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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for August

In the Sky for the next few weeks:-

The Moon

New (Super) Moon on 1st

New (Black) Moon on 30th

1st Quarter on the 7th

3rd Quarter on the 23rd

Full (Sturgeon) Moon on 15th

A ‘Super’ New Moon takes place when the Moon is near its closest approach to Earth (Perigee).

The 2nd new moon in a month is popularly called a ‘Black moon’

Planet of the month


Diameter: 2302 km 0.1805 Earths
Mass: 0.002192 Earths
Density: 2.06 g/cc (water=1)
Gravity: 0.0673 G
Rotation Period: 6.39 days 6d 09h 17m 36s


© By NASA /
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory /
Southwest Research Institute - crop_p_color2_enhanced_release.png
(Converted to JPEG) (see also PIA19952}, Public Domain,


Although not strictly a planet since reclassification as a "Minor Planet" in 2006 (it is still a planet to those of us of a certain age!). Pluto is a fascinating place, only recently has it been able to study this ‘dwarf’ in detail, thanks to New Horizons.

Pluto has a close encounter with the moon on 12th Aug at 22:28 (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.8°). A good chance to capture them both in the same view?


Constellation of the Month: Pegasus (shown 15th August 23:00)


Pegasus constellation lies in the northern hemisphere. It is one of the largest constellations in the sky.

It was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The constellation was named after Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology.

The constellation is known for the Great Square of Pegasus, a familiar asterism in the northern sky, as well as for a number of bright stars and deep sky objects, among them Messier 15 (NGC 7078, Cumulo de Pegaso), Stephan’s Quintet of galaxies, the Einstein Cross (a gravitationally lensed quasar), and the unbarred spiral galaxy NGC 7742.


M15 (Pegasus Cluster) © June & Harry Blackburn

Meteor Showers

August hosts one of the meteor shower highlights of the year, the Perseid meteor shower which occurs in August every year as the earth passes through the debris left by comet Swift Tuttle.

This year the main shower runs from Fri 9 Aug – Wed 14 Aug 2019, with a peak on 13th August. Unfortunately this year the shower will be somewhat washed out by a nearly full moon.

However if you want to look for these find a nice dark bit of sky, sit back and look up. The meteors will originate from NE in the constellation Perseus.


Perseid Meteor Shower Origin


Perseid Meteor above Oast House 2017 © Alan Beech

Members Recent Images

A great season for Noctilucent clouds this year; here is a selection of iamges from our members


© Kevin Kilburn  - NLC  21-06-19


© Phil Swift - NLC 21-06-19


© Anthony Cross - NLC 21-06-19


© Mike Oates - NLC 27-06-19



© Mark Forbes - Jupiter 21-06-19

Solar Graph

© Alan Beech - Solar Graph Dec 2018 to Jun 2019


© Leonardo Bongallino - Sun 27-06-19

Godlee Events August 2019

The MAS will be represented at the Manchester Science & Industry Museum, for their ‘The Sun’ special event on August 17th & 18th :


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