Oct 7, 2010

Draconids, Venus Rx, and the Green Comet! Oct 2010/11

Venus turning Rx on Oct 8, 2010 @ 13Sco13 isn't all that's hot in the heavens for Oct 8 is the annual date of the Draconid Meteor Shower:

Space Weather News for Oct 8, 2010

DRACONID METEORS: Every year around Oct 8, Earth passes through a minefield of dusty debris from Comet Giacobini-Zinner, source of the annual Draconid meteor shower. This year, forecasters expect Earth to narrowly miss several of the debris streams, resulting in no appreciable display for 2010.

Next year, however, could be different.

On Oct 8, 2011, Earth will have a nearly head-on collision with a tendril of dust, setting off a strong outburst of as many as 750 meteors per hour. One year from now, sky watchers could see the strongest meteor shower since the Leonid storms a decade ago. Mark your calendar and, meanwhile, follow the links at SpaceWeather.com for more information.

COMET HARTLEY 2 UPDATE: Comet 103P/Hartley 2 continues to approach Earth for an 11-million-mile close encounter on Oct 20. It is not yet visible to the unaided eye, but amateur astronomers are finding it easily using backyard telescopes. The comet's vivid green atmosphere now subtends an angle equal to some of the biggest craters and seas on the Moon.

Visit SpaceWeather News for sky maps and latest images.

THE COMET HUNTER: Looking for the right optics to observe Comet Hartley 2? We recommend the David H. Levy Comet Hunter.

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