Posts Tagged ‘Perseids’

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.

 

Look up for the best meteor shower this year

Perseid Meteor Shower peaks August 12 and 13 in 2018. (NASA photo)

Perseid Meteor Shower peaks August 12 and 13 in 2018. (NASA photo)

 

Don’t bother calling NASA or the local police if you see a fireball during pre-dawn hours this weekend through Monday.

The Perseid meteors are already zooming across the sky but they peak after midnight from August 12 to 13.

This year, 2018, the meteors should be easily seen because the moon is in its new phase Aug. 11, and only a mere waxing crescent Aug. 12 and 13 (Sunday-Monday) which means its illumination is too low to interfere with shining meteors streaking overhead.

However, to best spot them, seek out areas away from street and commercial lights, oh, and be patient. There should be 60 to 70 meteors flying overhead per hour.

The Perseids are pieces from the Comet Swift-Tuttle that we can view when the earth passes through its path. Although it does so mid-summer from July 17 to Aug. 24, the densest pass-through is Aug. 12.

As to fireballs, NASA experts say the Perseids have more than other big meteor showers.  For more NASA meteor information visit NASA Perseids.

Another good meteor information site is Earthsky.

Happy watching

Jodie Jacobs

 

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

 

 

 

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