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Astronomical Events.


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Perseid Meteor Shower 12-13th August 2023

With a New Moon that night it means that clouds permitting it will be an excellent opportunity to see the peak of the Perseids, a meteor shower that experts annually rank as the best.

You may see up to 100 shooting stars per hour on the night of Saturday, Aug. 12, into the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 13, 

In 2022 the Perseids peaked whilst a Supermoon was out, the moon will not be a factor in 2023, and should result in a meteoric light show on a warm summer weekend.

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Meteor Showers 2023

You don't need any special equipment or a lot of skills to view a meteor shower. Even though all you really need is a clear sky, lots of patience, and our handy Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map with a visibility conditions meter to see a meteor shower, the following tips can help maximize your shooting star viewing experience.

Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.

Dress for the weather, and make sure you are comfortable, especially if you plan to stay out long. Bring a blanket or a comfortable chair with you—meteor watching can be a waiting game.

Once you have found your viewing spot, lie down on the ground and look at the sky. You can use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map or the table above to find the direction of the radiant; the higher the radiant is above the horizon, the more meteors you are likely to see.

Meteor showers appear to originate from the radiant, but meteors can appear in any part of the sky.

  • Perseids - its peak will occur between August 12 and 13th, it is one of the most popular meteor showers to watch in the Northern Hemisphere

  • Orionids - peaks on the night of October 21-22nd, it may feature 20 meteors per hour

  • Geminiids - one of the most anticipated of the year, peaking during the second full week of December (13-14th) Under ideal conditions, there can be over 100 meteors per hour.


Supermoons 2023

3 more to go this year: 1st August morning or evening, August 30-31st overnight and Sept 28-29 overnight

A supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth at the same time the Moon is full.

So what's so special about a supermoon? For the interested observer, there's plenty to see and learn.

  • The Moon orbits Earth in an ellipse, an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around.

  • The farthest point in this ellipse is called the apogee and is about 253,000 miles (405,500 kilometers) from Earth on average.

  • Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 226,000 miles (363,300 kilometers) from Earth.

  • When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon – and that's where we get a "supermoon.


Winter Solstice

There are two solstices every year: one in December and one in June. The December solstice marks the shortest day north of the equator and the longest day in the south.

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning 'the Sun stands still.' This is because on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. It's also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.

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