WITHOUT THIS WORLD | Earth, Space and Everything In-Between – A Daily Travel by Weather, Space and Science with Meteorologist / Science Artist Scott Sutherland Scott SutherlandMeteorologist / Science Writer Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1: 59 PM – Paraglider has been treated in a series of meteor cities this season, which culminates in the "Rock Comet" Geminids, but watch out on Sunday when a light comet is flying on earth! [SKALSE:MildellerVild?Din2019Vinterprognos] Quick List: • Sept 24 ̵ 1; Harvest Moon• Oct 8 – Draconid Meteor Shower] October 20th – International Note the moon night• Mid October – Zodiacal Light in the East before dawn• 21-22 October – Orionid Meteor Shower] Nov 5-6 – Taurid Meteor Duschar] • 17-18 November – Leonid Meteor Shower• 13-14 December – Geminid Meteor Shower• December 16th – The closest approach to bright Comet Wirtanen! WHEN IT IS ON DECK? Close to light Comet 46P / Wirtanen – Dec 16 It has been quite a long time since we have had a good visible comet with the naked eye swinging past the earth. Comet ISON was the last to show the promise, back 2013, but it fizzled as it was weakened by the sun's intense heat. Now the Comet 46P / Wirtanen puts on us a show in mid December, and it's got a chance to get even better! 46P / Wirtanen, captured December 12, 2018, using a backyard telescope and DSLR camera. Credit: Stub Mandrel (CC BY-SA 4.0) Discovered in 1948 by astronomer Carl A.…
WITHOUT THIS WORLD |
Earth, Space and Everything In-Between – A Daily Travel by Weather, Space and Science with Meteorologist / Science Artist Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist / Science Writer
Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1: 59 PM – Paraglider has been treated in a series of meteor cities this season, which culminates in the “Rock Comet” Geminids, but watch out on Sunday when a light comet is flying on earth!
Sept 24 ̵
1; Harvest Moon
Oct 8 – Draconid Meteor Shower
October 20th – International Note the moon night
Mid October – Zodiacal Light in the East before dawn
21-22 October – Orionid Meteor Shower
Nov 5-6 – Taurid Meteor Duschar
17-18 November – Leonid Meteor Shower
13-14 December – Geminid Meteor Shower
• December 16th – The closest approach to bright Comet Wirtanen!
It has been quite a long time since we have had a good visible comet with the naked eye swinging past the earth. Comet ISON was the last to show the promise, back 2013, but it fizzled as it was weakened by the sun’s intense heat.
Now the Comet 46P / Wirtanen puts on us a show in mid December, and it’s got a chance to get even better!
46P / Wirtanen, captured December 12, 2018, using a backyard telescope and DSLR camera. Credit: Stub Mandrel (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Discovered in 1948 by astronomer Carl A. Wirtanen, this comet is a Jupiter family comedy – a group of short comets (with periods under 20 years) whose paths stretches as far as Jupiter before falling back to the sun.
46P / Wirtanen takes about five and a half years to walk around the sun once, so it has done around a dozen tracks since its discovery, but this is remarkable as it makes its closest pass over the ground in a recorded story.
On December 16, the comet will reach a distance of approximately 11.5 million kilometers from the earth, about 4 days after its closest pass through the sun (perihelion). This means that the comet will be almost at its brightest.
Comet Wirtans flyby of Earth on December 16, 2018 will be the 10th closest comet flyby in history. Credit: Celestia / Scott Sutherland
How light will it be?
A comet of this size – quite small about 1 km wide – would come in at around 8 at that time. It should have at least magnitude 6 to be visible to the naked eye in the dark sky (in the countryside, far from the city’s light pollution).
According to the University of Maryland Comet Wirtanen Observatory Campaign, but Wirtanen is a “hyperactive comet”. This means that it produces much more water than is expected of a comet of its size. Comet Wirtanen can therefore be as bright as size 3 because it turns past the earth – light enough to be visible to the naked eye, even from below the dome of light pollution from a big city! Remember: The lower one object is the size, the lighter the object. The full moon is around – 13. Venus, with its maximum brightness, is -5. Sirius, the brightest star in our heaven is -1. Vega, the standard of the system, is magnitude 0. The limit of what we can see from the core of a lightly polluted city is about size 3 (enough to see the inner planets, Jupiter and the brightest stars that Polaris, Antares, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Capella, Vega, Arcturus and Sirius.)
Comet Wirtan’s location in the sky at 8 o’clock local time, on the night of December 16, 2018, with respect to constellations. Credit: Stellarium / Scott Sutherland
On December 12, the Comet Wirtanen Observation Campaign reported that the comet made his closest pass around the sun (perihelion), and it had reached magnitude 4 (or even slightly brighter)
Update (Dec 16): A complication to see Wirtanen.
This puts the comet on the right track for its predicted brightness. Be ready for the weekend to check it out! According to [Observation Campaign website] it is, although it reaches its predicted magnitude of 3, with such a large coma (atmosphere of dust and gas) around the comet, Wirtanen will be harder to choose in the sky compared to a bright bright spot (like a star, a planet or asteroid) that were of the same brightness. Light pollution in cities will make the difference between black space and coma even more difficult.
For the best experience, find somewhere outside the city’s light pollution and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness (about 30 minutes will be good). Avoid light sources, including your mobile phone screen, during this time. Bring some binoculars, or a telescope, if you can, only if that’s the case.
To find the comet, look for Orion Constellation, then look upward to find the Pleiades divide (a small blob of brightness in the sky). Wirtanen will be nearby there on Sunday evening.
Harvest Moon 2018
The first full moon of the fall of 2018 was Harvest Moon, which occurred around 11 o’clock ET, on the night of September 24th.
Harvest Moon, from NASA’s animation showing the moon, every hour every day, for the whole of 2018. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio
This special full moon is a favorite for skywatchers, not just for viewing, without photography.
Draconid Meteor Shower – Oct 8
The first meteor shower from autumn 2018 was Draconids.
Draconid Meteor Shower –
Draconids are usually a rather small shower, which delivers about 10 meteors per hour, max. This year, however, it is the most important viewing conditions, at least from an astronomical perspective. The moon, which can provide enough light in the sky to destroy a smaller shower like this one, will only be a thin slice visible just at sunset so that the sky will be left away from some extra light for the rest of the night. 19659019] In addition, this year, there was a rare meteoric outbreak from Draconids, as predicted by researchers at Western University. This meant that only a short period of the night 8-9 October, some observers could see many more meteors than usual – about 100-150 per hour, with estimates of several hundred per hour, when all data has been compiled from different observers. While the Earth experienced this eruption, the meteor current at Lagrange Point 2, about 1.5 million kilometers away, on the opposite side of the earth from the sun would be much more concentrated. With the Gaia telescope – spacecraft that has delivered very accurate maps of our galaxy – currently stationed at L2 – it is apparently closed throughout the event and turns its hard side to the flow of meteoroids to protect its sensitive instruments.
Orionid Meteor Shower – 21-22 October
The radiation of the Orionid meteor shower, after midnight on 21-22 October. Credit: Stellarium / Scott Sutherland
Orionid meteor shower is the second high season’s second meteor shower and the second year from Halley’s comet (the first is the eta-aquariums in April / May). The Orion Times begin on October 2, and runs until November 7, each year, but the best time to watch this meteor shower is below its peak, on the night 21-22 October.
This particular meteor shower is only moderate, delivering about 20 meteors per hour under ideal conditions. However, a good thing about the Orionides is that the meteors can be quite bright!
As an example, here is an Orionid meteor discovered by the University of Toronto Scarborough Observatory’s all-sky camera on the night of October 18, 2017 at 11:11 ET (3:11 PM UTC 19 Oct).
Three views on this bright Orionid meteor, taken from three different celestial cameras in Ontario. Click or tap the image to see more information about this meteor. Credit: UTSC Observatory / Western Meteor Group
Zodiacal Light – Middle until the end of October
Moonlight and zodiac light over La Silla. Credit: ESO
In the autumn, skywatchers will have a chance to see the huge cloud of interplanetary dust surrounding the sun, which manifests itself in our night sky like Zodiacal Light.
