Look below for an event list of important and noteworthy events happening in your sky or neighborhood soon!
- November 17, 18 – Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is an average shower, producing an average of up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. This shower is unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The shower runs annually from November 6-30. It peaks this year on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th.
- December 7 – Conjunction of the Moon and Venus. The crescent moon will come with 2 degrees of bright planet Venus in the early morning sky. Look to the east just before sunrise.
- December 13, 14 – Geminids Meteor Shower. The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17. It peaks this year on the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th. The crescent moon will set early in the evening leaving dark skies for what should be an excellent show.
- December 21 – December Solstice. The December solstice occurs at 04:48 UTC. The South Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the Southern Hemisphere.
- December 22, 23 – Ursids Meteor Shower. The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. The shower runs annually from December 17-25. It peaks this year on the night of the 22nd. This year the nearly full moon will be bright enough to hide all but the brightest meteors.
- December 31 – First Night Westport/Weston – Join the gang from the Westport Astronomical Society as we take our telescopes out again to say goodbye to 2015 and welcome in 2016. Find us near the library, by the river!
- May 9, 2016 – The Transit of Mercury. Transit is visible from the Rolnick Observatory around 7:14am to 2:20 pm.
- August 21, 2017 – The Great American Solar Eclipse. Totality is NOT visible at the Rolnick Observatory. Eclipse begins at 1:25 pm, maximum eclipse visible from CT (72%) is at 2:45pm.