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Solar System Events Calendar 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.

Southern Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower

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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:

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:

September Equinox

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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:

Launch of BepiColumbo Mission to Mercury

At:
The joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission will launch on an Ariane 5 from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, setting a trio of spacecraft on course for Mercury. The spacecraft will travel together: a transfer module will carry the two science orbiters - the ESA Mercury Planetary Orbiter and the JAXA Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter - using a combination of solar power and electric propulsion, and nine gravity-assist flybys of Earth, Venus and Mercury. Arrival will be in 2025. Link

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: