiopeia.


Copyright - Phil Swift ©

Meteor Showers this month

There are no notable meteor showers this month

MAS Society & MAS Facebook members' recent images

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


Moon © Sonia Turkinton - 20/08/23


NGC6960 ©Clive's Astro Photos 17/08/23


Saturn © Steve Faulder 16/08/23


Sun © Phil Masding - 10/08/23




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