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Solar System Events Calendar 2017 - 2018

Bringing you 90 days worth of solar system events. These include things of up-coming interest like equinoxes and solstices, major spacecraft events, and things you can see with your naked eye like eclipses and comets.

Taurids Meteor Shower

The Taurids are an annual meteor shower associated with the comet Encke. They are named after their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky. Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween fireballs. Due to the gravitational perturbations of planets, especially Jupiter, the Taurids have spread out over time, allowing separate segments labeled the Northern Taurids (NTA) and Southern Taurids (STA) to become observable. The Southern Taurids are active from about September 10 to November 20, while the Northern Taurids are active from about October 20 to December 10. LinkEnds:

Orionids Meteor Shower

The Orionids are generated by dust from Halley's Comet. It produces about 20 meteors per hour at its peak - usually on the 21st, but it is highly irregular. A good show could be experienced on any morning from October 20 - 25. Best viewing is east after midnight. Visible in northern and southern hemispheres. LinkEnds:

Leonids Meteor Shower

The Leonids (generated by comet Tempel-Tuttle) can be quite a prolific shower with between 15 and hundreds of meteors per hour - but averaging around 40. The activity peaks every 33 years with the last peak in 2001. It is usually most active on November 17 and 18. Look for the shower radiating from the constellation Leo after midnight. Visible in northern and southern hemispheres. LinkEnds:

Geminids Meteor Shower

The Geminids originate from 3200 Phaethon which is an asteroid whose orbit takes it close to the sun. The heat of the sun causes a dust tail to be formed which gives rise to the Geminids. The Geminids are known for producing up to 60 multicolored meteors per hour at their peak at around the 13th-14th December. although some meteors should be visible from December 6 - 19. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight. Visible in northern and southern hemispheres. LinkEnds:

Ursids Meteor Shower

The Ursids appear to be linked to the comet 8P/Tuttle. They produce around 10 meteors per hour at their peak and can be seen in the northern hemisphere after midnight. LinkEnds:

December Solstice

The shortest day for the northern hemisphere and the longest for the southern hemisphere.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower

The object responsible for the origin of the Quadrantids is not certain. This shower is often difficult to observe because it has a very sharp peak in activity which lasts only for a few hours. The peak occurs around the 3rd/4th January with around 90 meteors per hour. Visible in the northern hemisphere. LinkEnds: