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Manx Sky at Night
Howard Parkin joins Judith Ley to discuss the different and exciting sights that can be seen in the dark skies over the Isle of Man at night.
Dec 26, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - DECEMBER 2021
For the last time in 2021, resident astronomer Howard Parkin identifies what we can look for in the dark skies of winter. There's plenty of planetary activity, another meteor shower and a rare opportunity to see Mercury. And Howard has produced a 'calendar' of what we can expect to see in the skies throughout the coming year - if you'd like a copy of his guide to the Manx night skies in 2022, email him - firstname.lastname@example.org The music break this week is Jubel's Dancing in the Moonlight In the second part of the programme, Howard has some fascinating facts and figures about the amazing James Webb Telescope which finally launched on Christmas Day. He explains a lot about its features and what it hopes to achieve - laying the foundations for a subject that we will be discussing in much greater detail during the coming year (and beyond!) Howard also has a report on a very special visit to London, and information about upcoming talks he'll be giving round the Island during January and February 2022
Dec 5, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - NOVEMBER 2021
Now that the clocks have moved back, we have longer dark nights - perfect for star gazing when the skies are clear! Howard Parkin describes what we can hope to see in the skies during December - and there are hopeful signs, too - as some of the planets of Spring are beginning to appear. After a break for music from Enya (Shepherd Moons) Howard has the latest space exploration news - we talk in detail about the much-misunderstood recent DART Mission, and there's good news - and some fascinating technical information - about the new Webb Telescope. Howard welcomes your questions - and you can order a signed copy of his best-selling book - by emailing him - email@example.com
Nov 1, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - OCTOBER 2021
Howard Parkin returns with his monthly look at our Manx skies - this time looking ahead to the month of November, explaining which planets we'll be able to see on clear nights, and when to look for a meteor shower and a eclipse. Plus Howard has a Halloween story - and a song from William Shatner! When he recorded 'Rocket Man' in 1978, William Shatner could not have imagined that in 2021, at the age of 90, he would actually be travelling into space! Howard has the latest news on commercial space flights, and information about 3 separate missions, each with a different purpose.
Sep 26, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - SEPTEMBER 2021
As the autumn skies get darker earlier, there's more scope for seeing the planets - Jupiter and Saturn will be dominating the southern sky and can be easily seen in clear conditions - and Venus is on the rise! Howard is just about to start his 37th year of teaching at University College Isle of Man - there are still some spaces left on the next course, starting in October - and there's an invitation to a Manx National Heritage stargazing dinner at The Sound. The music break this month comes from Anne Murray, after which Howard has the space updates - commercial space flight is now a reality - and can it be true that Elon Musk was on the Island recently to sign an agreement with the Manx Government regarding Starlink ? And last but not least .... Howard's book hits the shelves at the end of September - packed with beautiful pictures and essential facts, it will be in all the Island's booksellers - and available direct from Howard at his evening classes, talks and special stargazing events.
Aug 13, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - AUGUST 2021
On this month’s programme, Astronomer Howard Parkin looks into our Manx skies and explains what we can hope to see during the month of September, when we now have a couple of hours of darkness each night. It will be a good time to see the spectacular Milky Way, Cassiopeia - rich in legend - should be visible, and Howard talks about the planets and other activity beginning to be visible in our autumn skies. This month’s music break is Enya singing Everyone’s Gone To The Moon, which leads neatly into part two of the programme, when Howard brings us the latest space-related news. For the first time, the Isle of Man features in TWO major space stories! Space-X on the Isle of Man - could it really be happening? It seems so - and Howard has the details. And Excalibur Almaz heads to a new home in Jurby! You’ll probably have seen pictures and videos of it making it’s slow progress from the South of the Island to its permanent base in the Museum in Jurby, but Howard has the full story here. And speaking of stories - Howard Parkin’s long-awaited new book goes on sale in mid-September 'Space for Dark Skies'- an astronomical miscellany from the Isle of Man will be available from 15th September in bookshops around the Island, or direct from Howard himself - firstname.lastname@example.org And you can use that same email address if you have any astronomy-related questions you'd like Howard to answer during our monthly Manx Sky at Night programme
Aug 1, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - JULY 2021
In the fist part of the programme, Astronomer Howard Parkin looks at what we can see - weather permitting - in our Manx skies during the coming month of August. It's the end of the noctilucent cloud season - it's also the end of the period of no official night time - so some darkness returns - which is good news for stargazers! Howard talks also about planetary activity - Opposition of Saturn and Jupiter And he's got news of a forthcoming Perseid meteor shower (one of years best!) This month's music break is Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys In the second part of the programme, we catch up on space news : Chinese Astronaughts on board their Tiangong space station Launch of Virgin Galactic Launch of Jeff Bezos Fixing the Hubble Space telescope and much much more!
