Archive for the ‘Meteors’ Category

Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend

Meteor Shower photo courtesy of NASA

Meteor Shower photo courtesy of NASA

 

Look up late at night or before dawn this weekend to “catch” a “falling star.”

 

The earth crosses the Tempel-Tuttle Comet 55P orbit during November but in 2019 the peak times to see its meteor debris is from Nov. 16 through 18.

 

No star gazing instruments needed, just a spot away from street and commercial lights.

 

However, the full moon was just a few days ago on Nov. 13 so the sky will still seem bright with the waning gibbous phase as it moves into its last quarter Nov. 18.

 

Also needed is patience. Although the Leonids have produced tremendous meteor showers in some years, this year a mere 10 to 15 meteors are predicted per hour.

 

 For more good meteor information visit EarthSky, Space and Time and Date.

 

 

 

Summer night sky watch

Meteor shower photo courtesy of NASA

Meteor shower photo courtesy of NASA

Get the blanket, maybe a couple of muchies, add friends and family and settle in for a meteor-gazing party. No telescope needed.

 

The Delta Aquarids have been shooting across the sky since mid-July and continue to mid-August but now is a good time to watch for them because moonlight won’t interfere.

 

But don’t worry if you catch only a couple of these “shooting stars.” The best summer meteorite shower comes when the abundant Perseids peak the night of Aug. 12 into early morning of Aug. 13. However, the moon, which will be nearly full, won’t be cooperating then because of its bright light.

 

If you see meteors apparently coming from two different directions you are likely catching some of both the Aquarids and the Perseids because the two meteor showers overlap the beginning of August.

 

 

Delta Aquids

Although this meteor shower is best in the Southern Hemisphere it can also be viewed through the Mid-Northern Hemisphere where it’s possible to see from 10 to 20 meteors per hour. For a good explanation of meteors and meteorites visit NASA.

 

The Aquids emanate, as the name implies, from somewhere in the Aquarius Constellation.

 

Earth Sky is a good resource for getting to know the Delta Aquids.

 

 

Perseids

Although best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, the Perseids can still be seen to the Mid Southern Hemisphere.

The Perseids, named for the Perseus Constellation, are debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle. When the earth passes through the comet’s densest part Aug. 12-13 it’s possible to see 60 to 100 meteors per hour or more.

 

A good resource for Perseids is Space.com.

 

Meteorites fly very early May 6

 

Meteor showers happen when Earth is in a comet's orbital path and comet debris fly across the sky. (NASA photo)

Meteor showers happen when Earth is in a comet’s orbital path and comet debris fly across the sky. (NASA photo)

If looking up before dawn Sunday, May 6, 2019 you may “catch” a falling star, except it really would be one of the Eta Aquarids meteorites.

Between 30 to 50 of these meteorites, seemingly shooting from a poin(the radiant) just north of Aquarius, is a shower of debris from the Halley Comet. The second Halley Comet meteor shower is the Orionids which peak about Oct. 20.

Where to look east by south east past (east of) Pegasus north of Aquarius

Need away from street and commercial lights. Should be good viewing, new moon had may 4 so just emerging into first quarter.

A good site to use for meteor showers is Time and Date., https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/eta-aquarids.html

 

 

Lyrid Meteor shower

Meteor showers happen when Earth is in a comet's orbital path and comet debris fly across the sky. (NASA photo)

Meteor showers happen when Earth is in a comet’s orbital path and comet debris fly across the sky. (NASA photo)

If lucky enough to be in a part of North America not covered by clouds tonight look up.

The Lyrid Meteor Shower has been going on up above since April 16 while we have been going on with other business.

But it peaks from April 21 to April 23 with about 20 meteors zooming across the sky each hour.

What you need is to be away from street and building lights and look northeast after 10 p.m. or get up early while it’s still dark outside.

The Lyrids, the debris left by the comet thatcher, was named for its radiant point near the very bight Vega Star.

It is among the first meteor showers ever recorded according to old Chinese documents.  The comet, itself, is expected to be seen again in 2276.

Good meteor shower references can be found at Time and Date, Space and Earth and Sky.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

 

 

 

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