Past week’s Weather
UK: Another very cold week. Snow stopped falling across most areas by the weekend, but persistent low cloud and fog developed.
Falklands: Bright intervals with wintry showers. However, the main feature has been the strong westerly winds that persisted all week, with gales at times.
Ascension: A mixed week with some dry, hot and sunny days but also several cloudy days with showers.
St. Helena: Generally cloudy with showers. Periods of fog occurred around the middle of the week.
If you look to the night skies next week, you may be lucky enough to spot one of the best and most active meteor showers of the year. From the 13-15th December, a meteor shower called Geminids will occur. Meteor showers happen when particles of ice, dust or rock from comets (lumps of dust and ice) and asteroids (lumps of rock and metal) enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Friction causes these particles to heat up and glow, producing the brief streaks of light you see in the sky. Most last for less than a second. The Geminid meteor shower originates from an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon, and is so called because it appears to radiate from the constellation Gemini. The night of the 13/14th of December will be the best time to spot the meteor shower, with a peak rate of up to 20 meteors an hour. For us in the southern hemisphere, the meteors don’t climb very far above the horizon, and will be visible looking to the north. The meteors will have an average speed, making them fairly easy to spot, and are very colourful, often appearing yellowish in hue. An optical illusion makes it appear that all meteors are emerging from a single point. However, they are actually travelling in parallel. The map below shows where you are most likely to see the shower. So see if you can make a Christmas wish upon a shooting star next week.
Compiled by Diamond Dust Crown Copyright 2010 Met Office Ascension Island base
Compiled by Diamond Dust
Crown Copyright 2010
Met Office Ascension Island base