The cool, crisp winter air around Ottawa can provide the perfect conditions for viewing meteor showers, and luckily there are three celestial shows coming up in the next couple months.
First up are the Taurid Meteor Showers from November 5th-6th and 12th-13th. It originates from two different objects, an asteroid and a comet which creates two showers overlapping into one. While the showers only produce about 5-10 meteors per hour, a nearly new moon which isn’t producing might light in the sky will lend a hand for amazing viewing conditions.
Immediately following the Taurid shower, the Leonid Meteor Shower peaks from November 17th-18th. This shower contains many gravel-sized bits of dust, ice and debris. When these bits hit Earth’s atmosphere, they produce very bright meteors. The shower is expected to produce about 15 meteors per hour.
December brings the belle of the ball, one of the very best of the year: the Geminid Meteor Shower. The Geminid shower will be visible from December 13-14 and could produce a spectacular 120 meteors per hour.
With a crescent moon set for those days, there won’t be much competing light in the sky and so your chances of seeing some magical meteors are huge. Pre-dawn hours will be best for watching the show with some warm woolies and coffee.
As always, to ensure you’re not cheating yourself out of the best show possible you’ll have to get out of the city; Surrounding yourself with light pollution is one way to not view a meteor shower.
The best possible scenario is to hit up a provincial park on a nice clear night and letting your eyes adapt to the darkness for 30-45 minutes. You should tone down the brightness on your cell phone too so that it’s not interfering .
Once you’re set, the best way to see any sort of action in the sky is to look straight up so, perhaps laying down on something cozy. These tips are definitely something you’ll want to factor in for the Geminid Meteor Shower.
Happy star gazing!