Friday, 11 December 2009

#Meteorwatch Hits Newbury

@NewburyAS has been abuzz with activity as the Newbury Astronomical Society is recording the rising anticipation ahead of this weekends three-day culmination of the Geminid meteor shower.

Adrian West explained that the expectations of clear skies will mean a spectactular (if chilly) show will be provided across the northern hemisphere.

The best opportunity to get a good viewing will be on Sunday evening when as many as 100 meteors an hour will leave firey tails in the heavens.

The shower is created as an asteroid named 3200 Phaethon reaches the closest point on its' elliptical 1.4 year orbit of the sun.

It is a relatively new event having being first recorded in 1862, despite being one of the most spectacular, and is so-called because the shower appears to radiate out of the Gemini constellation.

Previous 'star parties' hosted by the society website have attracted large global audiences and this event is expected to help the organisation see out the International Year of Astronomy 2009 with a big bang.

For the best tips follow the hashtag #meteorwatch and @NewburyAS on twitter - the party officially starts on Saturday 12th December at 7pm and is expected to continue for about 48hours.

But the best place to see it all is by going outside and having a look for yourself - don't forget to make a wish!


Update: LibDem Cllr Glenn Goodall is optimistic about the prospect of a dedicated UK space agency - and he says the figures show it makes sound economic sense.

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