Jun 27, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - JUNE 2021
Astronomer Howard Parkin explains what we might see in the sky during the month of July - despite the fact that summertime means it's really too light to see the stars clearly. But Venus is rising higher each night, and you might catch sight of Mercury! And exactly what are Noctilucent Clouds? This month's music break is the Blue Danube waltz - but what connects a Strauss composition with the world of space? And in the second half of the programme, Howard Parkin discusses the two missions to Venus, the Chinese rover on Mars, and life on the International Space Station. Plus - Jeff Bezos is about to fly Blue Origins, with his brother - and an auction winner - on board. And the winning bid for 15 minutes in space? Listen to find out! But Virgin Galactic is likely to fly soon - so, could Branson beat Bezos?
May 31, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - MAY 2021
Astronomer Howard Parkin takes his regular monthly look at the Manx skies. As night skies in June are very light, viewing opportunities are fewer - but when the skies are clear, the Plough is our guide to finding the spring stars, including Leo and Virgo. Venus is now visible and rising higher each night. This month's big news story is the eclipse on 10th June - but DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN. Howard explains how to safely view, using special filters, or glasses (NOT sunglasses!!) In the world of space exploration, activity on Mars dominates the news, with the Ingenuity helicopter having already made 6 flights to date - and there have now been more successful missions to Mars, than unsuccessful ones. Other space news includes Artemis, Space X and Virgin - all planning private trips later this year - the first strong signs of 'space tourism' ? And Howard's music choice this month is The Beatles - but which song ?!
Apr 26, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - APRIL 2021
The Lyrid Meteor Showers; Planets on show in May; the truth about supermoons - and more - as Howard Parkin looks at what we can see (weather permitting) if we go stargazing in the dark skies over our Island during the month of May. Howard’s music choice this month is the Star Wars theme … remembering that May the 4th is Star Wars Day (yes - Howard really DID say that!!) After the music break, Howard has his sights set on space - with news of the mission to Mars, activity on the International Space Station, an update on the SpaceX Dragon - the reusable cargo spacecraft, and the Orion Spacecraft. The Manx Sky at Night with Howard Parkin is broadcast on Manx Radio on the final Sunday of each month, at 9.30pm, and is available as a podcast, shortly afterwards. For details of astronomy classes, stargazing evenings etc., contact Howard via email: email@example.com
Mar 28, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - MARCH 2021
Astronomer Howard Parkin looks ahead to the dark skies of April, and explains what we can expect to see whenever we have good visibility over the Isle of Man in the coming weeks. And once again there are updates on all the latest space projects, and some new stories too. Music this week is April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel
Feb 28, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - FEBRUARY 2021
Astronomer Howard Parkin guides us through the spectacular sights we'll see (weather permitting!) in the dark skies over the Isle of Man during March - and we catch up with all the latest space stories - with activities on Mars making headline news this month!
Jan 31, 2021
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - JANUARY 2021
This month's programme falls during our Island circuit-breaker lockdown, so astronomer Howard Parkin cannot be in the Manx Radio studio as usual. Instead, he's in his garden in Onchan, gazing at the skies. Sadly there's too much cloud cover, making 'live' stargazing too difficult - but Howard has plenty of information about what we can see during the month of February, weather permitting of course! Howard also has updates on some major space stories, and there's breaking news about asteroids heading for the earth's orbit in early February - but don't worry - we won't be able to see them and they won't do us any harm! Howard has a fact sheet available now - it's a month-by-month guide to stargazing over the Island. If you'd like a copy, email Howard on firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 27, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - DECEMBER 2020
In our dark skies, THAT conjunction - between Jupiter and Saturn - is still visible (weather permitting) in the evenings between 5pm and 6pm .....both are joined by Mercury and the Moon around January 9th, before each go behind the Sun, on the 29th and 24th respectively .....Venus is still visible in the mornings ...and the Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks on the 3rd/4th January - often overlooked, but probably the third best one of the year. The music break is Hotel California by The Eagles And in space news ..... the total collapse of the Arecibo telescope .... Japanese Hayabusa 2 has brought valuable material from Asteroid Ryugu ....Chinese Chang'e 5 has brought a significant amount of rock back from the Moon ..... and Howard discusses the SpaceX spectacular test launch of Starship SN8 - there was a problem with the final landing, but this shouldn't detract from the fact that the spacecraft used a new technique for re-entry which was a total success.
