The Perseids meteor shower has already begun to fall into an exhibition that promises to captivate Sky-Watchers this month.
NS Perseids meteor shower The dark sky is very suitable for one of the most reliable exhibits of “shooting stars”, the annual exhibition, as it peaks in the evening of August 12, just four days after the new moon on August 8. There should be. This is in stark contrast to the next August, when the meteor coincides with the next August. full moon..
The incidence of the Perseids meteor shower is highest from the early morning of August 12 to August 14, but the meteor shower lasts for about two weeks from July 25 to August 18.
On the evening of August 12, the moon is set around 10:30 pm local daylight savings time. For observers throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the display should peak later that night, especially when the morning twilight begins.by 2021 International Meteor Organization (IMO) Meteor Calendar, Perseids meteor shower is about 12 hours centered on the time when the ecliptic longitude of the sun is 140.0 ° to 140.1 ° (equinox 2000.0), or August 12, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm EDT (1900-2200 GMT). It should reach its peak.
Observers in Eastern Europe are in the best position for the Perseids meteor shower, but North Americans are not far behind. One observer under a dark and clear sky can nominally see 60 shower members per hour, but an observer in a very dark sky records even more. Often.
The Perseids meteor shower is a particularly attractive place to introduce astronomy to the general public, as it is a highlight of celestial bodies that can be enjoyed without astronomy. telescope Or other equipment. When planning a public outreach event, keep in mind that choosing a very dark place with no bright light, haze or smoke can significantly increase the number of visible meteors.
At the maximum of the Perseids meteor shower, these meteors appear to diverge from a point called “radiation” near the famous double cluster in the northern section. Perseus.. As the night progresses, the radiation gradually increases toward the northeastern sky until the observation at dawn is completed.
In the United States, radiation is so north that it rises above most of the country’s horizon when it gets dark. Therefore, you may see some Perseids meteors as soon as the observations begin, but far fewer meteors will appear before midnight, even at nights when the shower is at its maximum.
On the other hand, in places south of the equator where the Perseids meteor shower is rarely seen, such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, radiation is always low or below the horizon.
Meteors Appearing Near Radiation — Perseus and Nearby Constellation Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Auriga — Tracks are shortened, but tracks far from the track tend to be longer and faster.
The safest fireworks in the world
The Perseids meteor shower appears white or yellowish and is well known for being characterized by many bright, fragmented meteors with fine, long-lasting trains.Shower comes from dross Comet Swift TatOn average, it orbits the sun about every 130 years.
As in 1992, each time a comet passes near the Sun, it emits traces of small particles along its orbit. The Earth passes near the comet’s orbit in mid-August and interacts with these small cometary materials that collide with our atmosphere at about 37 miles (60 km) per second.
Despite the fact that most of this rubble is no larger than a grain of sand, friction releases the kinetic energy of the grain in a short-lived flash of light. The energy released per gram of meteoroid weight far exceeds the energy efficiency of the most powerful artificial explosives.
Somewhat larger particles (for example, the size of peas and pebbles) can produce the effect of Jupiter and even more brilliant “shooting stars”. VenusA child’s marble-sized meteoroid evolves into a dazzling fireball that can burn across the heavens with a brilliance approaching the brilliance of the full moon. If it explodes quietly during flight, it is called a fireball, as it sometimes happens to deadly cold objects that are suddenly heated above 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit (540 degrees Celsius) within the heartbeat range.
There are certainly few and in between such very bright objects, but only one is needed to make skywatching worthwhile all night long.
My most memorable sightings of the Perseids meteor shower were something I had never actually seen. It was while on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. There, like many other passengers, he was monitoring the Perseids meteor shower. Suddenly, the entire deck of the ship was lit up for a moment as if the strobe light had come off. We all looked back and saw an incandescent contrail with a small lump on one end. It was clear what had happened. The fireball shined at once, and the traces of steam were twisted and distorted, and it took nearly a minute to finally disappear.
To fully understand the Perseids meteor shower, make sure you are comfortable. Instead of standing around and opening the sky (and risking stiff shoulders), stretch out into an insulated sleeping bag or more on a long reclining lawn chair covered with heavy blankets.
Expect the effective temperature to be much lower than the temperature predicted by local weathercasters. Sitting near a rapidly chilling ground can be quite chilly, even if the air is a little damp. In addition to the layers, you have some food to nod, as well as drinks (but it’s not liquor because it impairs your awakening).
When you go outdoors for the first time, give yourself time to adapt to the darkness. After about 20 minutes in the dark, the pupils of the eyes open like a well, collecting 4 to 5 times more light than normal. The longer you stay in the dark, the more stars and meteors you will see. If you use a flashlight, cover the lens with red cellophane. This is because dim red light has much less effect on the eyes than white light.
Also consider collecting observations that can contribute to scientists. Amateur observers can make useful observations by counting meteors at hourly intervals several times in a row on as many nights as possible during the duration of the shower. All you need is a pencil, clipboard, lawn chair or blanket. To be truly meaningful, your count should be made from a large open area that does not penetrate your field of view.
Observe the sky carefully and take notes each time you see a meteorite, without looking down. A careful one-hour count helps determine when the shower reaches peak intensity and how quickly activity increases or decreases. Record the start and end times of the observation session and the intermission when you are not looking at the sky.
If more than one person observes, you should not record a meteor just because someone is hooping! When the group observes, the number of each individual should be reported separately, not in combination with the number of others in the party. This kind of pooled result is meaningless as it cannot be converted to a standard single observer hourly wage.
It is also important to count sporadic meteors separately — those that do not radiate from the Perseids meteor shower, and are not themselves Perseids meteor showers. On average, we expect about 5 to 10 sporadic meteors per hour. The Perseids meteor shower, on the other hand, can be identified by the fact that if its orbit extends backwards in the sky, it leads to the Perseids meteor shower. Lift a pencil or straight stick along the meteorite mark to block the radiation. If a meteor does not meet this test, it may be classified as sporadic rather than a Perseids meteor.
Details on how to count meteors are provided by the International Meteor Organization. Some suggestions..
You can also count by luminosity, plot trajectories on star charts to determine radiation, and record color, velocity, and other shower characteristics. However, if you try a program that is too elaborate, you can be disappointed with the height of the shower. Because meteors have a way to get into a bunch that refuses to count, estimate magnitude, and plot all at the same time. If you are observing alone, just count every hour and estimate the luminosity. For groups, assign a limited program to each observer.
There are several other reliable meteor showers that occur at other times, but the Perseids meteor shower is probably the most visible. NS Geminide More prolific, but occurs in mid-December, often on sharply cold nights. The Perseids meteor shower occurs when the main danger of Stargazer is mosquitoes.
However, keep in mind that the term “meteor shower” is a misnomer. In the case of showers, they are very widely scattered. It’s like waiting for the faucet to drip once in a while. But if you’re lucky, you may see some beautiful shooting stars if you don’t do your best.
Good luck and fine weather for everyone!
Jorao is an instructor and guest lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium in New York. He writes about astronomy in Natural History, Farmers’ Almanac, and other publications. Follow us on Twitter @ Spacedotcom and Facebook.
The Perseids meteor shower peaks this month. The new moon is a good sign for Sky-Watcher.
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