Friday, January 2, 2015

Quadrantids Meteor Shower.

This occurs annually each year between the 1st and 5th January and, at its peak, can see around 40 per hour of passage given optimum viewing conditions. The shower is thought to be derived from the debris left behind by the extinct comet, 2003 EH1  ( only discovered in 2003 ).  The phenomenon usually "peaks" on the 3rd or 4th night.

I'd rather looked forward to watching out for this first astronomical "event" in 2015 but , looking at the weather forecast for Islay, I doubt it's going to happen. Cloudy conditions, with rain on occasions, appears to be most likely and to have quashed the idea.  Still if you find your night sky clear after midnight over the next couple of nights I'm sure it's worth a look.  Unfortunately the full moon appears on Monday so developing bright conditions might also affect your ability to actually see any of the meteors. Make a note for next year too!!

Did you know......On Monday the full moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and, therefore, fully illuminated.  That's if the sky is nice and clear of clouds and viewing conditions good!!  This full moon was known by the North American Indian tribes as the Full Wolf Moon as it was at this time of year that the hungry wolf packs used to patrol around and howl outside their camps.