29 December 2016

Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2017

The first meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantids, peak on the morning of Tuesday January 3rd for those of us on the west coast of the United States. The Quadrantids have a relatively short peak (a few hours) and if you have favorable conditions with a dark cloudless sky, it will be worth the effort to brave the cold weather and look for these meteors.

Here are some other resources on the subject. The Sky & Telescope article provides a good history of this particular shower and both have tips on when and where to look.

Earth Sky: http://earthsky.org/?p=4287

Sky & Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/catch-the-quadrantid-meteors-if-you-can/

14 December 2016

Winter Astronomy Highlights

Winter is nearly upon us, and the magical sky that arrives at the end of each year lights up the long dark night with many colorful stars, bright constellations, and treasures that await your viewing. When the sky is crisp and clear, put on a warm coat and grab a pair of binoculars and face south and you will find a sky full of ... more than just stars.

Universe2Go created a nice infographic that includes a timeline of specific events of interest over the next three months. Next up is a close alignment of the waning Moon and Jupiter on December 22nd, one day after the Winter Solstice. Mark your calendar for those and other astronomical events of interest.

Image courtesy of Universe2Go.