Croydon Astronomical Society
est. 1956


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© Croydon Astronomical Society 2012 Croydon, Surrey, England, UK Registered Charity No. 251560


Observing with the Croydon Astronomical Society

Members of the society carry out observations at both the society observatory at Kenley as well as a wide range of locations, in Croydon, other parts of the UK and abroad.

In addition to visual observing members record their observations on a variety of instruments including film cameras, CCDs, standard digital cameras and video.

Current favourable objects tonight. Rather than repeat identical information already in numerous other places, the links below give information on what is visible in the night sky right now:

  For daytime, the Sun

Observing Projects

The following are some ideas for events and objects to observe. The lists also contains both short term and longer projects that may be of interest to members and others. If you take part in these projects let us know via our forum croydonastro. Your results can be presented at our Annual Exhibition Meeting.

If you are just starting in astronomy and are looking for an observing project there are some ideas in a short talk 'Astronomy4U' I gave to the CAS in February 2005. A copy of the presentation in PDF format can be downloaded here.

New projects or events will be added to the top of this list and some will be archived after the event.





Venus Express Ground Observing Project

The Venus Express Ground Observing Project (VEXGOP) is an opportunity to contribute scientifically useful images and data to compliment the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft observations of Venus. The project will focus on utilising the capabilities of advanced amateurs to obtain images of the atmosphere of Venus; specifically filtered monochrome images obtained with CCD based cameras in the 350nm to 1000nm (near ultraviolet, visible and near infrared range).

The Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft will observe the planet Venus using seven instruments for at least two Venusian years (1000 days) beginning in May 2006. The instrument package includes the Venus Imaging Camera (VMC), which will image the planet in the near-UV, visible and near-IR range. Although VMC will provide much higher resolution images of the planet than visible from Earth, continuous monitoring of the planet will not be possible.

There may be periods, therefore, when parts of the planet are visible from Earth that are not visible from the spacecraft (due to the spacecraft position in orbit). Additionally it is important to compare Earth-based observations with simultaneous spacecraft observations. In particular this will allow us to extend our understanding of the dynamics of Venus’s atmosphere based on the VEX data to observations made prior to the VEX mission, as well as after completion of VEX operations. Objectives

The objectives of VEXGOP is to obtain high quality images of Venus before, after and during VEX operations. Amateur astronomers, using CCD based cameras with filters for specific band passes in the near ultra-violet, visible and near infrared wavelengths (350nm to 1000nm), are encouraged to participate in the gathering of images. Observation campaigns will include:

   * Routine images of Venus during each apparition

   * Coordinated observations during specific periods of the VEX mission to provide either simultaneous or complimentary ground based images to VEX spacecraft observations

For more details go to:

May 2006

to at least


Asteroid 10381 Malinsmith

Image the asteroid 10381 Malinsmith and win a prize

Konrad Malin-Smith, a life member and past chairman of the Croydon Astronomical Society, has an asteroid (minor planet) named after him, 10381 Malinsmith. It was discovered on 3rd September 1996 by Brian G.W. Manning at Stakenbridge.

The challenge is for members to acquire at least two image of the asteroid. A small (unspecified) prize is offered to the first member to produce two images showing the motion of this asteroid and also provide supporting evidence to prove that the asteroid observed is 10381 Malinsmith. This evidence is to be presented to the members of the society in the form of a short talk at one of our meetings.

More details are on this page 10381 Malinsmith, which also generates an ephemeris (table giving the position of this asteroid in the sky at the current time) to allow you to point your telescope in the right direction to image it. In addition it shows a very nice animated diagram of its position in relation to the solar system.

Until the Prize

is Won

More details of our observatory can be found here.

Members images are shown on a separate page which can be accessed via this link.

To enable you to plan your observing sessions this site shows the twilight times for London.

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