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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for October

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









The Moon

New Moon on 25th

1st Quarter on the 3rd

Full Moon on 9th

3rd Quarter on the 17th

Planet of the month:(Dwarf Panet) 136199 Eris

Diameter: Unknown
Mass: Unknown
Density: Unknown
Gravity: Unknown
Orbital Period: 562.23 years


Artist's Impression

Eris (136199 Eris) is the ninth-most massive object known to orbit the Sun, and the second-largest dwarf planet in the Solar System. Discovered on January 5th, 2005 by Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz at the Palomar Observatory, Eris was first thought to be larger than Pluto, and called the Solar System's 10th planet.

Uncertainty over the new object's size and status led the International Astronomical Union to delegate a team of astronomers to prepare a precise definition of the term "planet". On August 24, 2006 the IAU defined a planet as: an object in orbit around the Sun, massive enough to assume hydrostatic equilibrium, and to have cleared its orbit of other objects. As both Eris and Pluto fail to meet this definition, they are now officially considered to be dwarf planets.

136199 Eris will reach opposition on 17th October, 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. From Manchester, it will be 'visible' between 21:53 and 04:26. It will become accessible around 21:53, when it rises to an altitude of 21° above the south-eastern horizon. It will reach its highest point in the sky at 01:10, 35° above the southern horizon. It will become inaccessible around 04:26 when it sinks below 21° above the south-western horizon. At magnitude 18.7/18.8, it is probably beyond the visual capability of most amateur telescopes, although it might just be possible to capture it photographically with multiple exposures and lots of post processing.

Constellation of the Month:  Lyra (shown 15th October 22:00)


Lyra constellation lies in the northern sky. It represents the lyre, a musical instrument with strings used in antiquity and later times. The constellation is associated with the myth of the Greek musician and poet Orpheus. It was first catalogued by the astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.

Lyra contains Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky and second brightest star in the northern hemisphere, and the famous variable star RR Lyrae. It is also home to several notable deep sky objects, including the globular cluster Messier 56, the planetary nebula Messier 57 (the Ring Nebula), the merging triplet of galaxies NGC 6745, and the open cluster NGC 6791.

Lyra is a small constellation, 52nd in size, occupying an area of 286 square degrees. It is located in the fourth quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ4) and can be seen at latitudes between +90° and -40°. The neighboring constellations are Cygnus, Draco, Hercules and Vulpecula.

M57 Ring Nebula

Ring Nebula Copyright -
© Anthony Jennings

M56 Open Cluster

M56 - Open Cluster -
© Harry and June Blackburn

Meteor Showers

Peak 8th/9th - Draconids (ZHR 10)

Peak 21st/22nd - Orionids (ZHR 25)

MAS Society & MAS Facebook members' recent images

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

Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter and Saturn © Martyn Jones - 03/09/22

Rho Ophiuchi

Rho Ophiuchi © Alan Beech - 05/09/22


Moon © Richard Knisley-Marpole-13/09/22




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