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Solar System Events Calendar 2017

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.

Southern Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower

Starts:
This yearly meteor shower occurs when the Earth moves through the debris of the breakup of the Marsden and Kracht Sungrazing comets. It usually peaks around July 28th/29th and can peak at 15-20 meteors per hour. LinkEnds:

Perseid Meteor Shower

Starts:
This yearly meteor is caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle. It usually peaks around 12th/13th August and can peak at 80 meteors per hour. Visible in the northern hemisphere only. LinkEnds:

Total Solar Eclipse

Starts:
A dramatic total eclipse will plunge the Sun into darkness for 2 minutes and 40 seconds at maximum, creating an amazing spectacle for observers in a path up to 115 km wide. It will be seen across the central US. The partial eclipse will be visible from the whole of North America, northern South America, and western Europe and Africa. Remember - Always protect your eyes before viewing a solar eclipse. LinkEnds:

Taurids Meteor Shower

Starts:
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:

Final transmission from Cassini spacecraft to Earth.

Starts:
The spacecraft Cassini was launched in 1997, and since 2004 has been in orbit around Saturn. It's fuel reserves have run very low and in order to prevent it crashing into and contaminating the moons Enceladus and Titan (which might contain life) it is being deliberately de-orbited into Saturn's Atmosphere. Due to the distance between Earth and Saturn, it will take over an hour for Cassini's final transmission to reach earth. LinkEnds:

September Equinox

At:
Equinox day! For non-equatorial folk, get out your Summer or Winter clothes!

Orionids Meteor Shower

Starts:
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:

Draconids Meteor Shower

Starts:
The Draconids are generated by dust from comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner. It usually produces a low number of meteors per hour but has on occasion been spectacular. Visible to people in the northern hemisphere and people near the equator in the southern hemisphere. LinkEnds:

Leonids Meteor Shower

Starts:
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: