The shooting stars, or meteors associated with this event are those arising from the Leonids meteor shower. However, you may also spot some Taurids meteors as Earth passes through the tail end of the Taurids meteor shower.
The Taurids shower marks the time when the Earth passes through the dust trail of comet Encke. The debris left behind by comet Enke is the largest in the inner solar system and it takes several weeks for the Earth to pass through this trail giving an extended period of activity; 20th October - 10th December. The peak activity for the Taurids is 12th November so we will only be catching a few bright streaks of light.
The second meteor shower is the Leonids which occurs as Earth passes through the deris trail left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle. These meteors are very fast and often leave persistent trains behind them. The peak activity is the evening of the 18th November. The natural limits of the shower are over a much shorter duration than for the Taurids; 15th - 20th November.
While we don't use the telescopes to spot meteors, if the weather does permit you will get a chance to look at some other interesting celestial objects through the large telescopes.
The evening aims to be both informal and informative with a talk presented by a guest speaker. If the weather is unsuitable on themed evenings, the talk will go ahead regardless and a comprehensive tour of the telescopes will replace viewing.
There is a meat or vegetarian curry but there is NO alternative menu to the curry. The curry will be served with rice, naan bread and poppadoms. A CASH bar will be available on the evening.
To make a booking please just phone The Centre on 01323 832731 to secure your place(s) using a credit or debit card. Gift Tickets are available for this event.
We are pleased to announce that our speaker for the Comets and Curry event this year is Helena Bates.
Helena is a final year PhD student based at the natural history museum, London and oxford university. She always loved space, and wanted to work in space research, but wasn’t so keen on the big theoretical physics questions. She ended up studying geophysics as an undergraduate at Imperial college, before doing a masters in geophysics at Imperial as well. Her work now looks at a group of meteorites which are incredibly old, and may have come from asteroids which were once exposed to water. These asteroids may have been some of the source material which brought water to earth, and may bear a resemblance to comets. Helena tries to unravel what happened to these meteorites, and then compare them to data from asteroids, which has been collected from telescopes, and more recently some space missions!
Title: ‘Comets, asteroids and meteorites’
Helena will talk about the Leonids and then also about what she does and how the two fit together!
Please wear warm clothing and sensible footware and please bring a torch, preferably red light. The Centre, has been built on different levels with high walkways and steps, please be very careful when walking around The Centre especially in the hours of darkness.
While the Centre makes every effort to accomodate wheel chair users and others with mobility issues, by virtue of the nature of the building (grade II* listed), the telescopes are accessed by steep narrow stairs. If you require further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. The registered office is 3 – 15 Stirling Road, Acton, London. W3 8DJ. UK.