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?
Skywatchers will be treated to the longest "blood moon" eclipse of the 21st Century on Friday. As it rises Earth's natural satellite will turn a striking shade of red or ruddy brown with the "totality" period lasting for one hour, 43 minutes.
Moon watching is a great way to start to exploring the night sky and you don't need any expensive equipment to enjoy looking at this facinating object.
A collection of mobile applications to help you navigate the night sky, locate objects and never miss an astronomical event.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.