Sky at Night

Find out what to see in the night sky this month. What meteor showers are active now? Are there any comets to see? When is the next planetary conjunction?, Is there a solar or lunar eclipse soon?

 

Blue Moon Calendar
18th May 2014Sky at Night
A blue moon is a rare event which occurs when there is a second full moon in a month. The phrase has nothing to do with the actual colour of the moon.
Ursid Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
The Ursids are often neglected due to the fact it peaks just before Christmas and the rates are much less than the Geminds, which peaks just a week before the Ursids. Observers will normally see 5-10 Ursids per hour during the late morning hours on the date of maximum activity.
Leonid Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
The Leonids are famous because their meteor showers, or storms, can be among the most spectacular. The outbursts of meteor activity are best seen when their parent object, comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, is near perihelion (closest approach to the sun).
Orionid Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
The Orionid Meteor Shower is a medium strength shower that can reach high strength activity. In a normal year the Orionids produce 20-25 shower members at maximum. In exceptional years, such as 2006-2009, the peak rates were on par with the Perseids (50-75 per hour).
Perseid Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
The Perseids meteor shower is the most popular meteor shower as they peak on warm August nights as seen from the northern hemisphere. The Perseids are active from July 13 to August 26, reaching a strong maximum on August 11 - 13, depending on the year. Normal rates seen from rural locations range from 50-75 meteors per hour at maximum.
Alpha Capricornids Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
The Alpha Capricornids are active from July 11 through August with a "plateau-like" maximum centered on July 29. This shower is not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour. What is notable about this shower is the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period.
Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
Delta Aquariid Meteor Shower is another strong shower best seen from the southern tropics. North of the equator the radiant is located lower in the southern sky and therefore rates are less than seen from further south.
Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower
3rd December 2013Sky at Night
The Eta Aquariids are a strong shower when viewed from the southern tropics. From the equator Northward, they usually only produce medium rates of 10-30 per hour just before dawn. Activity is good for a week centered the night of maximum activity.