Dec
15
6:30pm 6:30pm

Geminids Meteor Shower - BIGGEST ALL YEAR!

Predicting up to 100 shooting stars per hour!!

This end-of-the-calendar shower is usually the year’s best, with upward of 100 meteors per hour radiating from a spot near the bright star Castor. For 2015, the thin, waxing crescent Moon won't be a distraction at all. Even better, the Geminid radiant is well up in the sky by 9 p.m. as seen from at mid-northern latitudes. The only downside is that this shower is relatively brief, and its predicted peak falls in mid-afternoon for North Americans. Geminid meteors come from 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid discovered in 1983 that circles the Sun every 3.3 years. - See more 

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Nov
18
to Nov 19

Leonids Meteor Shower

The Leonid shower's parent comet, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, tends to create narrow concentrated streams of debris that produced prodigious displays in the late 1990s, when it last swung close to the Sun. Since then the shower's activity has varied from year to year, usually offering little more than a trickle of shooting stars radiating from Leo’s Sickle. The nominal peak should be around 5:00 UT — great timing for North Americans. - See more

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Nov
5
to Nov 6

Southern Taurids Meteor Shower

Lasting from mid-September to mid-November, this broad, weak display typically produces at most a dozen meteors per hour at its peak. But in 2005 skywatchers were treated to a "Taurid fireball swarm" dominated by bright, slow-moving fireballs from larger-than-average particles — and that kind of display might happen again this year. According to dynamicist David Asher (Armagh Observatory), we should expect bright Taurid meteors and fireballs from about October 29th to November 10th. During this period the Moon's phase wanes from just-past-full gibbous to just shy of new. The shower’s radiant is in western Taurus, along its border with Cetus. - See more 

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Oct
22
to Oct 23

Orionids Meteor Shower

Predicting 20 shooting stars per hour!

Here's another modest shower due to Halley's Comet. Light from a waxing gibbous Moon will be a nuisance until it sets around 1 a.m. After that, you might glimpse up to 20 meteors per hour from a dark site in the hours before dawn. The shower’s radiant is located above Orion’s bright reddish star Betelgeuse. That's close enough to the celestial equator for observers in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres to enjoy the show. - See more

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Aug
13
to Aug 15

Perseids Meteor Shower - THE BIG ONE!

Predicting 60-80 shooting stars per hour! The most all summer long!!

Even casual skywatchers know about the Perseid meteor shower, because it offers up to 60 an hour under pleasant summer skies. According to the International Meteor Organization, the shower's 2015 peak should come between 6:30 and 9:00 UT, which is ideal for North America, and the just-past-new Moon will not be a factor. So start watching on the evening of the 12th as soon as the radiant (near the Double Cluster in Perseus) clears the horizon, and stay up as late as you can. Dynamicist Jérémie Vauballion (IMCCE, Paris) predicts that an additional pulse of activity might come about 12 hours earlier (best for Asia), when a dust trail shed in 1862 by the Perseids' parent comet, 109P/Swift-Tuttle, is expected to pass very close to near Earth. The story of how 19th-century observers realized this shower is an annual event is interesting reading. - See more

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Jul
28
to Jul 29

Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower

Predicting 20 shooting stars per hour!

You might see this long-lasting shower called the Southern Delta Aquariids, because its radiant is below the celestial equator and thus best seen from the Southern Hemisphere. Delta Aquariids tend to be faint, and this year they'll be ruined by light from a nearly full Moon. So don't count on seeing more than a few of these meteors per hour. - See more 

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May
6
to May 7

The Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower

Predicting 20-60 shooting stars per hour!

This annual shower originates from none other than Halley's Comet, and these meteors come in fast — 41 miles (66 km) per second! At its best, under ideal conditions, the Eta Aquariids can deliver a meteor per minute. But that's not the case this year: the shower's radiant (in the Water Jar asterism of Aquarius) rises late for northerners, and by then the sky will be flooded with light from a waning gibbous Moon. - See more

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Apr
23
to Apr 24

Lyrid Meteor Shower

Predicting 15-20 shooting stars per hour!

This isn't one of the year's strongest displays, but the Moon is only waxing crescent and so won't offer much competition. As with the Quadrantids, this shower puts on a fairly brief performance, and the counts can sometimes exceed one per minute. But the predicted peak (23:00 UT on April 22nd) comes too early for North America, though those on the East Coast might fare a little better than skywatchers in the Far West. Look for a few meteors per hour emanating from a radiant near the Hercules-Lyra border after darkness falls on the 22nd. - See more

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