Date(s) - 13/12/2018
9:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Scottish Dark Sky Observatory
Come and join us we look out for shooting stars during this year’s Geminid Meteor Shower. We’ll also (weather permitting) be enjoying the wonders of the night sky looking through our large telescopes from a Dark Sky location.
The Geminids are considered to be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year.
Annual meteor showers arise when the Earth passes through streams of debris left behind by comets and asteroids. As pebble-sized pieces of debris collide with the Earth’s atmosphere they burn up at an altitude of anywhere between 75 to 100 km, thus appearing as shooting stars.
This meteor shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini because the meteors seem to emerge from near the bright star Castor in this constellation. However, the actual source of the shooting stars is the trail of debris left behind by 3200 Phaethon.
3200 Phaethon is an asteroid that takes about 1.4 years to orbit the sun. The debris shed by 3200 Phaethon crashes into Earth’s upper atmosphere at some 80,000 miles per hour to vaporize as colourful Geminid meteors.
This makes the Geminid shower one of the only showers not to originate from a comet.
The meteors are very bright, moderately fast, and are unusual in being multi-coloured – mainly white, some yellow and a few green, red and blue. These colours are partly caused by the presence of traces of metals like sodium and calcium, the same effect that is used to make fireworks colourful. The shower has been known produce around 120 meteors per hour at its peak, although the actual number visible will be far less.
Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night between 7 and 16 December.
Session starts at 9.00pm.
Tickets are priced at:
Seniors (aged 65+) and Student (with valid ID) £12.00
- Use of the telescopes for viewing the night sky is only possible when we have clear skies.
- Events go ahead in all weather conditions except where roads are impassible due to snow.
- Visit includes introductory presentation, guided stargazing and telescope tour.
Please note, all ticket sales are non-refundable. A minimum of 48 hours notice is required (by e-mail) if you wish to reschedule your booking.