September Moon & Planet Diary for 2015


The follwing table lists various solar system object events during September. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

September 1 Neptune at opposition
Uranus 1.0 degrees north of the Moon Occn
September 4 Mercury greatest elong E(27)
September 5 Aldebaran 0.6 degrees south of the Moon Occn
Moon last quarter
Venus stationary
September 6 Moon northern most declination (18.2 degrees)
September 10 Venus 2.6 degrees south of the Moon
Mars 4.6 degrees north of the Moon
September 11 Regulus 3.2 degrees north of the Moon
September 12 Jupiter 3.1 degrees north of the Moon
September 13 Moon new Eclipse
September 14 Moon at apogee
September 15 Mercury 5.1 degrees south of the Moon
September 16 Spica 4.1 degrees south of the Moon
September 17 Mercury stationary
September 19 Saturn 2.7 degrees south of the Moon
September 21 Moon first quarter
Moon southern most declination (-18.1 degrees)
September 22 Pluto 3.3 degrees south of the Moon
September 23 Equinox
September 24 Pluto stationary
September 25 Mars 0.8 degrees north of Regulus
September 26 Neptune 2.9 degrees south of the Moon
September 28 Moon full Eclipse
Moon at perigee
September 29 Uranus 0.9 degrees north of the Moon Occn
September 30 Mercury inferior conjunction
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • inferior conjunction: Conjunction where a solar system object is between the Earth and the Sun
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth

August Moon & Planet data for 2015


The follwing table lists various solar system object events during August. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

August 2 Moon at perigee
Neptune 2.8 degrees south of the Moon
Saturn stationary
August 5 Uranus 0.9 degrees north of the Moon Occn
August 7 Moon last quarter
Mercury 0.5 degrees north of Jupiter
Mercury 0.9 degrees north of Regulus
August 8 Aldebaran 0.7 degrees south of the Moon Occn
August 10 Moon northern most declination (18.3 degrees)
August 11 Jupiter 0.4 degrees north of Regulus
August 13 Mars 5.5 degrees north of the Moon
August 14 Moon new
Venus 4.5 degrees south of the Moon
August 15 Regulus 3.2 degrees north of the Moon
Jupiter 3.5 degrees north of the Moon
Venus inferior conjunction
August 16 Mercury 1.9 degrees north of the Moon
August 18 Moon at apogee
August 19 Spica 4.1 degrees south of the Moon
August 22 Saturn 2.5 degrees south of the Moon
Moon first quarter
August 25 Moon southern most declination (-18.2 degrees)
August 26 Pluto 3.2 degrees south of the Moon
Jupiter at conjunction
August 29 Moon full
Neptune 2.9 degrees south of the Moon
August 30 Moon at perigee
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • conjunction: Two astronomical objects are 'lined up' (have the same right ascension) when viewed from Earth. If only one object is mentioned the Sun is generally the other object.
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • inferior conjunction: Conjunction where a solar system object is between the Earth and the Sun
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth

July Moon & Planet data for 2015


The follwing table lists various solar system object events during July. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

July 1 Moon southern most declination (-18.4 degrees)
Venus 0.4 degrees south of Jupiter
July 2 Moon full
Pluto 2.9 degrees south of the Moon
July 5 Moon at perigee
July 6 Neptune 2.9 degrees south of the Moon
Pluto at opposition
Earth at aphelion
July 8 Moon last quarter
July 9 Uranus 0.7 degrees north of the Moon Occn
July 12 Aldebaran 0.9 degrees south of the Moon Occn
July 14 Moon northern most declination (18.4 degrees)
July 15 Mercury 5.5 degrees north of the Moon
Mars 5.8 degrees north of the Moon
July 16 Moon new
Mercury 0.1 degrees south of Mars
July 18 Jupiter 4.0 degrees north of the Moon
July 19 Regulus 3.2 degrees north of the Moon
Venus 0.4 degrees north of the Moon Occn
Venus 2.9 degrees south of Regulus
July 20 Mercury 5.4 degrees south of Pollux
July 21 Moon at apogee
July 23 Venus stationary
Spica 3.9 degrees south of the Moon
Mercury superior conjunction
July 24 Moon first quarter
July 26 Saturn 2.2 degrees south of the Moon
Uranus stationary
July 28 Moon southern most declination (-18.4 degrees)
July 29 Pluto 3.0 degrees south of the Moon
Mars 5.7 degrees south of Pollux
July 31 Venus 5.5 degrees south of Regulus
Moon full
  • aphelion: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Sun
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • superior conjunction: Conjunction where the Sun is between the Earth another solar system object

June Moon & Planet data for 2015


The follwing table lists various solar system object events during June. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

June 1 Saturn 1.9 degrees south of the Moon
June 2 Moon full
June 3 Moon southern most declination (-18.4 degrees)
June 5 Pluto 3.0 degrees south of the Moon
June 6 Venus greatest elong E(45)
June 9 Neptune 3.1 degrees south of the Moon
Moon last quarter
June 10 Moon at perigee
June 11 Mercury stationary
Uranus 0.5 degrees north of the Moon Occn
June 12 Neptune stationary
June 14 Mars at conjunction
June 15 Mercury 0.1 degrees north of the Moon Occn
Aldebaran 1.0 degrees south of the Moon Occn
June 16 Mars 5.5 degrees north of the Moon
Moon new
Moon northern most declination (18.5 degrees)
June 20 Venus 5.6 degrees north of the Moon
Jupiter 4.5 degrees north of the Moon
June 21 Solstice
Regulus 3.4 degrees north of the Moon
June 23 Moon at apogee
Mercury 2.0 degrees north of Aldebaran
June 24 Moon first quarter
Mercury greatest elong W(22)
June 26 Spica 3.6 degrees south of the Moon
June 29 Saturn 1.9 degrees south of the Moon
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • conjunction: Two astronomical objects are 'lined up' (have the same right ascension) when viewed from Earth. If only one object is mentioned the Sun is generally the other object.
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth

The Solar System in April

NZDT ends on the morning of Sunday 5 April, clocks being set back an hour at 3am.

