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The Perseids PDF Print E-mail

The annual Perseid meteor shower is coming. The shower begins, gently, in mid-July when Earth enters the outskirts of a cloud of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Dust-sized meteoroids, hitting the atmosphere, will streak across the night sky, at first only a sprinkling, just a few each night, but the rate will build. By August 12th when the shower peaks, sky watchers can expect to see dozens, possibly even hundreds, of meteors per hour.

The Geminid Meteor Shower PDF Print E-mail

The Geminids

The Geminid meteor shower officially begins on December 7th, but it doesn't peak until the morning of the 13/14th. Unlike the Leonids, the Geminid's broad maximum lasts nearly a full day, so observers around the globe have a good chance to see the show. At its peak the Geminids could produce as many as one shooting star every 30 seconds.

Leonid Meteors Outburst PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Stronge   

This year's annual display of the Leonid meteor shower occurs from 10th to 21st November, with the broad peak of activity occurring during Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th.

According to theoretical predictions by David Asher of the Armagh Observatory, and colleagues, there may be up to 100 meteors per hour seen under ideal conditions during the late evening of the 17th and early morning of the 18th November.

This year's activity results mainly from the Earth passing through trails of dust emitted by Comet Tempel-Tuttle in the years 1466 and 1533. Esko Lyytinen and Markku Nissinen of Finland further predict that the 1466 trail may produce enhanced rates generally, with at least 40 meteors per hour occurring for much of November 17th.

Leonids travel at very high speeds through our atmosphere, at up to about 160,000 miles per hour, and many leave lasting glows known as persistent trains.

Choosing Your First Telescope PDF Print E-mail

Choosing Your First Telescope - A Beginner's Guide by Stevie Beasant & Eamonn Keyes

A question which keeps popping up over and over again on the NIAAS forum is "How do I select a telescope"?

Usually, this question will be asked by those who are beginning to take an interest in astronomy.

They may have seen or read an article about some aspect of astronomy, and want to investigate further.

Astronomy is a vast subject, with many different aspects.
Observing is only one aspect of the subject, although it is a very important one.

There are hundreds of books, several monthly magazines and literally millions of articles on the internet about astronomy, and it would be possible to build a detailed knowledge of the subject from these sources alone.

Comet C/2006 M4 (Swan) PDF Print E-mail

by Martin McKenna

Comet SWAN is currently the brightest comet in the night sky and its swim through the evening sky keeps it very well placed for observation in the UK. This comet has caused much interest among comet enthusiasts since it emerged from behind the sun during late September with its magnitude running brighter than predicted. With your binoculars and telescopes why not follow this fleeting visitor from night to night as you trace its ghostly tail passing through a background of stars and galaxies.

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