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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for February

Manchester University have kindly provided a new room for us to meet on a Thursday 7-9pm whilst the Godlee Observatory building is under reconstruction. 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 that have provided their car reg number ONLY - please use the University car park just off Dover Street.

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









The Moon

New Moon on 9th

1st Quarter on the 16th

Full Moon on 24th

3rd Quarter on the 2nd

The full moon in February will be a 'Super Moon' (when the Full Moon or New Moon occurs near the Moon's closest approach to Earth, its perigee).

Planet of the month: Jupiter

Diameter: 142984 km 11.21 Earths
Mass: 317.8 Earths
Density: 1.24 g/cc (water=1)
Gravity: 2.53 G
Rotation Period: 0.41 days 0d 09h 55m


© Alan Beech

On 15th Feb, the Moon and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 2°53' of each other. The Moon will be 6 days old.

From Manchester, the pair will become visible at around 17:39 (GMT), 49° above the southern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. They will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 00:14. The Moon will be at mag -11.6; and Jupiter will be at mag -2.3. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aries.

Constellation of the Month: Monoceros (shown 15th February 22:00)


Monoceros constellation lies in the northern sky, on the celestial equator. Its name means “unicorn” in Latin. Monoceros was introduced by the Dutch astronomer and cartographer Petrus Plancius from the observations of Dutch navigators in the 17th century. The constellation represents the mythical single-horned, horse-like creature.

Monoceros is a relatively faint constellation, containing only a few fourth magnitude stars, but it is nevertheless home to several notable stars: the famous variables S Monocerotis, R Monocerotis, and V838 Monocerotis, Plaskett’s Star, which is one of the most massive binary stars known, and the triple star Beta Monocerotis.

Monoceros also contains several interesting deep sky objects: the open cluster Messier 50 (NGC 2323), the Rosette Nebula, the Christmas Tree Cluster, the Cone Nebula, and Hubble’s Variable Nebula, among others.

Monoceros is the 35th constellation in size, occupying an area of 482 square degrees. It is located in the second quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ2) and can be seen at latitudes between +75° and -90°. The neighboring constellations are Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini, Hydra, Lepus, Orion and Puppis.

Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula © Dave Garside

Meteor Showers this month

There are no notable meteor showers during February

MAS Society & MAS Facebook members' recent images

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

California Nebula

California Nebula © Phil Masding - 19/01/24


Horsehead Nebula © Martyn Jones - 17/01/24


NGC281 © Dave Garside - 07/01/24

Orion Nebula

Orion Nebula © Sonia Turkington 15/01/24




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