Dates and times are NZDT (UT +13 hours) up to April 4 and NZST (UT + 12 hours) from April 5 unless otherwise specified. Rise and set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ.

Sunrise, sunset and twilight times in april

                     April  1  NZDT                 April 30  NZST    
                    morning  evening               morning  evening   
           rise:   7.33am,  set: 7.15pm     rise: 7.03am,  set: 5.31pm
Twilights                                                             
 Civil:    starts: 7.08am, ends: 7.41pm   starts: 6.38am, ends: 5.58pm
 Nautical: starts: 6.36am, ends: 8.13pm   starts: 6.05am, ends: 6.31pm
 Astro:    starts: 6.04am, ends: 8.45pm   starts: 5.33am, ends: 7.03pm

April PHASES OF THE MOON (times as shown by GUIDE)

  Full moon:     April  5 at  1.06 am (Apr  4, 12:06 UT)
  Last quarter:  April 12 at  3.44 pm (        03:44 UT)
  New moon:      April 19 at  6.57 am (Apr 18, 18:57 UT)
  First quarter: April 26 at 11.55 am (Apr 25, 23:55 UT)

Total eclipse of moon.

The moon will be totally eclipsed on the night of April 4 to 5. The entire event is visible from New Zealand and from eastern and central Australia. From Perth in Western Australia the moon rises about 15 minutes before the start of the initial umbral phase. The total phase of the eclipse is very short, lasting 7 minutes 21 seconds from 12:56:55 am to 1:04:16 am NZDT (11:56:55 to 12:04:16 UT). The northern limb of the moon is only just inside the umbra at totality, so is likely to remain quite brightly lit.

The moon enters the umbra at 11:15:30 pm and leaves it again at 2:46:16 NZDT. The penumbral phases, during which little change in the moon will be noticed, starts at 10:01:07 pm and ends 3:59:29 am NZDT. Note that strictly NZDT reverts to NZST at 3:00 am, before the end of the eclipse.

The planets

Mercury, Mars and Uranus are all too close to the Sun to observe. Venus gets a little higher in the evening sky, Jupiter is prominent in the first part of the evening but gets low by late evening setting just before midnight by the 30th. Saturn is best viewed late evening and through the morning before sunrise.

Mercury is at superior conjunction with the Sun on April 10 at about 3 pm. Following conjunction Mercury will become an evening object. By the end of April it will set some 45 minutes after the Sun, so is not likely to be visible.

At conjunction Mercury will be 200 million km from the Earth, 50 million km beyond the Sun. At its closest it would appear to be just over half a degrees from the southern limb of the Sun, an angle about equal to the Sun's apparent diameter.

Venus gets a little higher in the western sky following sunset during April. On the 1st it sets some 90 minutes after the Sun, increasing to just over 2 hours later on the 30th. Even so Venus will be fairly low to the northwest soon after sunset.

The planet starts the month in Aries, moving into Taurus on the 7th. On the 11th and 12th it will be about 2.5° above the Pleiades. By the end of April Venus will be 3° from the star beta Tau, magnitude 1.7

The crescent moon will be a few degrees from Venus on the evenings of the 21st and 22nd of April. The moon will be to the left of the planet on first evening and above it the following evening.

Mars sets 45 minutes after the Sun on April 1; only half an hour after later on the 30th. With a magnitude 1.4 it is not likely to be visible. Following sunset, Mars will be in a direction about half way round from west to northwest.

Jupiter will be easily visible during the earlier part of the evening but will get low by late evening early in the month and by mid evening at the end of April. By then it will set just before midnight.

During April the planet is in Cancer. It is stationary on the 9th so shows very little change in position relative to the stars all month. On the 26th the moon, just past first quarter, will be some 6° to the left of Jupiter, the moon getting slightly closer to the planet as the evening progresses.

Mutual events of jovian satellites

There are about 10 mutual events of Jupiter's Galilean satellites observable from NZ during April. Now Jupiter is visible in the evening sky, some of these take place at a more convenient time. They include:

April 2, Callisto occults Ganymede mid event ca 10.48pm NZDT (9:48 UT). The two merge ~10 minutes earlier and separate ~10 minutes later. The two moons will be well out from Jupiter with Europa between them and the planet. Io will not be visible, being in eclipse in Jupiter's shadow. April 3, Io eclipses Europa. Maximum eclipse at 11.09pm (10:09 UT) The eclipse lasts in all 5 minutes, the magnitude change is 0.7. Europa will be close to Jupiter's limb, Io a little further out. April 8, Ganymede occults Callisto, mid event 8.08 pm NZST (08:08 UT) The occultation lasts some 6.5 minutes in all. The two moons will be some distance from Jupiter with Io and Europa on the other side of the planet. April 23, Europa occults Io, mid event ~8.18 pm. The occultation lasts some 3.3 minutes in all. Io and Europa will be about 1.5 Jupiter diameters from the planet, Ganymede and Callisto will be further out on the same side of Jupiter. April 27, Ganymede occults Callisto, mid event ~10.13 pm. This is a fairly long occultation lasting some 25 minutes in all. The two moons will be several diameters from Jupiter with Io between them and the planet. Europa will be on the opposite side of Jupiter

Useful observations and timings of these events can be made by those set up for the video observation of minor planet occultations.

Users of Dave Herald's Occult program can generate their own predictions of these and other events. Hristo Pavlov's Occult Watcher programme will also list them and has diagrams showing the satellites relative to Jupiter. Details can also be found on the IMCCE web site, http://www.imcce.fr/phemu/ where predictions and requirements for observing and reporting information are available.

Saturn rises at 9.39 pm on April 1, 6.41 pm, 70 minutes after sunset, on April 30. The planet is in Scorpius moving slowly to the west. By the end of April it will be just over a degree from beta1 Scorpii (mag 2.6) and a little under 10° from Antares.

On the 8th the 86% lit moon will be less than 3° from Saturn, the two being closest about 1am on the 9th.

At present Saturn's north pole is tilted 25° towards the Earth. This brings the northern surface of the rings well into view. They should be visible in binoculars, although a small telescope is likely to give a better view.

