Friday, August 12, 2011

Watch Meteor Shower Tonight

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Meteor Shower Tonight

Sadly, there is a whole Moon on the similar day and this will make observing difficult (but not extremely hard, so don’t give in until eventually subsequent calendar year!)

Here’s a beginners’ guidebook to the Perseid meteor shower and how greatest to enjoy it. (Conceivably, impress your buddies with these astronomy questions and solutions!)

What are the Perseids and what is a meteor?

Every year in August, the Earth passes through rock and dust fragments left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, very last time it arrived close to the Sun. As these tiny particles collide with the Earth’s ambiance, they burn up-up, typically making a startling streak of light across the sky.

You can quickly observe this and it can be a wonderous spectacle.

Why is it called the Perseid meteor shower?

The term “Perseid”, refers to the star constellation of Perseus.
Perseid meteor shower radiant point, above the North-East horizon
Check out of Perseid meteor radiant point, above NE horizon soon after midnight

The meteors really have nothing at all to do with the stars we see from Earth, as currently being portion of Perseus. It just seems as though the meteors originate from Perseus.

In fact, the rock fragments are near to the Earth – that is why they melt away in our atmosphere.

They are incredibly near, just a number of hundred miles – not numerous, several light several years distant like the stars.

But, if you trace-again the vivid trails of meteors we see, they seem to originate from the stars of Perseus.

When can you see them?

The Perseid meteor shower really starts in late July and runs to late August. Nevertheless, the very best time to view is all-around the peak.

It’s not specific, but the 2011 peak is expected on August 13th.

The predicted peak several hours are throughout the European night and morning (01.00 – 13.00 GMT). So if you are in the US, the peak could be much better put in your evening, whereas for those in Asia and the East, the predicted peak will be in the course of daytime, so you need to observe the night just before and soon after.

But getting stated that, there is always uncertainty in these meteor shower predictions, so it may well be extremely worthwhile to observe through the hours of darkness and certainly, other nights, in advance of and following the expected peak.

This year the Moon will be a dilemma, as talked about currently. Complete Moon and meteor observing, are not greatest pals.

What tools do you require to observe the meteor shower?

The superior information is none! Just use your eyes.

It will enable your observation if you give your eyes some time (say 15 minutes), to become adapted to the darkness.

Binoculars may possibly also enable, but on the other hand, they may well restrict your see to a small aspect of the sky.

The meteors originate in the region of Perseus, but they might show up in view just about anywhere in the sky. While, if you had been to track-back again their trails, you would get to Perseus.

Can they be measured, at all?

Certainly. Eager astronomers count how a lot of seem in a fixed time period of time, in a specific spot of the sky. This is expressed as a Zenithal Hourly Charge (ZHR).

We might count on close to one hundred streaks of meteor light across the sky for each hour, at or in close proximity to the shower peak.

Do make sure you look-up and be notify for Perseid meteors, on Saturday 13th August in the course of hrs of darkness and in the nights in advance of and right after.

Greatest of observing luck!


clark said...

Good Post,
Unfortunately I am stuck on the top half of the globe, so I probably will miss it! (lol)

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