The Quadrantids are named after the old constellation of Quadrans Muralis. The radiant lies about halfway between the end of the 'handle of the Plough' (or the tail of the great Bear), and the head of Draco. It's a shower with a sharp peak, lasting only a few days but can produce ZHR rates of almost 100 at times. The peak will occur in the early morning of Jan 4, and maximum rates are only seen for a few hours on either side of the peak. The Moon will be a waning crescent so not much of a problem. The radiant is circumpolar, so you can observe any time from nightfall on the 3rd through to the following dawn, but best rates will be seen from around midnight until the start of twilight.
The shower is not noted for bright meteors, but I once saw one that was as bright as Venus and left a train lasting for 15 minutes! But those are rare, so for best views of the fainter meteors get to a really dark site. This year the ZHR could be around 50.
The Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) is the rate which would be seen by an experienced observer, in a VERY dark sky, and with the radiant in the zenith: actual observed rates very rarely reach the nominal ZHR for various reasons.
5: Comet is visible in binoculars Comet Catalina is now higher up in the morning skies, and Andy McCrea in particular has been getting some nice images - see the IAA website. As it gets higher, now well above Venus, it's in a darker sky, though it is gradually fading. On Dec 31 / Jan 1 it will pass just below and very close to Arcturus, so that's a good opportunity to spot it.
Visitors will be fascinated by the views of the spectacular winter constellations, Taurus and Orion and deep sky objects through our 12 inch telescopes.
The observing session will be held at the Planetarium and there will also be a free presentation of a spectacular Digital Theatre show at 7.30pm.
We hope to observe from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. If you would like to join in please be aware that observing can be done only if the sky is clear, the telescope cannot see through cloud and rain! The Digital Theatre show will go ahead regardless of the weather. Also dressing warmly is essential! If you already have a telescope or binoculars you are welcome to bring them with you for your own use.
If you are interested in participating please phone to book your place on 028 37 523689.
Here is an opportunity for astrophotographers in Ireland to showcase their work, presenting the wonders of the Cosmos at the Botanical Gardens in an exclusive exhibit in a collaboration between the Irish Astronomical Society (www.irishastrosoc.org) and the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies (www.irishastronomy.org), which includes members of its member clubs.
The Details: Irish astrophotographers are invited to submit an image to be showcased to the public as part of a display highlighting the wonders of the Universe for a limited time from February 2nd to 21st 2016. The Botanical Gardens in Dublin has freely allowed the use of their lobby to display 100 images mounted for display, and incorporate additional items like (a limited number of) telescopes, large format poster displays and more.
The Criteria: Your photo can be submitted in digital or printed format. The following are guidelines:
1. Digital prints must be at 300dpi and in its largest format aspect ratio.
2. TIFF format is preferred, or high resolution (300dpi) JPEG is also allowed (RGB or CMYK is allowed).
3. Physical prints must be of a high quality (uncurled or folded) and can have a gloss or matte finish. Do not send mounted prints.
4. All photos will be fitted in an A3 mount and frame, and therefore may be subjected to cropping, if necessary.
5. All images submitted MUST have information about how the image was taken (equipment, location, software and techniques used, etc.), information about the object(s) shown, and the photographer's information.
Interested? Digital images can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment (do not include off-site links to images), while postal images are to be sent to Botanical Exhibition ℅ Seanie Morris, Anstee, Daingean Road, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
CLOSING DATE: All considerations must be received by Friday January 8th 2016.
You can submit your images and relevant details to email@example.com
11. Interesting Weblinks
Einstein Lens revelations: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151221095531.htm
FRBs caused by asteroids colliding with neutron stars http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3372249/Has-mystery-alien-signals-solved-Researchers-claim-fast-radio-bursts-caused-collisions-stars-asteroids.html
Chelyabinsk Fireball videos (some overlap, some other images, some artists impressions, but all worth watching!)
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