Nov 30, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - NOVEMBER 2020
Astronomer Howard Parkin explains what to look for in the dark skies over our Island during the month of December. Highlights include the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on 21 December and possibly the best meteor shower of the year - the Geminid, which should be visible around the 12th or 13th December, weather permitting. And in the world of space exploration, Howard discusses the recent successful Dragon launch and reflects on the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station. On the other hand, the Vega launch failure, and the damage to the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico are reminders of the dangers and uncertainties surrounding space exploration. Howard's music choice this month is Vincent by Don McLean
Oct 26, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - OCTOBER 2020
Astronomer Howard Parkin looks into the wonderful dark skies over our Island and describes what we might see, in clear night-time conditions, in the coming weeks. He also looks back over 20 years of the International Space Station, and has all the latest news on the various expeditions in space already. The music break this month is VENUS by Barry Manilow
Sep 27, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - SEPTEMBER 2020
With the longer autumn nights, come even better opportunities to enjoy our dark Manx skies! Astronomer Howard Parkin explains what to look for during October, and he also has news about the latest developments in space exploration - including the possibility of life on Venus, and another moon landing planned for 2025
Aug 31, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - AUGUST 2020
With the sun setting earlier and rising later, we're getting longer hours of darkness - which is good news for stargazers! Howard talks about the autumn equinox, viewing the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way. September is also a great month for catching sight of the planets - Jupiter and Saturn will be dominating the sky soon, but Howard also explains when and where we can see Mars, Venus and Mercury. And in other news ….. Howard talks about his recent visit to Sark - the first 'dark sky' to be internationally recognised - he discusses what happened to the Arecibo dish, and explains why Betelgeuse was dimming. And finally ….. the next Dragon Space-X mission, taking four astronauts to the International Space Station, has been postponed to the end of October - there's just so much happening on the space station - they're waiting for a gap in the traffic! Howard will be once again lecturing on astronomy on Wednesday evenings from October, at the University College Isle of Man.…
Aug 9, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - JULY 2020
In this edition of the Manx Sky At Night, astronomer Howard Parkin looks at the skies over the Island and explains how to find all the planets - Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Venus - which will all be on display if we get some clear nights during the month of August. The Perseid Metor Shower will also be another feature in the coming weeks. The music break this week is - very appropriately - Life on Mars by David Bowie - as there are now three separate missions on their way to explore the planet, all due to arrive on Mars in February 2021. Howard speculates on what the missions may discover - and looks forward to the return of the Dragon SpaceX from its trip to the International Space Station. And as you might imagine, Howard has plenty to say about that amazing comet - Neowise - so named because it was discovered in March this year by NASA's Near Earth Object Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer! It's been putting on a dazzling display, but once it disappears, the comet won't be seen a…
Jul 1, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - JUNE 2020
Howard Parkin is back in the studio, explaining which stars and planets we can look forward to seeing in our wonderful Manx dark skies during the month of July - including those beautiful ice-blue noctilucent (night-shining) clouds. After a song from Fifth Dimension (no - it's not Good Morning, Starshine!) Howard takes a look at the world of space exploration - reflecting on the successful Space X Dragon launch a few weeks ago, and looking forward to the next Space X launch at the end of August. And there are no less than THREE different Rovers from THREE different countries, all setting off to Mars shortly - they won't get there until next February - but why are they going ? Howard has the story!
Jun 7, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - MAY 2020
Once again, our resident Astronomer Howard Parkin starts this month's programme with some stargazing 'live' from his garden in Onchan. Howard explains what (given the right weather conditions!) we can look out for in our wonderful dark skies during the month of June. This month's music track is Cilla Black with Across The Universe - a very appropriate choice, as, in the second part of the programme, Howard will be reflecting on the successful launch of the SpaceX Dragon, on its journey taking two American astronauts to the International Space Station - he'll be explaining just why this is so important, and what other space exploration projects are being developed now.
