Meteor Alert!!!

April 5, 2020

Meteor Showers in Tenerife 2020.

There has been much talk about a comet heading our way this month!  A comet designated c/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) is predicted to become bright enough to see with unaided eyes in May. If this holds true, and comets are notoriously unpredictable, the comet should be observable in binoculars during April, too. The moonless nights surrounding the weekend of Saturday, April 18 are the best in April month for finding it. Once the sky has darkened, face northwest, and sweep your binoculars inside the large triangle formed by the bright star Capella, dimmer Polaris, and the Big Dipper. The comet’s path during April will be downwards between Capella and Polaris. In binoculars, the comet should appear as faint, fuzzy grey patch, and elongated due to a developed tail.  Once you’ve located it, a backyard telescope might also show a hint of green, a characteristic colour of these icy visitors.

This month also sees another meteor shower in Tenerife.  Although we won’t be up Teide to watch it as still under lockdown.  But you don’t need any specialist equipment to view a meteor shower.  Just dress comfortably for the weather in the darkest spot you can find and be patient.

Comet Atlas shinning green

The Lyrids usually runs from around 16th to 15th April and it’s fireballs come from the comet Thatcher which orbits our sun approximately every 415 years.  Thatcher is next expected to be seen from earth in the year 2276, although we see its display every year and the peak is expected to be around the 21st and 22nd April this year.

The lyrids get their name from the constellation lyra the harp and are quite possibly the oldest meteor shower recorded

comets tenerife
Shooting stars courtesy of Lapsus Temporis

.  The Chinese records mention the lyrids as far back as 2500 years ago!

The one we all have probably heard about is Perseides in August.  On a clear night this can produce over 100 meteors an hour.   You need no idea of where to look, just look up!  The Draconids in October is usually a fun night on our tour when we have a game of meteor football between the two vans!  Its great for our tour as it usually starts to peak around sunset so by the time it gets to astronomical darkness its in full swing!

My personal favourite must be the Geminids, getting their name from the constellation Gemini.  Although in cold December, if you have a clear night and no or little moon, you will see between 60 to 80 an hour.  For me it was like a Christmas gift watching this for the first time.

The sky was a light like the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.  Every few seconds there was a bright flash of white light shooting across the Night Sky.  I was mesmerised.  It was very early and copious amounts of alcohol had been consumed which probably added to my experience.  But it was magical.

I have put a list here of Tenerife’s Meteor showers still to come in 2020 and I hope to be out for some of them!  In the meantime, although wherever we are in the World right now, we seem to be in some state of lock down, so why not try from your terraces or gardens to see the Lyrids.   Best viewing will be between 1am and 3am on morning of 22nd April.  Anyone that watches share you experience with us in the comments section under this article!

April 21 Lyrids

May 5 Eta Aquarids

August 12 Perseids

October 8 Draconids

October 20 Orionids

November 16 Leonids

December 13 Geminids

December 21 Ursids

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Stay Safe, Stay Home and Enjoy the NIGHT SKIES wherever you are this month but for now this is Kieran saying by to you all, unless you are a member of our new Moon Light Members Club  and have access to exclusive content and our incredible members offers then please keep reading….

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