Outer planets

Uranus is at conjunction with the Sun on April 7. Consequently it is close to the Sun all month and not likely to be observable. After conjunction Uranus becomes a morning object. By the end of April it will rise nearly 2 hours before the Sun.

Neptune is a morning object during April. It rises about two and three quarter hours before the Sun on the 1st and just over 5 hours earlier than the Sun on the 30th. It is in Aquarius at magnitude 7.9

During April Neptune is overtaken by the faster moving asteroid Vesta. The two are closest on the morning of April 17 when Vesta, magnitude 8.0, will be 2.6° to the upper right of Neptune.

Pluto is in Sagittarius rising near 12.30 am on the 1st and nearly 2 hours earlier on the 30th. Its magnitude is 14.4.

Brighter asteroids:

(1) Ceres is a morning object in Capricornus with magnitude 9.1. During the month it moves to the east across Capricornus. On the 1st it rises about 1.20 am. By the 30th it will be rising late evening just before 11 pm.

(4) Vesta is also a morning object, at 8.0 it is a magnitude brighter than Ceres. Vesta will be in Aquarius rising just after 4 am on the 1st and a little before 2.30 am on the 30th. It passes Neptune mid April.


 


The fololwing table lists various solar system object events during April. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

April 1 Moon at apogee
April 4 Moon full Eclipse
April 5 Spica 3.3 degrees south of the Moon
April 6 Uranus at conjunction
April 8 Mercury 0.5 degrees south of Uranus
Saturn 2.1 degrees south of the Moon
Jupiter stationary
April 10 Mercury superior conjunction
Moon southern most declination (-18.3 degrees)
April 11 Pluto 3.2 degrees south of the Moon
April 12 Moon last quarter
April 15 Neptune 3.4 degrees south of the Moon
April 17 Moon at perigee
Pluto stationary
April 18 Uranus 0.1 degrees north of the Moon Occn
Moon new
April 19 Mercury 3.4 degrees north of the Moon
Mars 3.0 degrees north of the Moon
April 21 Aldebaran 0.9 degrees south of the Moon Occn
April 22 Mercury 1.3 degrees north of Mars
Moon northern most declination (18.3 degrees)
April 25 Moon first quarter
April 26 Jupiter 5.3 degrees north of the Moon
April 28 Regulus 3.8 degrees north of the Moon
April 29 Moon at apogee
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • conjunction: Two astronomical objects are 'lined up' (have the same right ascension) when viewed from Earth. If only one object is mentioned the Sun is generally the other object.
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • superior conjunction: Conjunction where the Sun is between the Earth another solar system object

May Moon & Planet data for 2015


The follwing table lists various solar system object events during May. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

May 2 Spica 3.3 degrees south of the Moon
May 4 Moon full
May 5 Saturn 2.0 degrees south of the Moon
May 7 Mercury greatest elong E(21)
Moon southern most declination (-18.3 degrees)
May 8 Pluto 3.1 degrees south of the Moon
May 11 Moon last quarter
May 12 Neptune 3.3 degrees south of the Moon
May 14 Moon at perigee
May 15 Uranus 0.2 degrees north of the Moon Occn
May 18 Moon new
Mars 4.6 degrees north of the Moon
May 19 Aldebaran 1.0 degrees south of the Moon Occn
Mercury 5.6 degrees north of the Moon
Mercury stationary
May 20 Moon northern most declination (18.4 degrees)
May 23 Saturn at opposition
May 24 Jupiter 5.0 degrees north of the Moon
May 25 Regulus 3.6 degrees north of the Moon
Moon first quarter
May 26 Mars 5.9 degrees north of Aldebaran
Moon at apogee
May 27 Mercury 1.6 degrees south of Mars
May 28 Mercury 3.9 degrees north of Aldebaran
May 29 Spica 3.4 degrees south of the Moon
May 30 Venus 4.0 degrees south of Pollux
Mercury inferior conjunction
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • inferior conjunction: Conjunction where a solar system object is between the Earth and the Sun
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth

The Evening Sky in January 2015

2015 January evening skyChart produced by Guide 8 software; www.projectpluto.com.

 

Whole sky chart for Jan 2015

The Evening Sky in January 2015

Brilliant Venus and bright Mercury make an eye-catching pair of "stars" low in the southwest at twilight. The two planets stay close together till mid month. After that Mercury sinks lower in the twilight as it moves between the Earth and the Sun. Venus remains low in the dusk as it slowly catches up with Earth from the far side of the sun. Above and right of Venus is a lone red "star", the planet Mars. Through the month Mars slips down the sky toward Venus. The two planets will be close together in late February. The apparent closeness of the planets is a line-of-sight effect. In mid-January Mercury is 144 million km from us; Venus 235 million km and Mars 304 million km.

An hour after Venus sets, at the beginning of the month, golden Jupiter rises on the opposite side of the sky. It rises earlier each night. By the end of January it will be in the northeast at dusk, the brightest "star" in the late night sky. Jupiter is 660 million km away

Sirius, the brightest true star, appears high in the east at dusk. Called 'the Dog Star' it marks the head of Canis Major the big dog. A group of stars to the right of it make the dog's hindquarters and tail, upside down just now. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky both because it is relatively close, nine light years away, and 23 times brighter than the sun. Procyon, in the northeast below Sirius, marks the smaller of the two dogs that follow Orion the hunter across the sky.

Left of Sirius as the sky darkens are Rigel and Betelgeuse, the brightest stars in Orion the hunter. Between them, but fainter, is a line of three stars making Orion's belt. Rigel is a bluish supergiant star, 70 000 times brighter than the sun and much hotter. It is 800 light years away. Orange Betelgeuse, below Orion's belt, is a red-giant star, cooler than the sun but hundreds of times bigger a ball of extremely thin hot gas. To southern hemisphere star watchers, Orion's belt makes the bottom of 'The Pot' or 'The Saucepan'. A faint line of stars above and right of the belt is the pot's handle or Orion's sword. It has a glowing cloud at its centre the Orion Nebula.

