Posts Tagged ‘meteors’

Meteor Watch

 

Look up at night or just before dawn. You might see a meteorite zooming across the sky from now through mid August.

 

NASA captures meteor shower

NASA captures meteor shower

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower which peaks July 28 is best viewed in the Southern Hemisphere but you might see a flash of light looking south. This week is fairly good to sky watch because there is a waxing crescent (just a sliver of a moon).

In addition, the Northern Hemisphere’s popular Perseid meteor shower that peaks Aug. 12/13 in 2017, has already started so you might catch one of its meteorites almost anywhere in the sky.

Unfortunately for Perseid watchers, following a full moon Aug. 7, there will be a waning gibbous moon with about 77 percent illumination Aug. 12 and 67 percent illumination Aug. 13, so the moonlight will make it harder to pick up the meteorites. The Perseids can still be seen though there are fewer of them during the next waxing moon Aug. 16-18.

 

The Delta Aquarids and Perseids

The Aquarids are named for Skat, a star whose Greek name is Delta Aquarid. The star is below the Great Square of Pegasus in the Piscis Austrinus constellation. For more Aquarids info and a meteor shower calendar click on Earth Sky.

The Perseids go all over the sky but radiate from the Perseus constellation. They are coming from the Swift-Tuttle comet. You see them when Earth crosses its orbit. Visit NASA and Meteors for NASA’s Perseid information

 

 

 

Sky happenings: Launches and meteors

Launches to Space Station. on TV Photo courtesy of NASA

Launches to Space Station. on TV Photo courtesy of NASA

 

Space events April 16 to 23 make this is a good week to link to NASA and look up.

 

If “Hidden Figures”  rekindled interest in NASA, its launches and its people, now is prime time to see what’s happening.

Beginning at 10 a.m. CT today, April 18, NASA is launching Orbital ATK CRS-7, a cargo mission to resupply the Space Station. Click here for more information and to watch it.

Secondly, very early in the morning of April 20 at 2:13 a.m. CT is the launch of the Expedition 51 crew to the Space Station. Visit launch for information on the Expedition 51 crew and how to watch it on TV.

 

Then, during the predawn hours of April 22 , look up to the north east to spy meteors streaking across the sky. They are the Lyrids which are debris from Comet C-1861 G1 Thatcher near the bright Vega star. Vega is in the Lyra Constellation.

The Geminid meteor shower is greater than the Lyrids but meteor showers are still awesome to see. segment of a NASA photo

The Geminid meteor shower is greater than the Lyrids but meteor showers are still awesome to see. segment of a NASA photo

The Lyrids actually began Sunday, April 16 but they peak early Saturday after Vega is high in the sky well after midnight.

Considered the oldest observable shower, it was first noted more than 2,600 years ago.

A good site for more Lyrids information is Time and Date

 

 

Meteorites put on a show

NASA captures meteor shower

NASA captures meteor shower

Look up. If your sky is clear tonight and before dawn the next few nights you might see a shooting star. Except it won’t be a star it will be a meteorite. Now is when two meteor showers are putting on a show.

Delta Aquarid is going on now. It is not a major meteorite display but it overlaps the beginning of the Perseid shower.

The Perseids peak mid-August with about 100 meteorites per hour seen about Aug. 11-12 in 2016. Delta peaks this weekend with about 20 meteorites per hour.

Perseids seem to come from the Perseus constellation, thus their name. Actually they are debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet. Look for them in the northeastern sky of the northern hemisphere.

A good site to hear about Perseus is at NASA Science News even though the broadcast is from 2014 and includes that year’s august Super Moon, it is fun to watch and hear. NASA.gov also has more meteorite showers and info.

Tips: The best way to watch for meteorites is to find a spot away from city lights such as the banks of a lake or in a field or park. Early morning before dawn is usually just as good as late night. Be patient and bring a chair or blanket.

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