Adrian Dening's Stars Over Somerset

    Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October 2022

    On Monday 26th it's the turn of Jupiter to be at opposition, when it will be at its brightest with an apparent magnitude of -2.8. If you go outside just after dark, Jupiter will have risen above the horizon a little south of due east. Looking further south, Saturn will be there shining at a magnitude of around +0.5 which is very confusing as Jupiter will be the brighter of the two! When I did maths at school +0.5 was bigger than -2.8 so what's going on?

    The apparent magnitude scale works back to front and the brighter an object is, then the more negative its magnitude figure will be. The brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, has a magnitude of -1.4 and a Full Moon is around -12.9 or in other words, much brighter. From a dark sky location with the naked eye, it is possible to see objects down to a magnitude of around +6. Binoculars will enable you to see slightly fainter objects down to a magnitude of +8. Any dimmer than that is "telescope territory". To put that into context, our own Sun has an apparent magnitude of -26 which is why you never look at it through a telescope!

    I'm often asked how much my telescopes magnify things, but that is not really the correct question! The question should be regarding how much light the telescope collects - the larger the aperture (or the bigger the hole in the front) then the more light the telescope can collect. Once as much light as possible has been collected, then the magnification is a function of the eyepiece.

    To learn more about this, why not come along to one of my Stars Over Somerset lectures at Ham Hill on 21st October and 18th November. Details are at www.starsoversomerset.com

    Screenshots courtesy of Stellarium

    Copyright Adrian Dening and Radio Ninesprings 2022

    More from Community & Charity News

    • 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

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 9°C

    • Chard

      Sunny intervals

      High: 13°C | Low: 9°C

    • Crewkerne

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 9°C

    • Langport

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 9°C

    • Wincanton

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 7°C

    Recently Played