In the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Observer Manual for 2018, Dr. Roy Bishop, Emeritus Professor of Physics from Acadia University, wrote:
The zodiacal light appears like a large, softly radiant white-lighted pyramid with its base near the horizon and its axis centered on the zodiac sign (or better, the eclipse). In its brightest parts, it exceeds the luminance in central Mjölkvägen.
According to a doctor bishop, the event, if this phenomenon is quite bright, can easily be spoiled by moonlight, fog or light pollution. Also, as best seen immediately after dusk, the inexperienced sometimes confused it for dusk and thus lacked.
On clear mornings and in the dark skies you see the eastern horizon, only an hour to half an hour before twilight begins at dawn, from about 13-27 October.
Taurid Meteor Shower – Nov 5-6 & 12-13
Taurides are a weird thing about meteor shower.  There are actually two meteor rains – the Northern Taurides and the Southern Taurides – which originate from two separate objects (Asteroid 2004 TG10 for the northern stream and Comet Encke in the south), which overlap in a shower with two different peaks. 
The radiation of the two Taurid meteor cities, on the night of November 8, about halfway between the two peaks. Credit: Stellarium / Scott Sutherland
The meteors produced by these showers tend to be slower than most and take their time over the sky. In addition, there may be pebbles of pebbles in the stream that produce extremely bright bolides meteors that flash lightly like the meteorite that produces them exploding due to internal pressure!
Even with the two combined meteoroid currents from these objects, these meteor showers still do not produce many meteors, with maybe 5-10 per hour shown under each of the two peaks. So, if you try to succeed with this, you must be patient.
Fortunately, the almost new moon will provide excellent viewing conditions on the night of 5-6 November and the midnight of the night in November 12-13 will set at about 9pm local time so it will not offer much competition in the sky.
Leonid Meteor Shower – Nov 17-18
The radiation of Leonid meteor shower, after midnight on the night 17-17 November. Credit: Stellarium / Scott Sutherland
From 6-30 November, the soil sips through a stream of debris left by Comet Temple-Tuttle.
As we get deeper into the stream, meteors seen in the sky increase and reach a peak on the night of 17th. Because all these meteors can be traced back to a point of origin in the sky that lies inside the constellation Leo, it is called Leonid Meteorregn .
Unlike most other meteoroid currents containing only minuscule pieces of dust and ice, the stream for the Leonids also contains many grainy pieces. When these stones meet the atmosphere of the Earth, they produce very light meteors in the night sky, known as fireball .
This shower tends to be quite small, producing a total of about 15 meteors per hour, on average.
But most of the time after the temple Tempel-Tuttle makes a passport if the sun allows the Leonids to deliver a meteor storm with hundreds of meteors that extend through the sky every hour. According to NASA, such a storm delivered on November 12 to 1833 an estimated 240,000 meteors during a 9-hour period!
According to experts, such a storm is not expected again until 2033 or 2034.
As the moon is more than half full when the shower stops coming, there will be some competitive light in the sky that will wash out the weakest meteors.
It will definitely be worth coming out to see the brightest of them, though!
Geminid Meteor Shower – Dec 13-14
August Perseid Meteor Shower is often held as the best meteor shower of the year, but Gemini is definitely a contender, and by 2018 they promise to make a fantastic show!
The radiation of Geminid meteor shower, after midnight on the night of 13-14 December. Credit: Stellarium / Scott Sutherland
Not only does the Gemini give more meteors than pretty much any other meteor shower – up to a maximum of 120 per hour when it picks on the night of 13-14 December – this year there are great prospects to see them! The rising crescent will set quite early in the evening, so much of the night will be free from moonlight, giving us the opportunity to see more of the dimmer meteors from this shower.
This year, the average viewer, under clear dark sky, can be expected to look from 60-80 meteors per hour, possibly up to 100 under ideal conditions (clear sky, dry conditions, far from civilization and with clear view to each horizon). The closer you are to sources of light pollution, the fewer meteors you will see. Read on for more details.
One of the remarkable things about Geminid Meteor Rain is that it originates from a rare object, 3200 Phaethon – a so-called ” Rock Band “.
