Effects of Large Satellite Constellations on Astronomy

  Many of you will have seen the images back in 2019 which showed  long ‘trains’ composed of up to sixty SpaceX Starlink satellites crossing the sky in a straight line. These pictures hit the headlines not only because of the number of satellites, but because of their brightness. A 'train' of SpaceX Starlink satellites,… Continue reading Effects of Large Satellite Constellations on Astronomy

Dark Sky Places

In this post I will talk about the work of the International Dark-Sky Association (https://www.darksky.org/)and the visit I made a few years ago to the Kielder Observatory, which is in the Northumberland Dark Sky park in northern  England. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) was founded in 1988 by David Crawford a professional astronomer, who spent… Continue reading Dark Sky Places

Measuring and Mapping Light Pollution

As discussed in a previous post , light pollution is a major nuisance to astronomers both amateur and professional. When astronomers classify how much light pollution there is at a particular location, they often use the Bortle Scale, devised by John Bortle and first published in the popular astronomy magazine Sky and Telescope (Bortle 2001). Rather… Continue reading Measuring and Mapping Light Pollution

SpaceX Starlink Satellites

  Update 16 March 2022- click on the image below to view a video of much of the information in this post Many of you will have seenthe pictures in 2019 showing long ‘trains’ composed of as many as sixty SpaceX Starlink satellites crossing the sky. A 'train' of SpaceX Starlink satellites just after their… Continue reading SpaceX Starlink Satellites

Twilight

Watching the Sun set below the horizon and the sky gradually get darker and darker is an almost magical experience.  Twilight is that period of the day when the sky is not completely dark, and it can be used to describe the period either just after sunset, or just before sunrise.  It is valued by photographers because of… Continue reading Twilight