The next few weeks will provide Thanet residents with a chance to view a natural display of fireworks in the form of two meteor showers.
The Delta Aquarids will be visible in the south in the constellation of Aquarius, the water carrier, with a peak of meteors tomorrow (July 28).
The Perseid meteor shower is centred on the constellation of Perseus in the north and peaks around the 12 August. The word shower can be misleading but we can expect about 20 an hour for the Aquarids and 40 for the Perseids.
When you see one remember that it is just a small piece of comet debris, the size of a grain of sand, travelling at 70 km per hour and burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
According to local astronomer Paul Sutherland, who runs the website Skymania, people should choose an evening when the Moon is not bright and find somewhere away from light pollution. Take a deck chair and lie back, looking up at the celestial show. However the best time will be past midnight (but before dawn)! You might be lucky enough to take a photograph.
The Monkton Stargazers will open the Monkton Nature Reserve on Friday 11 August from 9 pm to midnight. It won’t be properly dark at 9pm but the planets Saturn and Jupiter will be visible.
Also it will be a chance to see the new telescope if you didn’t see it at the open day on August 6. Unfortunately the Moon will spoil any further observations after midnight.
For more details phone the Reserve on 01843 822666 on the Friday afternoon.
Report John Hislop, Monkton Stargazers