Space Gaze Children

Stellar performances

Uranus gets up close and personal, while the moon plays hide and seek. Galaxies come together and there are showers all the way.

Tonight you can catch the Draconids Meteor Shower. The Draconids is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by the grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner in 1900. The Draconids is an unusual shower and best viewed in the early evening instead of early morning like most others. The shower runs annually from October 6-11 and peaks on 8.

Bite the travel bug

October 12 is a full moon night. The moon will be located on the opposite side of the earth as the sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This moon was known as the Full Hunters Moon as it was considered to be the time of year when the leaves would begin to fall indicating that the game was ready to hunt. It is also known as the Travel Moon and the Blood Moon.

The Triangulum galaxy also called Messier 33, is 2.7 million light-years away, and is the third largest galaxy, after the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. The Triangulum galaxy makes its appearance on October 15. You will see the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies cosying up in the sky.

Mercury will be seen at its greatest eastern elongation on October 20. The planet will reach an elongation of 24.6° from the sun. It will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky.

Mark your calendars for yet another shower. The Orionids is an average shower producing up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by the dust grains left behind by comet Halley. The shower runs annually from October 2 to November 7, and it peaks on the night of October 21 and the morning of 22. The best time to watch the Orionids is pre-dawn.

Uranus, the blue-green planet will be closest to earth and will be fully illuminated by the sun on October 22. It will be at its brightest and will be visible all night long. But, due to its distance, it will only appear as a tiny blue-green dot.

October 28 is the night of the New Moon and the best time to observe galaxies and star clusters. And, on the last day of the month watch the moon and Jupiter come closer and with moonlight at 14% the biggest planet will shine even brighter.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 11:54:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/stellar-performances/article29634853.ece

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