Observing

Don’t miss the Quadrantid meteor shower’s peak on 3 January

2 January 2017 Ade Ashford

It’s time to direct your attention skyward for some celestial pyrotechnics from the first major annual meteor shower — the Quadrantids. The short-lived peak of this active shower is predicted to occur at 2pm GMT on 3 January, favouring observers in the west of North America, but most Northern Hemisphere observers with clear skies will still see some shooting stars.

Picture This

Flash Point by Brad Goldpaint

27 August 2016 Astronomy Now

The Perseid meteor shower shoots across the sky in the early hours of 13 August 2015, appearing to cascade from Mount Shasta in California, USA. The composite image features roughly 65 meteors.

Observing

Get ready for the Quadrantid meteor shower’s peak on 4 January

2 January 2016 Ade Ashford

The first major annual meteor shower is the Quadrantids that is active from 1 to 6 January. While it is a display that can rival the August Perseids or the December Geminids at its best, most of the peak activity occurs within a six-hour window centred on a short, sharp maximum that is predicted to fall on the UK morning of Monday, 4 January 2016.

Observing

See the Orionid meteor shower peak 21-23 October

20 October 2015 Astronomy Now

The highlight of October for meteor observers is the Orionid meteor shower, which occurs when the Earth encounters the debris stream of Halley’s Comet. With a broad maximum 21-23 October, peak rates are typically about a quarter of those seen for the Perseids of August. A good percentage of Orionids are bright and leave persistent trains.

Observing

Perseid meteors set to light up 12-13 August skies

7 August 2015 Astronomy Now

From the evening of Wednesday, 12 August into the early hours of the following morning, it is the maximum of the annual Perseid meteor shower. This year, a new Moon makes prospects for watching this natural firework display particularly good. So, find somewhere away from the streetlights, settle into a garden lounger facing northeast, and enjoy the show!

Observing

Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak

11 December 2014 Mark Armstrong

With the Moon past Last Quarter and rising after midnight, prospects are good for observing the closing stages of the Geminid meteor shower — now the richest shooting stars display of the year.

Observing

Leonids meteor shower reaches its peak

17 November 2014 Mark Armstrong

The Leonid meteor shower has been active for a few days now and reaches its peak on the night of 17/18 November. We can expect around 20 meteors per hour at best, with the radiant rising in the UK after 9pm.