How to see four spectacular meteor showers from your home during lockdown

The skies above the UK will be illuminated by spectacular meteor showers throughout November and December.

As large parts of the country return under strict lockdown restrictions, experts say this is the right time to become an amateur struggler.

During the height of the first lockdown in March, many reported a reduction in fog and light pollution, which allowed for dark night skies.

This makes it easier to see space and stars.

And in the next two months, the meteor showers of Torrids, Leonidas, Geminids and Ursid will illuminate our night sky.

Those who live in rural areas will usually find the best disadvantages of spectacular displays and its garden stars thanks to the low levels of light pollution.

Although many may still be able to find them, including the Dark Back Garden, porch or terrace.

Ashley King, a planetary scientist at the Museum of Natural History, says: “Observing space from cities is not easy.

“However, there are a few spots that you can go for.

“The general advice is you can get the building as high as possible and minimize the light around you.”

Showers are best seen in dark places, in metropolitan areas where light pollution is still low but there is a good chance of touching meteors on a clear night.

Lockdown will not be all resurrection and darkness – if you are a stargazer

Visible meteor showers occur in November and December

Taurus

One of the longest meteor showers, Taurus began in October and will last until November.

Although not as frequent in numbers as other rains (up to 10 in an hour) Taurids are usually beautiful and provide astrology lovers with plenty of opportunities to spot them.

Slowly moving, meteors appear during the Earth’s collision with debris from comet Enke.

The stream can be divided into two parts as the flow is very diffused; Occurs between September 25 to November 25 and Southern Turids between October 12 and December 2 (due to peaks on November 10-10).

Leonids

Leonids are often produced when one of the brightest waterfalls of the year, with a fast and bright meteorite, encounters debris from the comet Temple-Total at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per second.

As the name of the star derives from it, the Lion Lion, the waterfall forms bright meteors with delicate trains and should be visible in the UK on the horizon.

The Leonids meteor is usually visible between November 15 and 20 and is expected to peak between November 17-28, midnight and dawn.

Gemini meteorite above Lindisfern Castle on Holy Island in Northumberland.

Gemini

One of the largest meteor showers of 2020, the Geminids take place when the Earth asteroid collides with debris from the 3200 phaeton and often produces a reliable show of very bright, moderately fast meteorites.

Unlike many other large fountains that come out of the wreckage of the asteroid (not the comet), geminids often produce fountains that are white, yellow, green, red, and blue.

These are caused by metals such as sodium or calcium in the shower. With its top producing meteor rates at speeds of up to 100 per hour, the fountain appears to be cast from Gemini near the star castor.

These Geminis are usually visible between 14 – 17 December and peaks are expected between 14 – 15 December.

Ursad

Although possibly isolated in meteor numbers (about five per hour), ursids can create beautiful streams of light from debris left behind comet 8p / tuttle, and Ursa appears to be emanating from minor constellations.

Visible between December 17 – 25, the fountain will rise from December 21 to December 22 just before Christmas.

In 2020, a crescent moon means less natural light pollution and more likely to shoot meteors and wires.

How to spot stars and meteor showers

When it comes to choosing the best evening to spot stars and meteors, it is important to consider the forecast and moonlight.

The night skies are darker when the moon is soaked or sinking, and meteors are more visible on a clear night.

Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Anna Ross says: “For the best chance of making these clear, you look anywhere dark.

“Allow about 20 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the darkness, to see the tiny points of light that travel very fast in the sky.

“It’s best to look at meteorites without using telescopes or binoculars when moving so fast, so you can see the sky as much as possible.”

Apps can help people identify stars and constellations more easily.

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