Skip to content

Category: observing

2023-2024 Observing Season

The WAS observing team has published the upcoming dates for the observing evenings for our 2023-2024 season, starting in September.

The full information is available on our observing page. The observing schedule is available as a PDF download.

Clear skies

2022-2023 Observing Session Published

A new season of scheduled observing sessions have been published by the Observing Team, see our page for more details.

The first session is scheduled on Friday 16th September, but will be subject to weather conditions. Look out for a ON/OFF email notification which will be sent to the dedicated observing mailing list that will confirm if the session will go ahead.

To subscribe to the observing mailing list to get email notifications, please see our page.

December Observing Suggestions

Wiltshire Astronomical Society Observing Suggestions for December 2020 @ 21:00

We have updated the observation targets this month for those with binoculars or smaller wide field telescopes to have something to search for.

The WAS Observing Team will provide recommended observing sessions for you to do while maintaining social distancing away from the home or as part of your social bubble at the homes of close friends or relatives. Please always follow the latest government guidelines if observing away from the home.

These observing recommendations will continue until we can start our group observing again (hopefully) in the new year.

Most target objects can be found around due South and South-West at about 21:00.

Where To Look This Month:
This month we concentrate on the constellation of Taurus.
Just select ‘What’s Up’ link below to get the PDF file.
What’s Up Link:

Messier Marathon March 2020

We will be attempting the Messier Marathon on Saturday 21st March which will take place at Pewsey Down Car Park at grid reference SU 11585 63805 (link to map). While subject to confirmation on the day, Chris Brooks is planning to get there for sunset at around 18:30 to set up. If it is called off on the Saturday we will check the forecast for other possible evenings during the week but keep it to the same location and time.

Please sign up to our observing mailing list to follow updates there about this event and our regular monthly observing sessions, the sign up form is on our page.

We hope to see you there!

All messier objects (numbered).jpg
Credit: Michael A. Phillips, source

Smoke messiered things up …

Last Friday’s (29th March 2019) Wiltshire Astronomical Society observation session was very well attended and much interest was shown. Unfortunately, the attempted messier mini marathon was spoiled somewhat by a nearby bonfire obscuring many setting objects and the skies never quite became clear enough to make out anything remotely faint.

Of the planned 30 major targeted objects, I only managed to find 13 in total. However this was using the old fashion method of finding them i.e. star charts and finder scope. It was a good evening though with lots of friendly banter throughout and thanks goes to the observing coordinators and all members who attended.

Member post by Chris Brooks

Scheduled Observing Session Tonight

There is a scheduled (subject to email confirmation) observing session tonight, Friday 2th March 2019, meeting at 19:30 at Lacock, Wiltshire. Please see our observing page for further details.

Source: Wiltshire Astronomy Society

The observing team are hoping to chase down targets in a Mini Messier Marathon, see this list of suggested viewing order for Messier Objects (link) and this finder booklet to messier objects (link).

IMPORTANT NOTE. The final “ON”/”OFF” email alert on whether the session goes ahead will be sent to the Wiltshire AS Observing Email List usually by the afternoon of the day of the session. Members and non-members can subscribe to the observing mailing list through our observing page Please use the mailing list as the confirmation.