Deep Sky Update – October 2019

Sunshine on Greenock

At the BAA Workshop in Greenock last weekend, myself and Owen Brazell presented on the Deep Sky track – I talked about Observing Programmes and Remote Telescope use, and Owen spoke on Catalogues, Charts and Tools, and also on Visual Observing Tips which included a section on filters.

In the morning, my pick for guest professional speaker was Professor Annette Ferguson from Edinburgh University. Annette’s main research interests lie around low surface brightness observations of nearby galaxies, and gave and excellent talk on this subject with a focus on M31. A recent paper (actually a letter) was published in Nature which is unfortunately behind a pay-wall, but there is a nice news item on the website of the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (which was used to make the observations), which can be read at:

And another announcement about a similar research project popped into my inbox today, published by the RAS, the HERON survey tackles similar targets. Again the full paper is behind the RAS paywall, but you can read more about this at

Section Meeting 2020 – first speakers confirmed

I have now secured some of the speakers for the 2020 March 14 meeting in Sheffield. Professor Albert Zijlstra of Manchester University will give us an update on Planetary Nebulae research as our keynote address. Also speaking will be Andrew Robertson on flying with a 12” scope and Gary Palmer on short run imaging (proper titles to be confirmed). There are a couple more slots to confirm, and if anyone would like to talk at the meet in a short slot (or long one!) – please let me know as soon as possible so I can start to finalise the programme.

October Journal of the BAA

Not one, not two, but three Deep Sky items in the latest JBAA. A rarity in the Journal is a ‘proper’ paper – so please do have a read of Grant Privett et al. paper on “The many faces of Gyulbudaghian’s Nebula”, a fascinating look at this VNe over the years. Also two items from Nick Hewttt . Many thanks goes to Nick for his write up of the section meeting in March, and also for his Forum article “Game of Thrones: Cassiopeia & Cepheus” – a rich hunting ground for the coming months.

And finally

The clocks will be changing soon, and we’ll be back to UTC in the UK. Hopefully the darker evenings will coincide with some better observing weather and I’ll look forward to hearing about any observations (visual or images) that you make.

Clear, dark skies,


The British Astronomical Association supports amateur astronomers around the UK and the rest of the world. Find out more about the BAA or join us.