Left of Orion is the V-shaped pattern of stars making the face of Taurus the Bull. The V-shaped group is called the Hyades cluster. It is 150 light years away. Orange Aldebaran, Arabic for 'the eye of the bull', is not a member of the cluster but on the line of sight, half the cluster's distance.

Left again, toward the north and lower, is the PleiadesMatarikiSeven Sisters Subaru star cluster. Pretty to the eye and impressive in binoculars, it is 440 light years from us. From northern NZ the bright star Capella is on the north skyline. It is 90,000 times brighter than the sun and 3300 light years away.

Low in the south are Crux, the Southern Cross, and Beta and Alpha Centauri, often called 'The Pointers'. Alpha Centauri is the closest naked-eye star, 4.3 light years away. Beta Centauri, like most of the stars in Crux, is a blue-giant star hundreds of light years away. Canopus is also very luminous and distant 13 000 times brighter than the sun and 300 light years away.

The Milky Way is in the eastern sky, brightest in the southeast toward Crux. It can be traced towards the north but becomes faint below Orion. The Milky Way is our edgewise view of the galaxy, the pancake of billions of stars of which the sun is just one. Binoculars show many star clusters and a few glowing gas clouds in the Milky Way, particularly in the Carina region.

The Clouds of Magellan, LMC and SMC are high in the southern sky and easily seen by eye on a dark moonless night. They are two small galaxies about 160 000 and 200 000 light years away.

Saturn, not shown, rises in the southeast around 3 a.m. mid month. It is a creamy-white colour. To its right, and slightly fainter, is orange Antares. Saturn is 1570 million km from us.

A light year is the distance that light travels in one year nearly 10 million million km or 1013 km. Sunlight takes eight minutes to get here; moonlight about one second. Sunlight reaches Neptune, the outermost major planet, in four hours. It takes sunlight four years to reach the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.

Notes by Alan Gilmore,
University of Canterbury's Mt John Observatory,
P.O. Box 56,
Lake Tekapo 7945,
New Zealand.
www.canterbury.ac.nz

January Moon & Planet data for 2015


All dates and times are NZDT (UT +13 hours) unless otherwise specified. Rise and set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ.

SUNRISE, SUNSET and TWILIGHT TIMES in JANUARY                         
January  1                  January 31         
morning      evening         morning        evening    
Sun         rise: 5.48am,  set: 8.59pm      rise: 6.22am,  set: 8.45pm
Twilights                                                             
Civil:    starts: 5.17am, ends: 9.31pm    starts: 5.54am, ends: 9.14pm
Nautical: starts: 4.34am, ends:10.14pm    starts: 5.15am, ends: 9.52pm
Astro:    starts: 3.43am, ends:11.04pm    starts: 4.33am, ends:10.34pm

The Earth is at perihelion, its closest to the Sun for the year, on January 4 when it will be 0.983 Astronomical Units, 147 million km, from the Sun.

January Phases of the Moon (times as shown by guide)    
Full Moon:     January  5 At  5.52 Pm (        04:52 Ut)
Last Quarter:  January 13 At 10.47 Pm (        09:47 Ut)
New Moon:      January 21 At  2.14 Am (Jan 20, 13:14 Ut)
First Quarter: January 27 At  5.48 Pm (        04:48 Ut)

The Planets in January

Venus and Mars are visible for a short time after sunset. Mercury will also be close to Venus in the first part of the month, but will be lost to view by about the 20th. Jupiter rises in the opposite side of the sky a little later in the evening at first. It rises at sunset at the end of January. Saturn remains a morning object although rising earlier as the month progresses.

MERCURY will be briefly visible in the evening sky, near Venus, during the first half of January. It will set just over an hour after the Sun up to mid January. During the first part of January, Mercury will gradually move closer to Venus as they both move to the east through the stars. They are less than 1° apart from the 8th to the 13th. But Mercury will never quite catch up to Venus as its motion slows. With a magnitude of -0.7 Mercury will be easy to see, especially in binoculars, to the lower left of the much brighter Venus.

After mid January Mercury will fall behind Venus again as the innermost planet's motion drops away. Mercury is stationary on the 14th when it stops moving to the east. It will then be 19° east of the Sun. Over the next few days the planet will move increasingly rapidly to the west and towards the Sun, until it is at inferior conjunction between the Earth and Sun on the 30th. At conjunction it will be nearly 3.5° north of the Sun; the planet will be 98.6 million km, 0.659 AU, from the Earth and half this distance from the Sun.

Obviously Mercury will be lost to view several evenings before conjunction.

VENUS is also an early evening object, setting just over an hour after the Sun all month. It starts January in Sagittarius but moves into Capricornus on the 3rd and on into Aquarius on the 25th. On the 22nd the brightest star in Capricornus, delta Cap mag 2.85, will be 1° above Venus.

By the end of the month Venus will be 10° to the lower left of Mars. As noted above, Venus and Mercury will be close during the first half of the month, less than 3° apart up to the 18th. Mercury will always be to the lower left of Venus and visible before any star.

On the evening of the 22nd the 5% lit crescent moon will be 7° to the lower right of Venus. The moon will set about 50 minutes after the Sun, so will be very low.

MARS is the third early evening planet of the month. It sets about two and a quarter hours after the Sun on the 1st, but only 90 minutes later on the 31st. Thus it will gradually get a little lower during the month. Mars starts January in Capricornus but moves on into Aquarius on the 9th.

In Aquarius Mars will catch up with and pass Neptune which moves much more slowly. The two will be closest on the 20th when Neptune will be only 20 arc-minutes (two-thirds the diameter of the full moon) below and a little left of Mars. Neptune's magnitude will be 8.0. Thus it should be readily visible in binoculars once the sky is sufficiently dark. There are no stars between the planets likely to be mistaken for Neptune. But the two planets will be low with an altitude of only 6° one hour after sunset. On the 19th Mars will be 40 arc-minutes left of Neptune, on the 21st, 1° to its upper right.

On the 23rd the moon, the crescent now 11% lit, will be just over 5.5° to the lower right of Mars.

JUPITER rises 2 hours after sunset on the 1st and at the time of sunset on the 31st. Thus it is the fourth planet visible in the evening sky, albeit later than the other three. It will spend the month moving slowly to the west through Leo, situated 8 to 12° to the left of Regulus, magnitude 1.4.

