Calling all skywatchers, those who spend countless nights admiring the stars, and anyone who loves a good meteor shower – a slew of meteor showers are on their way this fall, and they are expected to be visible from Halton!
You might want to take out your calendar and mark the dates.
According to The Weather Network, fall 2018 will be the “season of meteor showers.”
Seven meteor and lunar events are slated to shower through the sky from September through December of this year.
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“Several times each year, as Earth travels around the Sun, the planet passes through narrow streams of ice, dusty and rock, left behind by the repeated passage of comets through the inner solar system,” said The Weather Network Meteorologist, Scott Sutherland in a recent statement.
“When this happens, the debris in these streams is swept up by Earth’s atmosphere, and the tiny bits of ice and rock cause brief streaks of light in the night sky that we call meteors.
It’s the concentrations of meteors from these streams of debris that we call meteor showers, said Sutherland.
So, which meteor and lunar events can we look out for during the remainder of 2018?
Sept 24 – The Harvest Moon
This is the first full Moon of fall 2018, and you can catch it around 11 p.m.
Oct 8 – Draconids Meteor Shower
This minor shower averages 10 meteors per hour, according to The Weather Network. This year is set to have “prime viewing conditions” for the Draconids, since the moon will only be visible by a sliver, just at sunset.
So less light will be in the sky when night comes.
Mid-Oct – The Zodiacal Light in the East, before dawn
A huge cloud of interplanetary dust will encircle the sun this October, says the weather giant. It’s best viewed just after twilight.
“On clear mornings, and under dark skies, look to the eastern horizon, in the hour to half an hour just before twilight begins at dawn, from about October 13-27,” said Sutherland.
Oct 21-22 – Orionids Meteor Shower
This meteor shower might run from October 2-November 7 each year, but it’ll peak on October 21 and 22.
The meteors are set to be bright, though, and it’ll deliver about 20 meteors per hour.
Nov 5-6 – Taurids Meteor Shower
The Taurids are double trouble – they are actually two meteor showers!
Though we can expect only five to 10 meteors per hour, the New Moon will create excellent viewing conditions.
Nov 17-18 – Leonids Meteor Shower
The night of the 17 is expected to bring a peak in the Leonids, according to The Weather Network.
“From November 6-30, each year, Earth sweeps through a stream of debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle,” said Sutherland.
You can expect about 15 meteors per hour.
In 2033 or 2034, the Leonids could bring a meteor storm, with hundreds of meteors per hour.
Dec 13-14 – Geminids Meteor Shower
The Geminids originate from a rare object called the 3200 Pantheon, aka. a rock comet.
This shower tends to be bright and multicoloured, so it could be the most exciting shower of the year.
According to The Weather Network, the night will be pretty free of light, too, for excellent viewing conditions.
The Geminids also deliver more meteors than pretty much any other meteor shower – around 120 per hour when it peaks on the night of December 13-14, says Sutherland.
For more details on all of these showers, click here.