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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for April

Unfortunately with the country still in lockdown, the Godlee Observatory is still closed for the forseeable future. Why not join us instead for a 'Zoom' webchat, most Thursday evenings. See Facebook for details.

In the Sky for the next few weeks:-









The Moon

1st Quarter on the 20th

Full Moon on 27th

3rd Quarter on the 4th

New Moon on 12th

On the 27th the full moon will be 'Super', that is it will be at perigree (closed approach to Earth)

Planet(s) of the month: Mercury

Diameter: 4879 km 0.3825 Earths
Mass: 0.05527 Earths
Density: 5.45 g/cc (water=1)
Gravity: 0.378 G
Rotation Period: 58.65 days 58d 15h 30m Rotation Period: 1.03 days = 1d 00h 37m 23s



Mercury is the smallest and innermost planet in the Solar System. Its orbit around the Sun takes only 87.97 days, the shortest of all the planets in the Solar System. It is named after the Roman deity Mercury, the messenger of the gods.

Mercury will be at Superior conjunction on 10 April, re-emerging into a good evening position. Near Venus at the end of the month.

Constellation of the Month: Leo (shown 15th April 22:00)


Leo constellation lies in the northern sky. It is one of the zodiac constellations and one of the largest constellations in the sky.

Leo represents the lion and is usually associated with the Nemean lion in Greek mythology. Its symbol is ♌. The constellation was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century, along with all the other constellations of the zodiac.

Leo constellation is home to the bright stars Regulus and Denebola, the nearby star Wolf 359, and to a number of famous deep sky objects, among them galaxies Messier 65, Messier 66, Messier 95, Messier 96, Messier 105, and NGC 3628.

Leo is the 12th largest constellation in size, occupying an area of 947 square degrees. It is located in the second quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ2) and can be seen at latitudes between +90° and -65°. The neighboring constellations are Cancer, Coma Berenices, Crater, Hydra, Leo Minor, Lynx, Sextans, Ursa Major and Virgo.

M65, M66, NGC3628

M65, M66 & NGC3628 © Phil Swift

Meteor Showers

Lyrids. Apr 16 - Apr 25 (Peak Apr 22), ZHR 18

π-Puppids. Apr 15 - Apr 28 (Peak Apr 22), ZHR variable

η-Aquariids. Apr 19 - May 28 (Peak May 05), ZHR 40

MAS Society & MAS Facebook members' recent images

Here is a selection of some of the recent images from our members

Eskimo Nebula

Eskimo Nebula © Bob Stuart - 07/03/21

IC443 Jellyfish Nebula

IC443 Jellyfish Nebula © Phil Swift - 18/03/21

Leo Triplet

Leo Triplet © Clives Astro Photos - 08/03/21


M42 © Dave Garside - 08/03/21


M101 © Paul Richardson - 17/03/21




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