The 90% lit waning moon passes Jupiter on the 8th when the moon will be 5° to the upper right of the planet as seen late evening shortly after they rise.

Mutual Events of Jovian Satellites

There are about 26 mutual events of Jupiter's Galilean satellites observable from NZ during January. The events involve either occultations or eclipses of one satellite by another. Visually, mutual occultations are the more interesting to watch as satellites can be seen to merge and separate over a period several minutes. Eclipses are normally partial events with fairly small magnitude changes of the eclipsed satellite. Consequently they are mostly difficult to detect visually. Total eclipses are rare.

Useful observations and timings of both types of event can be made by those set up for the video observation of minor planet occultations.

For more details refer to the IMCCE web site, <http://www.imcce.fr/phemu/> where predictions and requirements for observing and reporting information are available. Users of Dave Herald's Occult program can generate their own predictions.

SATURN is a morning object throughout January. It rises some 2 hours and 20 minutes before the Sun on the 1st and nearly 5 hours earlier on the 31st. The planet starts the month in Libra, moving into Scorpius on the 18th when it will be 10° to the left of Antares. At the end of January, Saturn will be 1° from the star beta Sco. The magnitude 2.6 star has a fainter companion, magnitude 4.5, some 13.8" from it. Binoculars will show the pair.

On the morning of January 17 the waning moon, 19% lit, will be a little less than 4° below Saturn.

Outer Planets

URANUS remains in Pisces as an evening object magnitude 5.8. By the end of January it will set soon after 11pm. The 30% lit moon will be 2° below Uranus on January 25. An occultation of the planet will be visible from a large part of northeast Asia

NEPTUNE is an early evening object in Aquarius at magnitude 8.0. On January 31 it will set at the same time as Venus, a few minutes before 10 pm. It will then be a little under 2° to the right of Venus. The conjunction of Mars and Neptune on the 20th (see Mars above) will give an opportunity to easily find the fainter outer planet using binoculars.

PLUTO is in Sagittarius at conjunction with the Sun of the 3rd. It will then be 32.8 astronomical units beyond the Sun and just over 5 billion km from the Earth. Light from Pluto takes about 4hours and 40 minutes to reach the Earth.

Brighter Asteroids:

(1) Ceres rises an hour before the Sun on January 1, some three and three quarter hours before it on the 31st. The asteroid is in Sagittarius, it will dim slightly during the month from magnitude 8.9 to 9.2 during January.

(3) Juno is at opposition on January 27 with a magnitude 8.1. This makes it the brightest asteroid currently observable. The asteroid is in Hydra.

(4) Vesta is at conjunction with the Sun on January 11. At conjunction it will be 35 arc-minutes from the Sun as seen from the Earth. Its distance from the Sun will be 2.20 AU, from the Earth 3.16 AU, 473 million km.

(6) Hebe, in the evening sky, dims from magnitude 9.0 to 9.6 as the Earth's distance from the asteroid increasing during January. The asteroid will be in Eridanus at first but moves into Taurus on the 11th.


The follwing table lists various solar system object events during January. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

January 2 Aldebaran 1.4 degrees south of the Moon
January 3 Moon northern most declination (18.7 degrees)
Pluto at conjunction
January 4 Earth at perihelion
January 5 Moon full
January 8 Jupiter 4.8 degrees north of the Moon
Regulus 3.9 degrees north of the Moon
January 9 Moon at apogee
January 13 Moon last quarter
Spica 3.0 degrees south of the Moon
January 14 Mercury greatest elong E(19)
January 16 Saturn 1.8 degrees south of the Moon
January 18 Moon southern most declination (-18.6 degrees)
January 19 Pluto 2.8 degrees south of the Moon
January 20 Mars 0.2 degrees south of Neptune
Moon new
January 21 Mercury stationary
Mercury 2.9 degrees south of the Moon
Moon at perigee
January 22 Venus 5.4 degrees south of the Moon
Neptune 3.7 degrees south of the Moon
January 23 Mars 3.8 degrees south of the Moon
January 25 Uranus 0.6 degrees south of the Moon Occn
January 27 Moon first quarter
January 29 Aldebaran 1.2 degrees south of the Moon Occn
January 30 Mercury inferior conjunction
January 31 Moon northern most declination (18.5 degrees)
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • conjunction: Two astronomical objects are 'lined up' (have the same right ascension) when viewed from Earth. If only one object is mentioned the Sun is generally the other object.
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • inferior conjunction: Conjunction where a solar system object is between the Earth and the Sun
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • perihelion: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Sun

Table of Southern Meteor Showers

 

Shower

Dates

Moon

Peak Rate

RA

Dec

Near Star

 

Active

Peak

2018

    
Centaurids Jan 28 - Feb 21 Feb 8 Last quarter 5 (-25) 14.1 -59 β Cen
gamma-Normids Feb 25 - Mar 22 Mar 13 5 days before New moon 8 16.6 -51 γ Nor
pi-Puppids Apr 15 - Apr 28 Apr 23 First quarter var to 40 7.3 -45 σ Pup
eta-Aquariads Apr 19 - May 28 May 5 3 days before Last quarter 60 22.5 -1 η Aqr
Pisces Austrinids Jul 15 - Aug 10 Jul 27 1 day before Full moon 5 22.7 -30 α PsA
alpha-Capricornids Jul 3 - Aug 15 Jul 30 2 days after Full moon 4 20.5 -10 α Cap
Southern delta-Aquarids Jul 15 - Aug 25 Jul 27 1 day before Full moon 20 22.6 -16 δ Aqr
Southern iota-Aquarids Jul 25 - Aug 15 Aug 4 1 day before Last quarter 2 22.3 -15 ι Aqr
Northern delta-Aquarids Jul 15 - Aug 25 Aug 13 2 days after New moon 4 22.3 -5 θ Aqr
Northern iota-Aquarids Aug 11 - Aug 31 Aug 19 1 day after First quarter 3 21.8 -6 β Aqr
Piscids Sep 1 - Sep 30 Sep 19 2 days after First quarter 3 0.3 -1 λ Psc
Orionids Oct 2 - Nov 7 Oct 21 4 days before Full moon 20 6.3 +16 γ Gem
Leonids Nov 14 - Nov 21 Nov 17 1 day after First quarter 100+ 10.2 +22 γ Leo
alpha-Monocerotids Nov 15 - Nov 25 Nov 27 3 days before Last quarter var to 5 7.9 +1 δ Mon
Pheonicids Nov 28 - Dec 9 Dec 6 1 day before New moon var 1.2 +53 Achernar
Geminids Dec 7 - Dec 14 Dec 14 1 day before First quarter 120 7.3 +33 Castor

