Tonight on August 12 and on the morning of August 13 the Perseids meteor shower will peak. It is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Some meteors can also be seen from from July 17 to August 24.
This month will be a rather quiet one, when it comes to astronomical events. However by the end of the month, on the night of July 28 and 29, the Delta Aquarids meteor shower will peak. It is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak.
After a few months break, we are back with our monthly stargazing calendar series. On June 7 there will be a conjunction of the Moon and Mars. The two celestial bodies will get as close as two degrees of each other in the evening sky. The gibbous moon will be at magnitude -12.2 while Mars will be at magnitude -0.8.
On January 5 the planet Jupiter was at Opposition. This means that the giant planet was at its closest approach to Earth and its face was fully illuminated by the Sun. The weeks preceding and following this event are the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons.
Last month on Thanksgiving day comet ISON made a close approach to the Sun and unfortunately disintegrated in the process. It is possible that small pieces of the comet survived this encounter and if so, they will pass near the Earth by the end of this month.
Earlier this month there were two major astronomical events: a hybrid solar eclipse on November 3rd and the Taurids meteor shower peak on the night of November 4 and 5. If you missed those two events, don't worry, there are two more coming up this month!
Tonight (October 7 - 8) is the peak of the Draconids meteor shower. It is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour during the peak, but some meteors can be seen one day before and after the peak. It originates from dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900.
Tonight (August 11 - 12) is the peak of one of the largest and perhaps one of the most famous meteor showers of the year, the Perseids meteor shower. It can produce as many as 90 meteors per hour at its peak but some meteors can be seen from July 17 to August 24. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight leaving dark skies for what should be an excellent show.
This month there will be only one major astronomical event. On July 27, 28 we will witness the Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower. It is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak on the night of July 27 and morning of July 28, but some meteors can be visible from July 12 to August 23.
Unlike last month, this won't be a such an eventful month when it comes to astronomical events. Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation and then we will have the June solstice. We will also have the largest full moon of the year.