Photo by Bob Riha Jr / Getty
If you get tired of watching TV during a pandemic, Mother Nature has an alternative. All you have to do is get out from around 2 a.m. on Wednesday to dawn local time, lie on your back and look up at the sky. The meteors and fireballs of the Perseid meteor shower will become streaks.
NASA said it was “one of the best meteor performances” of the year. It is because of the sheer number of meteors – 50 to 100 meteors are captured per hour as well as their fireballs – larger, brighter bursts of light and color that last longer than an average meteor trail.
The Perseids’ popularity is also related to the season. Summer temperatures create pleasant viewing conditions: the American Meteor Association says there are stronger meteor showers, but these showers in the Northern Hemisphere at colder times of the year. .)
The moon’s luminosity, which rises around midnight, will reduce the number of visible meteors to 15 to 20 hours an hour, even though it is still a meteor every 3 minutes or so.
Perseids are best seen in the Northern Hemisphere. You don’t need a telescope and you don’t need to choose an angle of the sky – they’re everywhere.
But you need the weather to cooperate. A cloudy night sky means you won’t see much.
Perseid meteorites are the result of space debris left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle, orbiting the sun every 133 years. Earth passes through these comet dust streaks every July and August, causing debris to collide with the atmosphere and disintegrate into flames.
This particular rain got its name because the meteorites appeared to come from a point in the sky right next to the constellation Perseus.
Although NASA says no special equipment is needed, its meteor ovens still have some suggestions for improving your viewing experience. They recommend spending half an hour outside so your eyes adjust to the dark – and avoiding bright lights like phone screens.
The American Meteor Association recommends observing from an area as dark as possible and fixing your view to half the sky, as more activity can be seen at lower altitudes. It also recommends a viewing window of at least an hour since these celestial screens are “notoriously transformative”.
“One can watch for 10 minutes and see no activity!” It says. “Just a few minutes later, several asteroids may appear almost simultaneously.”
Although early Wednesday was the prime time for the Perseid meteor, both NASA and the AMS said viewers could see some showers outside that window as well – likely earlier on Wednesday night as well. the days before and after the peak.
“Midnight to dawn any week before or after will create a few meteors,” NASA said.
And if you can’t watch this show live outside, there are video alternatives.
As Space.com reported, NASA’s All-Sky Fireball Network captured footage of the Perseid meteor, piercing the sky over the weekend.
And there is one televised the climax of the meteor shower, weather permitting, from the camera at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. from about 8pm CDT on Tuesdays until sunrise on Wednesdays.