 

Meteors and Meteor Showers

Meteors are caused by small particles ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea entering the Earth's atmosphere from space at high speed. Because of the speed, which can be between about 20 km/s and 70 km/s, the particles "burn up" in the upper atmosphere, briefly leaving a visible, incandescent trail. A meteor shower may result when the Earth moves through a stream of such particles, which are usually left by a comet.

Normally a small number of "sporadic" meteors can be seen each hour of a moonless night. Sporadics are likely to be seen in any part of the sky. During a shower the number of meteors visible may increase considerably. The meteors will appear to originate from a small area of the sky, called the radiant. The spreading out from the radiant is a perspective effect due to the meteors travelling in parallel lines but as they approach the observer they appear to fan out. The shower is named after the constellation which contains the radiant. In general the meteor trails do not start from the radiant, but a few degrees from it.

The list of meteor showers shows some visible from the southern hemisphere. It includes the range of dates when the shower is active, and the peak date. The possible number of meteors per hour at the peak is also shown. It is known as the Zenith Hour Rate, ZHR, and is the number to be expected with the radiant at the zenith, directly overhead, with a dark sky and no Moon.

The state of the Moon at each peak is shown for the current year. When there is significant Moon in the sky, the number of meteors likely to be seen will be considerably reduced. Those showers with a green background colour are not likely to be affected by Moon-light in the current year, those with a grey background are likely to be more or less washed out by moon light.

Also shown is the right ascension and declination of the radiant, and a nearby bright star. This latter may help give a quick idea of where the radiant is.

The contents of this page are based on information from the International Meteor Organisation. Further details on meteor observing can be obtained from their web pages which should be consulted by anyone interested in making observations of meteors.

Further information on meteors is also be available at Meteor Showers on Line. The Comet and Meteor Section also has some information.

 

 

Notes on the Streams

Centaurids, peak February 8

There are two showers with close radiants, the alpha-Centaurids and the beta-Centaurids. The two radiants, are near to one another and to the Pointers, α and β Cen. Both are active and peak near the beginning of February. The beta-Centaurids tend to be a little brighter than the alpha-Centaurids. Some can be of fire-ball class (magnitude -3 or brighter), with persistent trains. However recent peaks have shown 5 or less per hour, although bursts in 1974 and 1980 yielded about 25. This group is worth observing for another strong event, particularly when the Moon does not interfere.

Viewing is best after local midnight when the Pointers, and the radiant, gain a reasonable altitude. But the radiant is visible all night in NZ.

gamma Normids, peak March 13

gamma-Normids meteors are similar to the sporadics in appearance, and for most of their activity period are virtually undetectable above this background rate. The peak itself is normally quite sharp, lasting for only a day or two either side of the maximum. The best time for observing is after midnight when the radiant reaches a reasonable elevation.

pi-Puppids, peak April 23

The pi-Puppids are produced by Comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup. The hourly rate is variable, up to 40 an hour have been recorded. The shower is only occasionally active near the time of a perihelion passage of its parent comet. The last perihelion was in March 2008, the period of the comet is 5.3 years. The material from the comet may be spreading along the comet's orbit, so meteors may become visible in years following perihelion, such as 2013. The shower is best observed in the evening once the sky is dark. The radiant gets lower after midnight.

eta-Aquarids, peak May 5

The eta-Aquarids is a fine, rich stream associated with Comet 1P/Halley, like the Orionids of October, but it is visible for only a few hours before dawn essentially from tropical and southern hemisphere sites. This has the advantage that if the Moon is waxing and a few days before full, it will set before the radiant is high enough for observation. The fast and often bright meteors make the wait for radiant-rise worthwhile, with many events leave glowing persistent trains after them.

A relatively broad maximum, sometimes with a variable number of submaxima, usually occurs in early May. The zenith hourly rates are generally above 30 for almost a week centered on the main peak. High rates are expected between 2008 and 2013. The radiant rises at about 2 am in New Zealand, so observation is best from about 5 am by which time the radiant has a reasonable altitude. The radiant culminates at about 08h local time.

Pisces Austrinids, peak July 27

This is one of a group of 4 or 5 showers with close radiants active in July. The stream is rich in faint meteors, making it well-suited to telescopic work, although enough brighter members exist to make visual and photographic observations worth the effort too, primarily from more southerly sites. Observation is best from late evening when the radiant, which is within a few degrees of Fomalhaut, has gained sufficient altitude.

alpha-Capricornids, peak July 30

The alpha-Capricornids are noted for their bright - sometimes fireball-class - events, which, combined with their low apparent velocity, can make some of these objects among the most impressive and attractive an observer could wish for. A minor enhancement of alpha-Capricornid Zenith hour rate to about 10 was noted in 1995 by European IMO observers. The radiant transits close to local midnight, so observation is possible for most of the night from mid evening.

delta-Aquarids and iota Aquarids, peaks July 27 to August 19

Like the Piscis Austrinids, the Aquarids are all streams rich in faint meteors, making them well-suited to telescopic work, although enough brighter members exist to make visual and photographic observations worth the effort too, primarily from more southerly sites. The radiant is sufficiently high for observation from late evening.

Such a concentration of radiants in a small area of sky means that familiarity with where all the radiants are is essential for accurate shower association for all observing nights. Visual watchers in particular should plot all potential stream members seen in this region of sky rather than trying to make shower associations in the field. The only exception is when the Southern delta-Aquarids are near their peak, because rates may become too high for accurate plotting particularly from southern hemisphere sites, .