Apr 26, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT APRIL 2020
In order to maintain social distancing, Howard can't be in the Manx Radio studios for this month's edition of the Manx Sky at Night, so instead he's recorded a programme at his home in Onchan! First he takes us into the garden to do some actual stargazing - listen to this podcast outdoors at about 10pm on a clear night, using your smartphone or tablet, and Howard will guide you round the night skies during May - then we're back indoors for the second part of the podcast, as Howard brings us up to date with the latest space exploration news. There's also information about the new series of half hour sessions, called The Universe from the Isle of Man, which Howard is offering as part of the #LockdownLearning programme being offered by the University College Isle of Man - free sessions on a variety of subjects, available via Zoom - something to interest everyone during this time when we're staying at home. For more details, go to ucm.ac.im
Mar 30, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT MARCH 2020
Howard Parkin was due to be off-Island for the last Sunday in March, so prior to his departure we recorded a programme in which Howard explains all we can see in our beautiful Manx dark skies, as we move from winter into early Spring. But Howard's time abroad was cut short by the worsening Coronavirus pandemic and he returned to the Island much sooner than planned - but had to immediately self-isolate for 14 days. So - part of this month's programme is our recorded conversation, followed by some actual stargazing as Howard joins us on the phone, from his garden, as he gives us a 'tour' of a perfect star-lit night sky! The best of all worlds!
Feb 23, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT FEBRUARY 2020
Astronomer Howard Parkin explains what to look for in the Manx skies in the coming weeks - Venus still dominating the western sky; the Moon passing through Hyades; great conjunction of Jupiter, Mars and the Moon in the morning sky around March 18th, with Saturn in the same area; and with the constellations starting to set in the West, can Spring be far away? This month's song is Urban Spaceman from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band In the second part of the programme, Howard Parkin reviews the latest work being done by SETI - their astronomers are requesting that the subject of detecting life on other planets be taken more seriously. The Institute is now listening for, and preparing to analyse, sounds detected in space. And in the latest stage of the space race, Space X 'Abort Test' was successful, so they are a step nearer commercial/manned flights into space and Virgin Galactic have moved to their New Mexico HQ/Terminal
Jan 27, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - JANUARY 2020
In the January edition of MANX SKY AT NIGHT, astronomer Howard Parkin tells us what we can expect to see in our dark skies during the coming weeks, including sighting the International Space Station, and spotting Venus as it dominates the evening skies. Is Betelgeuse really fading ? And if so, what does this mean for stargazers? Howard also gives an idea of some conjunctions we can look out for later in the year, and if you'd like a copy of Howard's guide to stars and planetary activity in 2020, email your request to him at email@example.com We've also got an update on that mishap which curtailed the Boeing Starliner unmanned test flight at the end of December - and news of Virgin's plans for space tourism - there seems to be plenty of interest in their flights at £250K per ticket .....!
Jan 5, 2020
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - DECEMBER 2019
Howard Parkin studies the skies and his charts, and uses his astronomer's skills to tell us what we can look for in the January Manx skies. Plus there's the usual update on activities and initiatives in space exploration. AND - whilst we're still in the Christmas season - if you're interested in the 'star' which the Wise Men followed to find the infant Jesus, do be sure to listen to the PRAISE PODCAST for 5 JANUARY - it's available to download/listen via our website, and Howard explains what was really happening in the skies two thousand years ago ...... it's well worth a listen!
Nov 24, 2019
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - NOVEMBER 2019
Once again Howard Parkin is enjoying the dark Manx skies of autumn - looking forward to the Geminid Meteors in early December, and the chance to get a good look to Venus (clouds permitting!) In this month's space news, could the discovery of unexpected amounts of oxygen on Mars mean that there has once been some form of life on the planet? It's also the anniversary of the Apollo 12 space mission - and Howard shares a very special space-related experience from his recent trip to the Holy Land.
Oct 29, 2019
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - OCTOBER 2019
Autumn in the perfect season for star gazing and planet watching - Howard Parkin tells us where to look, and what we might see. Plus there's news of the latest activity in space, and a super-hero is remembered - with a bit of 'seasonal' music from one of Howard's favourite bands!
Oct 29, 2019
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - SEPTEMBER 2019
Starry skies and adventures in space - Howard Parkin has stories and information to help us enjoy even more of our natural world - and there's a bit of music too!
Aug 25, 2019
MANX SKY AT NIGHT - AUGUST 2019
Howard Parkin is loving the darker nights - perfect for star gazing and planet-spotting! In this month's edition, Howard looks at the vital importance of the planets, and tells a few of the legends attached to some of them. September will be a good month to look at the Moon - Howard has the best dates and times - and he teaches us a few more lunar terms! As usual there's a space update - the International Space Station will once again be visible in the Manx Sky in September - and the race to get unmanned and manned spacecraft into orbit, is on - but who will be first? This month's song is Harvest Moon by Neil Young