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Joined: May 2010
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When August comes around, the best sky show of the year is also on its way. The Perseids are an annual meteor shower. What's it all about and how can you see it?

Meteor Shower - The Perseids

The Perseids are peaking now, but in a clear sky, there should still be some to see in the nights to come - if you have a clear sky.


Mona Evans
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EarthSky says:
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Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn are in the sky at dusk throughout September 2020, with Mercury hard to view from northerly latitudes. Bright Mars rises in the east in the early evening. Brilliant Venus rides high in the east in the hours before sunrise.

Here is more information on the planets this month


Mona Evans
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Top 3 things to see in the night sky in October:

1. Throughout the month - Spot the planets Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are visible with the naked eye.)
2. 13 Oct - Mars reaches opposition and will be at its brightest.
3. 21/22 Oct - It's the peak of the Orionids meteor shower.


Mona Evans
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Late Monday night, early Tuesday morning (November 16-17), the Leonid meteor shower peaks. Astronomy says:
Quote
the projected rate is 15 meteors per hour. With the Moon out of the way, the show should put on a good display. The best views will come between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M. local time.

The Leonids are fast-moving meteors and often show persistent trains of ionized gas that can hang in the sky for several seconds after a meteor passes overhead. This shower results from debris left by Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, whose last visit to the inner solar system occurred in 1998. Its next perihelion, or close pass of the Sun, will be in 2031.


The Leonids’ radiant lies in the sickle of Leo the Lion, which rises shortly after midnight. The greatest meteor rates will occur a few hours later. [Image: Roen Kelly, Astronomy]


Mona Evans
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Cosmic Pursuits notes:
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It's not been the best of years, but 2020 ends with an excellent month of stargazing with a major meteor shower and the closest conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn since Galileo Galilei was still a working astronomer.


Here's the lowdown (or should that be the highup) for the December sky.


Mona Evans
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