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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for October

In the Sky for the next few weeks:-

The Moon

1st Quarter on the 5th

Full Moon on 13th

3rd Quarter on the 21st

New Moon on 28th

The Moon is at apogee, its furthest from the Earth, on the 10th at 18h, and at perigee its nearest to the Earth at 10h on the 26th

Planet of the month


Diameter: 51118 km 4.007 Earths
Mass: 14.54 Earths
Density: 1.25 g/cc (water=1)
Gravity: 0.905 G
Rotation Period: 0.72 days 0d 17h 14m 24s




Uranus had been observed on many occasions before its discovery as a planet, but it was generally mistaken for a star. The first astronomer to realize that Uranus was a planet William Herschel, in 1781. Thus Uranus became the first new planet found since prehistoric times.

Uranus orbits the sun at an average distance of 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion km), or 19.20 AU; its orbital period is just over 84 years. From Earth, Uranus is visible with the unaided eye under very dark sky conditions. Its apparent magnitude varies from about 5.6 to 5.9, and its size varies from about 3.4 to 3.7 arc seconds. In small telescopes, its surface is featureless. Even in the largest Earth-bound telescopes, it appears as a small blue-green disk.

Uranus is at opposition this month on the 28th at 8.15


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


As summer is quickly faiding away, this months's constellation forms one of the points of the 'Summer triangle'.

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.


M57 © Alan Beech

Meteor Showers

October hosts 6 meteor showers:

9th - Draconids (duration = 4.0 days)

10th S. Taurids (5 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 71.0 days)

11th Delta Aurigids (2 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 8.0 days)

18th Epsilon Geminids (3 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 13.0 days)

21st Orionids (15 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 36.0 days)

24st Leo Minorids (2 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 8.0 days)

Dont forget - the clocks go back on 27th at 2am, so reset your gotos!


Members Recent Images

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

NGC 7635

NGC 7635 - © Phil Swift - 26/09/19

IC 1318

IC 1318 - © Phil Swift - 25/09/19

Milky Way

Milky Way - © Alan Beech - 26/09/19


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