WHAT IS A ROCK COMET?
Common comets are massive ice cubes, mixed with dirt and rock that pass from the formation of the solar system. As they wander around the sun, the heat causes them to throw a similar combination of ice, dust and rock, left in a rubbish stream behind the comet, and this rubbish stream follows about the same orbit as the comet. When the earth meets one of these rubbish streams, ice, dust and rock particles produce streaks across the sky, which we call meteors.
On the other hand, a rock comedy is an asteroid – a big piece of rock, with maybe a little bit of ice clinging – it follows a circulation that is very similar to a comet. As it wobbles around the sun, the heat rays rock and burn mainly and dust away the surface, which remains in the same kind of junk stream as we see from a common comet. Because the rock and dust particles are more “lasting” types of meteoroids than the ice, they tend to produce lighter and longer-lasting meteors.
According to NASA’s Bill Cooke, who heads the agency’s Meteoroid Environments Office, another object – Apollo asteroid 2005 UD – has a orbiting very similar to Phaethon, and it may also be related to the Gemini. Perhaps Phaethon and 2005 UD may have been part of the same major object, in the distant past, and their orbit (and debris) were produced by a collision.
Regardless of the distribution of the original waste, its rocky content is what makes Geminid meteors so bright. As an added bonus, since these rocky remains are packed with minerals and metals, Geminid Meteors are usually multicolored ! When the meteorides slap into the upper atmosphere and travel around 130,000 km / h, they evaporate and produce colors like yellow (from iron), blue and green (from magnesium), and even red (through ionizing atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen molecules ).
With meteor shower planned to reach its peak in the morning of the 14th hours after midnight and the aging times were probably the best to watch this show!
Look below as Science @ NASA tells us how the international space station will observe this meteor shower with us.
The first thing to consider when planning a meteor shower is to keep track of the weather.
Be sure to check Weather Network on TV, on our website or in our app to make sure you have the latest forecast.
Next, you have to get away from city lights, and the longer you can get the better.  See below: What light pollution makes views of city views
For most regions of Canada, it is only possible to drive outside of your light pollution city, city or city. Some areas, such as southwest and central Ontario, and along the St Lawrence River, are the concentration of light pollution very high. To get far enough outside a city to avoid light pollution, unfortunately, tends to put you under the light pollution in the next city. In these areas there are dark sky containers, but a skywatcher’s best bet on the dark sky is usually to drive north.
Once you have verified you get a clear sky and you have come from the city’s light pollution, stop somewhere safe and dark (provincial parks, although limited to the parking lot, are usually a great location).
For best viewing, it’s important to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness. Between 30-45 minutes is optimal.
During that time, avoid all bright light sources, including your mobile phone screen. If you need to use your cell phone during this time, consider reducing the amount of blue light that the screen emits and reduce the brightness. Also watch an app that puts your phone in “night mode”, which changes the screen’s colors even more in red. Once you’ve done that, check your phone while skywatching will not have such a big impact on your night vision.
Note: Although the graphics presented here point to the location of the meteor shower radiation – the point in the sky where the meteors appear to originate – the meteors themselves can pop up somewhere in the sky. So the best way to watch a meteor shower is to look straight up. This way, your field of view takes as much of the sky as possible at the same time. Bring a blanket to spread on the ground, or a lawn to sit in, or lean back towards your car.
Bringing some families and friends is also good, as it is best to share these experiences with others.  SPECIAL NOTES: When viewing times listed for the top of a meteor shower, do not worry about time zones. The flow of meteoride earth passes through a shower is MILLIONS kilometer wide, so the shower lasts for days and the peak tends to be a full night (some times the quadrant times are especially shorter). When watching a shower, it begins for a particular observer when their location on the ground rotates into the next stream particles (usually when the night falls or about one hour before the radiation rises above the horizon). It reaches its local peak when the incoming particles come directly over your head or as close as possible (this is the “Zenith Hourly Rate” or ZHR that you will see in conjunction with meteor cities).
Sources: IMO | Royal Astronomical Society of Canada | Western University | University of Maryland | International meteorological organization | NASA