16th November 2024
Time: 6.30 pm to 00.00
Maximum 80 places: Adults only.
Leonids Gift Package includes:
PLEASE NOTE: Gates open at 6.30 pm and there will be a talk at 8.15 pm by a guest speaker. All the exhibits will be available for you to explore when you arrive. While you don't need to arrive at 6.30 pm the gates will be closed at 8 pm so please arrive before then.
If you wish to purchase hot food on the night then our Launch Box catering unit will be open from 6.30 pm - 8 pm before the talk starts. Every purchase helps to supprt us and The Launch Box serves:
Burger & Fries
Falafel Burger & Fries
Frankfurter Hot Dog & Fries
The Cafe will also be open for hot/cold drinks and snacks, plus alcoholic beverages.
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 second meteor shower is the Leonids which occurs as Earth passes through the debris 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 17th and pre dawn hours 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 replaces viewing.
We do NOT cancel this event if the weather is unsuitable for viewing.