Adrian Dening's Stars Over Somerset

    Monday 15th to Sunday 21st August 2022

    Firstly a reminder that it is still a great time to observe the rings of Saturn at their brightest because the planet is close to opposition with the Sun. If you go outside around 10pm local time, Saturn will be quite low towards the south east, with Jupiter rising above the horizon to the east. If you stay up later, the pair will gradually climb a bit higher in the sky and this gives better viewing because the Sunlight reflecting from them will then be travelling through our atmosphere at a sharper angle which results in less disturbance.

    The bright star Altair will be above Saturn. It's important to realise that stars don't twinkle and the light radiating from them is a relatively constant source. But then if you look at Altair, I bet you will notice it twinkling-away like a good 'un. That's only because the light is being twisted by our atmosphere. The higher an object is in the night sky then the less atmosphere its light has to travel through and so the effects are lessened.

    If you stay up until around 1am, everything will appear to have rotated around and Saturn will be more towards the south, with Jupiter towards the south east. Of course they haven't really moved - it's us that has rotated as the Earth spins on its axis! The Moon will have risen above the horizon close to Jupiter and Mars will have popped up a little north of due east.

    Go outside at the same time on subsequent evenings during the week and the planets will appear to be in a similar position, but not the Moon as it is following a completely different path - orbiting around us. At 1am on Saturday 20th, the Moon will appear to be in the east, forming an isosceles triangle with Mars and the Pleiades cluster of stars.

    Screenshots courtesy of Stellarium

    Copyright Adrian Dening and Radio Ninesprings 2022

    More from Community & Charity News

    • Adrian Dening's Stars Over Somerset

      Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October 2022

    • Blood Pressure Campaign

      Somerset County Council’s Public Health Team has launched a campaign to encourage people to check their blood pressure.

    • Dogs in Cars

      Changes to the Highway Code have placed new responsibilities on motorists who who drive with a dog in their car.

    • Bird Feeding

      Whether it's birdsong or the flutter of wings, one of the joys of having a garden is bird watching.

    • Appeal for Speedwatch Volunteers

      An appeal’s been made for more volunteers to help run Community Speedwatch in Wincanton.

    • Child Care

      HM Revenue and Customs is reminding working families that they can use Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for childcare costs

    • Mobile Phones in Vehicles

      Somerset County Council’s road safety team is working with partners to urge drivers to keep their fixed eyes on the road.

    • Clean up our Countryside

      Two new litter-pick stations have been installed, equipped with litter pickers and reusable bags for anyone to borrow and do their own two-minute clean-up at countryside sites across South Somerset.

    • Church Bats

      People attending church services in South Somerset are being asked to check to see if they can see any bats lodging in roof spaces.

    Today's Weather

    • Yeovil

      Light rain

      High: 15°C | Low: 9°C

    • Chard

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 9°C

    • Crewkerne

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 9°C

    • Langport

      Light rain

      High: 15°C | Low: 10°C

    • Wincanton

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 7°C

    Recently Played