Look to the sky on Monday for the first meteor shower of 2021
A meteor of the lyrids in the sky is seen on April 22, 2020 in Schermbeck, Germany. The Quadrantid meteor shower will begin in the early morning of Jan. 4 and will last until dawn. “The visibility of meteor showers from year to year has a lot to do with whether there’s a bright Moon in the sky at the time or not. The further away you are from city lights, the darker it will be and the easier it will be to see the meteor shower. NASA officials said despite this meteor shower being one of the best this year, it isn’t the only occurrence we’ll have to look forward to this month.
Heads up! Geminid meteor shower to peak early next week
ROANOKE, Va. – Stargazers often look forward to this time of year, as it’s when the Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak. Don’t be surprised if you see a shooting star in the days leading up to next week, as this shower is currently active. Like any meteor shower, one advantage is that you won’t need any special equipment. Geminid meteor shower - 2020Even still, you’ll want to bundle up and allow some time for your eyes to adjust. Patience is a virtue when it comes to watching meteor showers!
Your best bet for catching a breathtaking glimpse of the Leonid meteor shower this month
Have you heard of the Leonid meteor shower? It comes around every November, but the chances of seeing it this year are much higher than last year. The shower happens at the same time every year, when Earth’s orbit crosses the orbit of Comet Tempel-Tuttle, according to Space.com. A trail of dust is left behind the comet, and when Earth’s orbit crosses that trail, pieces of the comet fall toward our planet’s surface. Luckily for us, meteors are visible to the naked eye, and the shower will peak overnight Monday into Tuesday (Nov. 16-17) around 3 a.m.
Meteors, blue moon and Mars, oh my! Beautiful triple threat on tap for skywatchers
Mars will appear brighter than at any other point during the year on Oct. 13, when it will be closest to Earth. “So, a little over every two years, Mars and Earth are closest together in their orbits and, thus, Mars is at its brightest in our nighttime sky. (© 2012 Michael Orso)Blue moon on HalloweenFor the first time since 2001, trick-or-treaters will get the chance to experience a Halloween full moon. A blue moon, by the most popular definition, according to Gross, is when two full moons appear in a single month. “We will have full moons on Oct. 1 and 31, so that means that we’ll have a blue moon on Halloween,” Gross said.
Perseid meteor shower to peak on Tuesday night
Tuesday night’s weather should give you a decent view of what’s considered the most popular meteor shower of the year. The Perseid meteor shower is caused by dust and debris left behind from the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle. It’s been active since July but it’s set to peak Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. “This meteor shower, you might see anywhere from 50 to 100 meteors an hour without the moon interfering if you’re in a good, dark sky site. That’s why this one is such a major meteor shower,” said Mark Hodges, exhibitis technician with the Science Museum of Western Virginia.
Lyrid meteor shower set to peak midweek
We could all use a distraction right now, and Mother Nature just might offer that up for us mid-week. If you feel like braving the cold and pitching a tent, the Lyrid meteor shower is set to peak Wednesday before sunrise. Peak occurs Wednesday morningYou’ll want to find a dark spot away from city/suburban lights, and give your eyes some time to adjust. Look toward the northeast as a starting point, but understand that these can be visible anywhere in the predawn sky. While you’re out there, see if you can spot Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in the southeast sky too!
The decade’s first meteor shower is happening this weekend
The new decade has arrived, and Mother Nature’s first gift to us all is an amazing meteor shower that will take place this weekend. The Quadrantid meteor shower will be easiest to see during the predawn hours Saturday, but is expected to begin late Friday. The Quadrantid meteor shower, which is known to produce 50-100 meteors, was named for a constellation that exists no more: the Quadrans Muralis. An astronomer by the name of Peter Jenniskens identified the parent body of the shower in 2003 as the asteroid 2003 EHI. EarthSky reported that if the asteroid is indeed the Quadrantid shower’s parent, the meteors come from a rocky body — not an icy comet.
First meteor shower of the year peaks this weekend
ROANOKE, Va. – The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks overnight Friday into early Saturday morning. Your Local Weather Authority’s contact for all things space, Tony Rice, said that no more than 25 meteors per hour would be seen this year. Quadrantids timing, amount and conditionsIt’s really a shame, as NASA says that this meteor shower is known more for bright fireballs. If you do find yourself in a cloud-free region, mainly well west of us, make sure to remove yourself from city lights. You’ll want to bundle up, as things will be turning much colder west of here.
Annual Geminid meteor shower peaks Thursday night, Friday morning
ROANOKE, Va. – Every December, sky-gazers wait on the Geminid meteor shower. The moon will be very close to full (94% full to be exact), which may dim out some shooting stars. Experts from EarthSky still expect that some shooting stars will overcome the moonlight. While the sky may start out clear Thursday night, clouds will gradually thicken overnight into Friday morning. If you miss out on this showing, look for the Quadrantids the night of January 3.
Meteor shower could produce several shooting stars a minute Thursday night
ROANOKE, Va. – Thursday night, we’ll have an opportunity to see a quick burst of shooting stars in the night sky. Jenniskens and Lyytinen said that current circumstances are very similar to that of an outburst that happened in 1995. An estimated rate of 400 meteors per hour could peak on Thursday night, but you’ll want to get out a half-hour before peak time (about 11 or 11:15 p.m.). One bit of good news for us is that the moon doesn’t rise until 2:19 a.m., which is after peak. Fingers crossed we can stay clear long enough for this brief outburst of shooting stars!