Friday, December 4, 2015

1204Y2K+15 Dark Night Skies…Winter

Colder nights, darker nights, brighter stars! This equals good visual viewing in the cold winter nights ahead. However with El Nino still lurking in our atmosphere, could mean more cloudy nights ahead? Maybe a break, with clear skies the second week of this month……

With this forecast in mind, I look forward to viewing the planets Jupiter, Mars and Venus in the chill of the pre-dawn sky. December 13 look for the Geminids, moon should not hinder the bright streaks going across our sky. The relatively slow moving meteors arise from debris released from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon.   This is unusual, as most meteor showers come from comets.  The radiant - where the meteors appear to come from - is close to the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini as shown on the chart. Winter begins on December 21, 10:38 pm. Winter solstice brings us cold grey skies until we march into spring thaw. Gear up with the folks on the TPML hilltop will try and observe on the night of December 5 with clear skies forecast. Enjoy the night sky with the holiday lights and festivities during Christmas.

Clear Skies………..