Piscids, peak September 19

The Piscids can be observed from either hemisphere throughout September. There is some doubt as to when the Piscid peak occurs, or if there is only one. The radiant transits close to local midnight near the time of the peak, so observation is possible for most of the night from mid evening.

Orionids, peak October 21

The Orionids is associated with Halley's Comet as are the eta-Aquarids in May. The shower has several maxima apart from the main one. For example a strong peak on October 17-18 has been observed in Europe in 1993 and 1998. Both 2006 and 2007 produced unexpectedly strong Orionid rates, with ZHRs better than the normal peak seen on two or three consecutive nights, at best up to 50-70. The 2006 return also produced a good number of bright Orionids.

For mid southern hemisphere latitudes the radiant does not reach a reasonable altitude for observation until about 2 hours before sunrise, despite rising about local midnight.

A weak shower, the epsilon Geminids, is nearly coincident with the Orionids and has a peak October 18.

More on observing the Orionids

Leonids, peak November 17

The Leonids derive from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle last at perihelion in February 1998. A meteor storm was seen in 1999 in the region of the Canary Islands. This shower could produce some high count rates. Unfortunately, from mid southern latitudes the radiant does not rise until about 2 hours before sunrise, so activity would only be observable while very low.

More on observing the Leonids

alpha-Monocerotids, peak November 21

In an outburst in 1995, this shower produced a rate of about 420 per hour - for 5 minutes! The whole outburst lasted about 30 minutes. There is little likelihood of another outburst until about 2020, so activity at best will be low. The radiant, which is only a few degrees from Procyon, is sufficiently high for observation by about an hour after local midnight at the latitude of New Zealand.

Phoenicids, peak December 6

The Phoenicid return in 1956 was impressive with about 100 per hour. Activity is otherwise very uncertain. The radiant is well placed for southern hemisphere observers being high enough for observation virtually throughout the hours of darkness.

Geminids, peak December 14

One of the finest annual showers but with a radiant well north of the equator. In the southern hemisphere the radiant is highest about 2 hours after local midnight (3 am NZDT), but even then is low to the north for the latitude of New Zealand. This results in only a small proportion of the meteors being visible. Even so this is a splendid shower of often bright, medium-speed meteors.

More on observing the Geminids

Table of Southern Meteor Showers

 

Shower

Dates

Moon

Peak Rate

RA

Dec

Near Star

 

Active

Peak

2015

    
Centaurids Jan 28 - Feb 21 Feb 8 4 days before last quarter 5 (-25) 14.1 -59 β Cen
gamma-Normids Feb 25 - Mar 22 Mar 13  1 day before last quarter 8 16.6 -51  γ Nor
pi-Puppids  Apr 15 - Apr 28 Apr 23  3 days before first quarter var to 40 7.3 -45  σ Pup
eta-Aquariads  Apr 19 - May 28 May 5  1 day after full moon 60 22.5 -1  η Aqr
Pisces Austrinids  Jul 15 - Aug 10 Jul 27  3 days after first quarter 5 22.7 -30  α PsA
alpha-Capricornids  Jul 3 - Aug 15 Jul 30  1 day before full moon 4 20.5 -10  α Cap
Southern delta-Aquarids  Jul 15 - Aug 25 Jul 27 4 days before full moon 20 22.6 -16 δ  Aqr
Southern iota-Aquarids  Jul 25 - Aug 15 Aug 4  3 days before last quarter 2 22.3 -15  ι Aqr
Northern delta-Aquarids  Jul 15 - Aug 25 Aug 13  2 days before new moon 4 22.3 -5  θ Aqr
Northern iota-Aquarids  Aug 11 - Aug 31 Aug 19  4 days before first quarter 3 21.8 -6  β Aqr
Piscids  Sep 1 - Sep 30 Sep 19  2 days before first quarter 3 0.3 -1  λ Psc
Orionids  Oct 2 - Nov 7 Oct 21  first quarter 20 6.3 +16  γ Gem
Leonids  Nov 14 - Nov 21 Nov 17  2 days before first quarter 100+ 10.2 +22  γ Leo
alpha-Monocerotids  Nov 15 -  Nov 25 Nov 27  1 day after full moon var to 5 7.9 +1  δ Mon
Pheonicids  Nov 28 - Dec 9 Dec 6  3 days after last quarter var 1.2 +53  Achernar
Geminids  Dec 7 - Dec 14 Dec 14  3 days after new moon 120 7.3 +33  Castor

 

Meteors and Meteor Showers

Meteors are caused by small particles ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea entering the Earth's atmosphere from space at high speed. Because of the speed, which can be between about 20 km/s and 70 km/s, the particles "burn up" in the upper atmosphere, briefly leaving a visible, incandescent trail. A meteor shower may result when the Earth moves through a stream of such particles, which are usually left by a comet.

Normally a small number of "sporadic" meteors can be seen each hour of a moonless night. Sporadics are likely to be seen in any part of the sky. During a shower the number of meteors visible may increase considerably. The meteors will appear to originate from a small area of the sky, called the radiant. The spreading out from the radiant is a perspective effect due to the meteors travelling in parallel lines but as they approach the observer they appear to fan out. The shower is named after the constellation which contains the radiant. In general the meteor trails do not start from the radiant, but a few degrees from it.

The list of meteor showers shows some visible from the southern hemisphere. It includes the range of dates when the shower is active, and the peak date. The possible number of meteors per hour at the peak is also shown. It is known as the Zenith Hour Rate, ZHR, and is the number to be expected with the radiant at the zenith, directly overhead, with a dark sky and no Moon.

The state of the Moon at each peak is shown for the current year. When there is significant Moon in the sky, the number of meteors likely to be seen will be considerably reduced. Those showers with a green background colour are not likely to be affected by Moon-light in the current year, those with a grey background are likely to be more or less washed out by moon light.

Also shown is the right ascension and declination of the radiant, and a nearby bright star. This latter may help give a quick idea of where the radiant is.

The contents of this page are based on information from the International Meteor Organisation. Further details on meteor observing can be obtained from their web pages which should be consulted by anyone interested in making observations of meteors.

