Meteor Showers 2015: Perseids, Lyrids, Geminids, Leonids, Draconids, Orionids, Etc — Dates & Times

January 15, 2015 in Space

2015 is looking set to be a good year for meteor showing watching — with good peak-rates and nice dark skies being likely for most of the major showers of the year.

As a result I’ve compiled the below list outlining the best dates and times for watching the various major meteor showers of the year — the Geminids, Perseids, Draconids, Taurids, Lyrids, Orionids, Leonids, and Aquarids. As well as creating a handy inforgraphic (posted directly below). Enjoy.

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What Is A Meteor Shower? Why Do Meteor Showers Occur? — Causes, Mechanisms, Naming, & History

January 14, 2015 in Space

What is a meteor shower exactly? Why do meteor showers occur? What are the best dates, times, and places to watch them? How are they named?

All good questions — and ones that this article will address. With an overview to be given to the modern history of the science that’s behind our current understanding of the phenomena, the mechanisms and causes behind the appearance of meteor showers in the skies, and the system of naming that the modern names are determined by.

As well as, perhaps most importantly, an overview of the (generally) best times, dates, and places to observe them at/from. Enjoy.

Perseid meteor shower
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Comet ISON 2013 — Dates, Times, Path, Updates, And Pictures

November 14, 2013 in Space

Comet ISON is nearly here — the potentially incredible comet should soon be visible to the naked eye, reaching perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on November 28. Once perihelion occurs — if the comet survives — it should brighten significantly, and become visible in both the evening sky after sunset, and in the morning sky before sunrise.

The best dates to watch will likely be right in the middle of December, probably between the 10th and the 15th — though there’s a real possibility that Comet ISON will remain visible throughout all of December and also early January. The comet will probably be easier to spot in the evenings, but it should be visible both before sunrise and after sunset. With regard to where to find Comet ISON in the sky in December — when watching before sunrise, you’ll want to look to the East, and when watching after sunset, you’ll want to look to the West/North-West.

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Dance Of The Planets May 2013 — What Is It? Where And When To Watch Venus, Jupiter, And Mercury

May 21, 2013 in Space

The “Dance of the Planets” — what is it? The dance of the planets is the term popularly used for the astronomical event where Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury, are each within the same roughly 5° circle in the sky — and over a period of days change and rotate positions with each other — dancing.

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Comet PANSTARRS, Where And When To See Sungrazing Comet In March

February 26, 2013 in Space

Comet Pan-STARRS is nearly here. The sun grazing comet, coming all the way from the Oort Cloud, is expected to put on its potentially best display on the evening of March 12th or 13th. It should appear visible to the naked eye in the Western evening sky (as shown below), right next to the crescent moon. The comet is now predicted to end up ‘only’ as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper, though possibly with a tail visible to the naked eye. Because of how close the comet will be traveling to the Sun, the only time to see it will likely be during the twilight.

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You may be able to faintly make out the comet as early as March 5th, once it nears the plant Mercury. Regardless of how bright Comet PANSTARRS ends up, in November Comet ISON is expected to greatly surpass it. Potentially becoming brighter than the Full Moon, and visible even in broad daylight.

For those in the Southern Hemisphere, Comet PANSTARRS is already visible with the naked eye. Though not very bright yet. You should be able to make it out, close to the horizon, before dawn and after sunset. You can find it currently moving through the constellation of Grus the Crane.

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