Update 13 December: Just a reminder that it’s Geminids weekend, with the peak tomorrow evening, but worth looking out, they say, from tonight. Just find Orion, and Gemini goes off at an angle from the top of it. I hope it’s as good as they’re expecting!
Update 3 December: The last meteor shower of 2015, the Geminids, is seemingly set to be the best of the year! Coming, obviously, from the Gemini constellation, the remnants of the Phaeton asteroid always provide a good show but this year there won’t be a moon, so viewing is optimal. The Tenerife Cabildo says that this year everyone can view online as though they were in Tenerife, benefiting from our wonderful dark sky, one of the cleanest in the world. There will be transmissions through the online TV channel sky-live.tv and from Tenerife Tourism’s website www.webtenerife.com. The transmissions will be from 5.55 to 6.10pm and again between 10 and 10.45pm on Monday, 14 December, the peak of the Geminids shower.
Update 5 November: The South Taurid meteor peaks overnight tonight, between midnight and dawn, and although there aren’t too many meteors with this shower, they are said to tend to produce fireballs! Later this month there are two other meteor showers, the North Taurids peaking overnight on the 12-13th, and both are helped by a dark moon in the small hours. The really famous November meteor shower, however, is the Leonids overnight on the 17-18th. This shower is said to have produced some of the most famous displays, sometimes reaching thousands per minute! A real shower of shooting stars! As always, keep watch a night or two either side of the peak.
Update 1 October: Two meteor showers this month, the Draconids and Orionids. The first appear to originate at the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon in the northern sky, and will be visible in the evening rather than in the night. The Draconids are not known as a major shower, but there can be odd spectacular years and this year there’s a crescent moon over the peak on 8 and 9 October so viewing will be optimal. The second shower, the Orionids, will again benefit from a dark sky during the peak between midnight and dawn on 22 October, but possibly a few days either side of that as well. They’re said to leave very visible trains, and sometimes to produce fireballs! They appear to come from the club of the constellation of Orion.
Update 23 July: Two meteor showers are coming up over the next few weeks. First, the Delta Aquarids next week, peaking on Tuesday and Wednesday, though the southern hemisphere usually has a better view of them. This year, too, the main part of the shower will be under a full moon, reducing visibility further. In fact, this coming full moon will be a blue moon … a second full moon in a month.
If the Delta Aquarids are a bit of a let-down, however, they overlap with the Perseids, the far more famous meteor shower. This peaks on 11, 12 and 13 August, and astronomers say that this year is going to be a fabulous Perseid year. They are best viewed looking north to north-east any time between midnight and dawn increasing in rate as the nights go on, but they are so bright that they can be seen in the late evening and early morning, as well as for at least a week either side of the peak. Also, this year, as a bonus, there will be little in the way of moonlight to ruin the show.
Update 19 April: The second meteor shower of 2015, the Lyrids, will be visible this Tuesday and Wednesday, 21-22 and 22-23 April. There’s a chart HERE of where best to look out for them. Astronomers say that the best time will be shortly before dawn, especially on the night of the 22-23rd, but any time after 10pm on either night should be rewarding. Apparently they’re expecting this year to be a bumper one for the Lyrids.
Original post 5 January: The first meteor shower of 2015 was the Quadrantids, which hardly provided any show a couple of nights ago since the peak only lasted a few hours, and there was an almost full moon which didn’t set until just before dawn. With this year’s Quadrantids not giving the best show, below is a full list of this year’s other meteor showers. The next is the Lyrids in April:
January 3-4 Quadrantids
April 21-22 Lyrids
May 5-6 Eta Aquarids
July 27-28 Delta Aquarids
August 11-12 Perseids
October 8 Draconids
October 21-22 Orionids
November 4-5 South Taurids
November 12-13 North Taurids
November 17-18 Leonids
December 13-14 Geminids
Click HERE for full information on them all.