Further information on meteors is also be available at Meteor Showers on Line. The Comet and Meteor Section also has some information.

 

 

Notes on the Streams

Centaurids, peak February 8

There are two showers with close radiants, the alpha-Centaurids and the beta-Centaurids. The two radiants, are near to one another and to the Pointers, α and β Cen. Both are active and peak near the beginning of February. The beta-Centaurids tend to be a little brighter than the alpha-Centaurids. Some can be of fire-ball class (magnitude -3 or brighter), with persistent trains. However recent peaks have shown 5 or less per hour, although bursts in 1974 and 1980 yielded about 25. This group is worth observing for another strong event, particularly when the Moon does not interfere.

Viewing is best after local midnight when the Pointers, and the radiant, gain a reasonable altitude. But the radiant is visible all night in NZ.

gamma Normids, peak March 13

gamma-Normids meteors are similar to the sporadics in appearance, and for most of their activity period are virtually undetectable above this background rate. The peak itself is normally quite sharp, lasting for only a day or two either side of the maximum. The best time for observing is after midnight when the radiant reaches a reasonable elevation.

pi-Puppids, peak April 23

The pi-Puppids are produced by Comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup. The hourly rate is variable, up to 40 an hour have been recorded. The shower is only occasionally active near the time of a perihelion passage of its parent comet. The last perihelion was in March 2008, the period of the comet is 5.3 years. The material from the comet may be spreading along the comet's orbit, so meteors may become visible in years following perihelion, such as 2013. The shower is best observed in the evening once the sky is dark. The radiant gets lower after midnight.

eta-Aquarids, peak May 5

The eta-Aquarids is a fine, rich stream associated with Comet 1P/Halley, like the Orionids of October, but it is visible for only a few hours before dawn essentially from tropical and southern hemisphere sites. This has the advantage that if the Moon is waxing and a few days before full, it will set before the radiant is high enough for observation. The fast and often bright meteors make the wait for radiant-rise worthwhile, with many events leave glowing persistent trains after them.

A relatively broad maximum, sometimes with a variable number of submaxima, usually occurs in early May. The zenith hourly rates are generally above 30 for almost a week centered on the main peak. High rates are expected between 2008 and 2013. The radiant rises at about 2 am in New Zealand, so observation is best from about 5 am by which time the radiant has a reasonable altitude. The radiant culminates at about 08h local time.

Pisces Austrinids, peak July 27

This is one of a group of 4 or 5 showers with close radiants active in July. The stream is rich in faint meteors, making it well-suited to telescopic work, although enough brighter members exist to make visual and photographic observations worth the effort too, primarily from more southerly sites. Observation is best from late evening when the radiant, which is within a few degrees of Fomalhaut, has gained sufficient altitude.

alpha-Capricornids, peak July 30

The alpha-Capricornids are noted for their bright - sometimes fireball-class - events, which, combined with their low apparent velocity, can make some of these objects among the most impressive and attractive an observer could wish for. A minor enhancement of alpha-Capricornid Zenith hour rate to about 10 was noted in 1995 by European IMO observers. The radiant transits close to local midnight, so observation is possible for most of the night from mid evening.

delta-Aquarids and iota Aquarids, peaks July 27 to August 19

Like the Piscis Austrinids, the Aquarids are all streams rich in faint meteors, making them well-suited to telescopic work, although enough brighter members exist to make visual and photographic observations worth the effort too, primarily from more southerly sites. The radiant is sufficiently high for observation from late evening.

Such a concentration of radiants in a small area of sky means that familiarity with where all the radiants are is essential for accurate shower association for all observing nights. Visual watchers in particular should plot all potential stream members seen in this region of sky rather than trying to make shower associations in the field. The only exception is when the Southern delta-Aquarids are near their peak, because rates may become too high for accurate plotting particularly from southern hemisphere sites, .

Piscids, peak September 19

The Piscids can be observed from either hemisphere throughout September. There is some doubt as to when the Piscid peak occurs, or if there is only one. The radiant transits close to local midnight near the time of the peak, so observation is possible for most of the night from mid evening.

Orionids, peak October 21

The Orionids is associated with Halley's Comet as are the eta-Aquarids in May. The shower has several maxima apart from the main one. For example a strong peak on October 17-18 has been observed in Europe in 1993 and 1998. Both 2006 and 2007 produced unexpectedly strong Orionid rates, with ZHRs better than the normal peak seen on two or three consecutive nights, at best up to 50-70. The 2006 return also produced a good number of bright Orionids.

For mid southern hemisphere latitudes the radiant does not reach a reasonable altitude for observation until about 2 hours before sunrise, despite rising about local midnight.

A weak shower, the epsilon Geminids, is nearly coincident with the Orionids and has a peak October 18.

More on observing the Orionids

Leonids, peak November 17

The Leonids derive from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle last at perihelion in February 1998. A meteor storm was seen in 1999 in the region of the Canary Islands. This shower could produce some high count rates. Unfortunately, from mid southern latitudes the radiant does not rise until about 2 hours before sunrise, so activity would only be observable while very low.

More on observing the Leonids

alpha-Monocerotids, peak November 21

In an outburst in 1995, this shower produced a rate of about 420 per hour - for 5 minutes! The whole outburst lasted about 30 minutes. There is little likelihood of another outburst until about 2020, so activity at best will be low. The radiant, which is only a few degrees from Procyon, is sufficiently high for observation by about an hour after local midnight at the latitude of New Zealand.

Phoenicids, peak December 6

The Phoenicid return in 1956 was impressive with about 100 per hour. Activity is otherwise very uncertain. The radiant is well placed for southern hemisphere observers being high enough for observation virtually throughout the hours of darkness.

Geminids, peak December 14

One of the finest annual showers but with a radiant well north of the equator. In the southern hemisphere the radiant is highest about 2 hours after local midnight (3 am NZDT), but even then is low to the north for the latitude of New Zealand. This results in only a small proportion of the meteors being visible. Even so this is a splendid shower of often bright, medium-speed meteors.

More on observing the Geminids