My name is Malcolm Fairbairn and I am a Physicist at King’s College London.
The purpose of this blog is to document the installation of a telescope on the roof of the King’s Building here just next to the Strand in the middle of London. I may also blog about physics from time to time, please do not hesitate to ask any questions…
I am Grant. i find your post quite interesting. i am very naive in this field and have been trying to find out where and when i may be able to see saturn and jupiter. i understand jupiter is fairly easy to see this month (if i am not mistaken) and saturn i may have to wait for. i have a dobsonian telescope that i am very impressed with but have not managed to see any planets with it yet.
i was hoping you might be able to tell a layman how to find jupiter this month, i.e right of constellation “x” ?
any help (and one when and where i can see saturn) would be great, id appreciate the time you would spend to answer this.
also – do you ever have visitors to your set up?
i am on Grantelias7@gmail.com
thanks very very much
Hi Grant, Jupiter is only appearing quite late, in the South East from London. It is the only planet which is visible at the moment, Mars and Saturn are on the other side of the earth when it is night. It is by far the brightest thing in the sky, by far, so if it is up and it is clear, you can see it.
I’ve actually made a list of its altitude in degrees above the horizon for different dates and different times. 53 degrees is the highest it ever gets and when it is highest it will be due south then it will go down in the West, but only in the morning.
So you see if you are going out late after midnight you can see it right now, but if you want to see it earlier, you’ll have to wait a month or two.
I understand we will be able to see Saturn again in a couple of months.
14/15th Dec 2014
30 degrees at 0:12ish
45 degrees at 2
53 degrees at 4
14th/15th Jan 2015
37 degrees at 11
45 degrees at midnight
51 degrees at 1am
53 degrees at 2am
14th/15th Feb 2015
30 degrees at 8:15pm
45 degrees at 10
50 degrees at 11
53 degrees at midnight
I should have said Uranus is also visible but I’m not that ambitious yet.
I am in the midst of writing a research proposal for investigating the effects of light pollution on bat species in London, specifically in and around Richmond Upon Thames. I was wondering if you had done any research specifically on light pollution in London and could point me in the direction of some useful papers to read?
No, it’s just terrible. I’d rather try to ignore it than measure it but let’s stay in contact. You can do a guest post if you like!