Category Archives: Wow!

International dark sky week

Its International Dark Sky Week.

During this week of the new moon in April its a great time to gaze in wonder at the clear night skies having turned off our outside lighting where we can to do our bit to reduct light pollution in the world.

Importantly, light pollution affects so many creatures such as the orientation of nocturnal birds in flight, feeding behaviour of insects, bats, fish and reptiles and even the growth pattern of trees.

While we may not sleep so well with bright street lighting, the International Dark-Sky Association likewise urges action to be taken by governments to heed this disruption to organic life.

At the same time, the economy of energy is an important factor in trying to achieve a global effort at reducing light pollution for the benefit of us all.

Jupiter and Saturn – close encounter!

Jupiter and Saturn will have their closest encounter in almost 400 years on 21st December – the winter solstice.

Not since 1623 has there been a closer conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. On December 21 on the winter solstice they will be only 0.1 degree apart. the closest observable since 1226!

What astrologers say: When limitless Jupiter and restrictive Saturn combine their paradoxical powers, it can bring the perfect checks and balances.

Distance Ephemeris

We wondered if anyone who has a game of Ephemeris would like to set up and play the Solar System Game remotely v another player with an Ephemeris game. So we have some directions as to how you can do this.

There are no changes to the normal rules, just some ideas about playing remotely!

Here’s how: 


Set up your boards at home with Sun Moon and planets in their normal starting positions marked on the board or on the rules.

Each player chooses 5 pieces and takes the 5 corresponding cards from their Sun/Moon/Planets pack. Do not reveal your choices. *Take a photo of your 5 cards before the game starts and send it to your own email that will record the time for future verification.  

Each player then chooses 5 Zodiac cards for the other player and communicates these by text, WhatsApp or voice (or other agreed method).  The players can now lay the Zodiac Cards next to their boards. 


Decide who starts.

On each turn players move any one piece anti-clockwise (you can move any piece even if you don’t hold a card for it). You can move through as many signs as you want but within the ‘passing’ rules:

RULES: (based on the coloured orbit groups)

  • Moon may pass any other piece.
  • Mars Venus Mercury ‘the inner planets’ (red) are allowed to pass each other and are allowed to pass the ‘outer planets’ (blue) but may never overtake the Moon or the Sun
  • Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune ‘the Outer planets(blue) may pass each other but may never move passed the ‘inner planets’ (red) nor Sun or Moon.
  • The Sun may never pass the Moon but may pass all other pieces.

Be vigilant! 

  • Text your move to your opponent so you can each can mirror the positions,  e.g “Moon to Virgo”, on your boards.
  • Any number of pieces can be in a sign at any time.
  • Use the overtaking rules to your advantage and to frustrate your opponent’s aims!
  • When you get all your pieces into your signs simultaneously, text, call or shout “EPHEMERIS !” 
  • Photograph your board and cards to declare your hand
  • *Forward your email to your  opponent to verify your hand.

⭐️ 🌙 🌎 

Good luck!! 

AUGUST 7TH – ephemeris/spacestore quiz! online

The next quiz is on Friday August 7th at 5:30pm.

A fun and family-friendly game with 3 rounds of 10 questions all about the planets, their moons, space missions and more from the EPHEMERIS quiz game.
It’s A or B answers – so don’t worry if you are not too savvy with our solar system.

This is a webinar so no need to dress up!

If you fancy the challenge, please do register with SpaceStore

3rd July – Next Online Ephemeris Family Quiz!

Congratulations Andrea and Patrick on your top scores in the Ephemeris/SpaceStore Quiz on 19th June!

The next quiz is on Friday 3rd July at 5:30pm.

For anyone not too savvy with the wondrous facts of our solar system, it’s A or B answers – a fun and family-friendly game with 3 rounds of 5 to 10 questions.

This is a webminar so no need to dress up!

Register: If you fancy the challenge, please do register with SpaceStore on the link below and join in, just for fun! 

To register and for more information go to:

Quiz Cards
Ephemeris Solar System Quiz game – online every Friday at

19th June – Online Ephemeris Family Quiz!

Here is a chance to test your knowledge and have some fun by joining the Online EPHEMERIS Quiz every other Friday in partnership with SpaceStore.

The next quiz is on Friday 19th June at 5:30pm.

This is a webminar so no need to dress up!

Register: If you fancy the challenge, please do register with SpaceStore on the link below and play, just for fun! 

To register:

Quiz Cards
Ephemeris Solar System Quiz game – online every Friday at

Saturn overtakes Jupiter as planet with most moons

A team discovered a haul of 20 new moons orbiting the ringed planet, bringing its total to 82; Jupiter, by contrast, has 79 natural satellites. Each of the newly discovered objects in orbit around Saturn is about 5km (three miles) in diameter; 17 of them orbit the planet “backwards”. The moons were discovered using the Subaru telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii.

By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website