While the Plough, or the Big Dipper as it’s known in the US, is used by many to find the North Star Polaris, it can also be used to help you find the constellation Boötes. Top meteor showers to look out for in 2020 The Quadrantids , due to peak on 3-4 January with around 60 meteors per hour, possibly from the trail of the asteroid 2003 EH1 or perhaps from a comet The Lyrids , due to peak on 21-22 April with nearly 20 meteors per hour from the trail of the comet Thatcher By Patricia Skelton, Astronomy Education Officer, (Details given are for London and may vary for other parts of the UK). Because Venus is an inner planet, as it orbits the Sun, Venus goes through phases just like our Moon does. The Lyrids will peak tonight, Tuesday April 21 . One of the oldest known meteor showers, the Lyrids meteor shower, will peak on the night of 21/22 April. Fill in our 'Ask the Astronomer' form with your student's questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Galileo was the first person to observe the phases of Venus and it was these observations that provided the first conclusive observational proof that the Sun, and not the Earth, was at the centre of our Solar System. Statue of Liberty Nebula. Wong (University of California, Berkeley) and the OPAL Team. Astronomical events and highlights of 2020 and 2021 including supermoons, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers, solstices, and equinoxes. One of the oldest known meteor showers, the Lyrids meteor shower, will peak on the night of 21/22 April. We can also arrange video chats with teachers or groups of teachers to answer questions too. April 22, 2020, before dawn, the Lyrids The Lyrid meteor shower – April’s shooting stars – lasts from about April 16 to 25. Simply tweet your question to our twitter account, @ROGAstronomers, and we will do our best to answer them. They are the second meteor shower of the month—the Draconids usually peak around October 7 or 8. If you extend the curve of the handle of the Plough through the night sky, you will end up at a bright orange star. The moon begins the month in its first quarter phase with full moon occurring on 8 April. The radiant of the meteor shower lies near the star Vega in the constellation Lyra and around 15 – 20 meteors are expected per hour. You can also connect with us on Twitter: @ROGAstronomers. A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky called Radiant.These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories. Even though it’s Spring, remember to wrap up warm if you’re going to spend some time outside scanning the skies for meteors. With new moon occurring on 23 April, the conditions will be perfect to see some meteors. This is the star Arcturus, the fourth brightest star in the night sky, and the brightest star in Boötes. Have a listen below, then cast your vote on our Twitter poll (@ROGAstronomers) during the first week of the month. If you have a telescope, point it at Venus this month and see if you can spot what phase Venus is in. This month's banner image is one of the winning images, 'Statue of Liberty Nebula © Ignacio Diaz Bobillo',  of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Find viewing tips for the two “biggies” here: the Perseid Meteor Shower and the Geminid Meteor Shower. In many cultures around the world, names are given to the full moon of each month. Credit: Ignacio Diaz Bobillo, Royal Observatory Astrophotography Facebook group, Royal Observatory school sessions 2020-21, Astronomy courses at the Royal Observatory, Exhibitions & events at the Royal Observatory. Venus is known as the “Morning Star” when it is up in the sky before sunrise, and as the “Evening Star” when it is visible in the sky after sunset. The museum may be closed but our Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomers are still hard at work. 2020 Cosmic Calendar . Visitor notice: All of our sites have reopened and we can't wait to welcome you back. Would you like the chance to have your image of the night sky used for our banner image? With new moon occurring on 23 April, the conditions will be perfect to see some meteors. Local times and best dates to view shooting stars from annual meteor showers. Native American tribes called the April full moon the ‘Pink moon’ because of pink flowers, called wild ground phlox, which bloomed in early spring. Bordering Boötes is the constellation Coma Berenices and although the constellation is faint, it is worth finding because it contains several deep sky objects that are worth looking at including the Coma star cluster. See a selection of the amazing shortlisted photographs, including 'Hubble Space Telescope transits across the Moon Between Lunar X and Lunar V © Michael Marston' from the 2019 Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. If you’re an early riser, you can use the moon to help you spot some planets. This month’s full moon will also be the second and closest supermoon of the year, so depending on which naming convention you prefer, you could call it the ‘Super Pink Moon’ or the ‘Pink Supermoon’. Need a stargazing telescope or binoculars? October Meteor Shower. M53, a globular star cluster, is best suited for telescope observations and will appear as a hazy patch with a slight oval shape in small telescopes while larger telescopes will reveal some of the cluster members. At its peak, up to 20 meteors are visible every hour. If you’re using a star app on your phone then switch on the red night vision mode. In our new Observatory Online sessions, we will answer your questions about Astronomy. The Quadrantid meteor shower was the first major meteor shower of 2020. Extending from Arcturus are five other stars that, together with Arcturus, form a distinctive kite shape in the night sky. When looking at faint objects such as stars, nebulae, the Milky Way and other galaxies it is important to allow your eyes to adapt to the dark – so that you can achieve better night vision. List of meteor showers. Allow 15 minutes for your eyes to become sensitive in the dark and remember not to look at your mobile phone or any other bright device when stargazing. Be sure to add #ObservatoryOnline, #Museumfromhome and #sciencefromhome to your tweet! If you are a teacher with a class of curious students who all have space questions, never fear, we can help with that. Meteor Shower Calendar 2020-2021. Find out how we're keeping you safe. The Lyrid meteor shower will peak on the night of 21-22 April 2020 Watch Ships, Sea & the Stars : Apollo 13 special Tune into our weekly video series hosted by physicist Helen Czerski, and find out more about epic 'Journeys Into the Unknown'. Venus dominates the western evening sky this month, shining brightly after sunset and setting just after midnight. For those wanting to see the breath-taking craters on the Moon but don’t want to get up early in the morning, the best time to view these features will be from a few days after new moon, which falls on 23 April 23, through to a few days after the moon reaches its first quarter phase on 30 April. Subscribe and listen to the Royal Observatory Greenwich's podcast - Look Up! On the night of 3 April, the Pleaides star cluster will appear to have an extra cluster member – Venus will pass through the cluster on this night as it continues to make its way across the sky. To increase your chances of seeing some meteors, find a clear area with a low horizon and look away from the radiant on the sky as meteors will appear longer and more spectacular from this perspective. As well as taking you through what to see in the night sky each month, Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomers pick a topic to talk about. All visitors will need to book a ticket in advance. This open cluster of stars is the perfect target for binoculars and contains around 45 stellar members. 2020 Meteor Showers Calendar. Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year, though the peak of a shower may vary by a day or two. 2020 Cosmic Calendar Astronomical events and highlights of 2020 and 2021 including supermoons, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers, solstices, and equinoxes. If so, share your photos via our Royal Observatory Astrophotography Facebook group. Orionids are active every year in October, usually peaking around October 20/21. In 2020, the Orionids will peak on the night between Oct 20–21. Just fill out the form and instead of adding children’s questions tell us you would like a video chat, The Royal Observatory Greenwich's learning team has also created, The best of what you can see in the night sky this month, Hubble Space Telescope Transits Across the Moon Between Lunar X and Lunar V © Michael Marston, Ask an Astronomer (Image credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (GSFC), M.H. Before sunrise on the morning of 15 April, the waning crescent moon will pass beneath Saturn and Jupiter and on the morning of the 16th, it will pass beneath Mars. For April, they're chatting about the different theories about how our Moon formed. Discover what to see in the sky during April 2020, including the Lyrids meteor shower. The Lyrid meteor shower is the first of the major meteor showers of the year and it goes on for several days each April. A meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through a stream of debris left behind by a comet – in the case of the Lyrids, the debris comes from Comet Thatcher which last visited the inner solar system in 1861.

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