Starry Starry Night
Spend some time under the stars this month
November is the perfect time of year to get outside and look up at the night sky. Make the most of the extra hour of darkness, since the clocks went back in October, wrap up warm, step outside and just look up. If you’re lucky to be in an area of less light pollution, and there isn’t a bright moon, you’ll be amazed at what you can see as the night sky comes to life in an incredible starry spectacle.
The month of November also sees the northern Taurid and the Leonid meteor showers (also known as shooting stars). The northern Taurids peak on the 12th November. While this shower is not very prolific and the meteors are very slow it does last a long time (20th October – 10th December). The Leonid meteor shower peaks late evening on the 17th to pre-dawn on the 18th November. You can expect to see fast, bright meteors with the naked eye so no need for binoculars or a telescope but you will need patience. If you miss the peak, the meteor shower does continue for several days before and after (5th – 29th November) so hopefully you’ll get an opportunity to see them.
You will find lots of stargazing events taking place during Autumn and Winter when the skies are darker.
The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, East Sussex, is situated in the former home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, now a Grade II* listed property. It houses some of the largest, working historic telescopes in the country as well as interactive science exhibits.
Along with their popular stargazing evenings, the centre offers a wide range of astronomy courses including an Introduction to Astronomy (starting on the 3rd November). All events and courses allow you to take in the fabulous surroundings of the Observatory at night.
Enjoy getting star-struck!