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 actually on the 12th November so we should see a good few bright streaks of light. The phase of the Moon is a waning gibbous which is quite bright and may wash out the least bright of the meteors.
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 bar will be available on the evening.
Suitable for ADULTS ONLY
If you are looking for a present then you can purchase a Gift Ticket package for this event here. Please note the Gift Ticket package includes a notebook and pen so the price of the Gift Ticket is different than the one shown on this page.
Please wear warm clothing and sensible footware and 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.