GFO Open Fri 3rd Feb ...more

January Society News

Written by: Martin Boddy
Published : 30 January 2023

Following Christmas we never know what to expect with the weather and clear night skies are usually rare, but this year we were treated to a week of clear night skies, although it was extremely cold. This gave our members a chance to get out there and do some astronomy. We still have some winter gems with Orion holding centre stage, plus several planets including Mercury and Venus, and the icing on the cake is a comet which can be seen with binoculars and may even become a naked eye object. See our gallery for the latest images.

At the start of a new year it is always good to reflect on how we performed as a society over the previous year and build on that knowledge for the coming months. It is important that we create an environment where all members feel comfortable turning up and joining in. When we assess our membership we have a real split between beginners and more advanced members and that again is divided into two groups visual and imaging (Planetary or Deep sky).

This year we have planned a full calendar of events at Binham Village Hall, these dates will be listed on the website (waiting confirmation of some later dates).

The evening's will be split into two starting with a Beginners section, looking at what is in the night sky and the opportunity to discuss problems and get advice to help with visual or imaging astronomy.

Refreshments will be available during a short break.

This will be followed with a Talk by one of our members.

Then, if the sky is clear, we will set up telescopes and do some viewing, also a sky tour will be given.

Our main source of society information will now be via Facebook and on the Website at ( On the website under articles we will post the monthly society news to keep you up-to-date.

We often have work parties on a Sunday morning, we are always looking for help! We had one in January and sorted through the store room creating a lot of space. This years projects are the new radio telescope and the 20inch Newtonian telescope, plus ground works with new paths and hard standing areas. On-top of this there is always general maintenance. The next work party is on Sunday 5th February, starting at 10am for a couple of hours.


February 16th - Binham Village Hall

Beginners section - Martin Boddy

Talk - James Webb Telescope Update - Terry Rose,


Entry £2 for members, £4 for non-members. Children up to sixteen free.

Green Farm Observatory

The observatory is open most Friday evenings to full members.

The observatory offers various options which include viewing if clear, imaging and processing, plus radio astronomy.

To use this facility you must be a full member of the society.

We are there Friday evenings at 7.30-8.00pm weather permitting.

We will indicate on the website if we intend to be there, you are welcome to pop along and if clear viewing will take place.

Please remember to bring a torch, ideally one with a red light.

Martin Boddy

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF

Written by: Keith Jones
Published: 14 January 2023

The comet is following a track between Ursa Minor and Ursa Major; getting close to Polaris at the end of January. It will reach maximum brightness of an estimated magnitude of 5/6 on 1st February. To view it you will need a dark sky and a pair of binoculars. Good luck.

Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF


February Night Sky Star Charts (with C/2022 comet in green)

Credit - Phil Hood Stafford U3A

Looking South

Looking North

SpaceX Launch

Written by: Keith Jones
Published: 13 January 2023

Tomorrow the 14/1/23 at 9pm there is scheduled a Falcon 9 Heavy Launch from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Centre. The Falcon Heavy is a standard Falcon 9 rocket with two Falcon first stages strapped to its sides acting as boosters. It will be lifting into orbit one top secret military satellite and a number of others in a ride share. The spectacular part of the flight will be when the two boosters make their way back to zone 1 and zone 2 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. However the main core will be lost due to the payload weight and obit requirements as there will not be enough fuel left to soft land it. If you follow the link you will be able to watch it live.

Solar Cycle 25 - Now well underway