If you can’t go out and enjoy the annual Perseid meteor shower 2021 that will reach its peak this week, or if you just want to learn more about shooting star science, there are plenty of webcasts coming up to tell you more.
The Perseids occur every year in August and they should reach theirs peak this year between11 and 13 August (Wednesday to Friday), with the best observation hours between midnight and dawn on Thursday (August 12), at least according to NASA and Earthsky.org.
Each year, the Earth passes through the comet’s path Swift-Tuttle July 17 to August 24, with the peak of rain – when the Earth passes through the densest and most dusty area – which occurs from August 11 to August 13, this means that you will see most of the meteors in the shortest amount of time close to that moment.
The years without moonlight see higher rates of meteors per hour and in explosion years (as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors per hour, among other things since the moon has risen only a few days new (arrived on Sunday 8 August), the absence of moonlight in the night sky will provide almost ideal conditions to capture this moment.
This year, according to Earthsky.org, you can expect to see up to 60 meteors per hour at the height of the rain.
Last year, the bright light of the moon did not obscure the view of the meteor shower too much, but his own glow it is a constant concern for sky watchers who are looking for a clear vision, also because even if the Perseids are particularly bright, the light of the moon can make the vision a bit complicated.
To better see the Perseid Meteor Shower 2021 you should be in thenorthern hemisphere and up to the mid-southern latitudes, and all you need to capture the show is darkness, a comfortable place to sit and a little patience.
To best see the Perseids 2021, go to the darkest position possible and lean back to observe as much of the sky as possible directly above you, with the best time to look for them being in the hours before dawn.
While peak viewing days are typically the best way to see the sky dotted with bright meteors, even outside the peak period of the Perseids you should be able to spot some meteors between midnight and sunrise every morning of the week before or after this date, at least according to NASA.
To see the meteors, look up and north, but if you are in southern latitudes you can look north-east to see more Perseids 2021.
Sky watchers looking for the 2021 Perseids may also see some stray meteors from the Delta Aquariid meteor shower
What causes the phenomenon and what you need to see the Perseids 2021
This beloved annual sky show is caused by the Swift-Tuttle comet. Comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest object known to have repeatedly passed from Earth; its core is about 16 miles (26 kilometers) wide and it last passed close to Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992 and the next time it will be in 2126.
In the meantime it will not be forgotten, this is why the Earth passes through the dust and debris it leaves behind every year.
When you sit down to watch a meteor shower, you are actually seeing the comet’s pieces of debris heat up as they enter the atmosphere and burn in a brilliant burst of light, tracing a vivid path across the sky as they travel 37 miles (59 kilometers). per second.
When in space, these pieces of debris are called “meteoroids”, but when they reach Earth’s atmosphere, they are designated as “meteors” and, if a piece reaches Earth without being burned, it turns into a “meteorite”.
Don’t worry though, most Perseid meteors are too small for this, in fact on average they are the size of a grain of sand.
The key to seeing a meteor shower is to “get as much sky as possible”, go to a dark area, in the suburbs or in the countryside, and be prepared to sit outside for a few hours. It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark and the longer you wait outside, the more you will see, moreover with a speed of 60-70 meteors per hour, means about one meteor per minute, including faint streaks along with bright ones that generate fireballs.
How to see the Perseids 2020 show
As I told you at the beginning of this article, in case you can’t see the Perseids 2021, below is a selection of the Live webcast where you can watch the Perseid Meteor Shower 2021 online, with views of NASA’s telescope and others around the world.
The Virtual Telescope Project
Certainly could not miss “our” Virtual Telescope Project, that has based near Rome, in Italy, which will perform a live stream of the 2021 Perseids starting at 20:00 EDT on Wednesday (00:00 or midnight GMT on Thursday).
“We will broadcast the meteor shower live, online, for free. We will share the view of our wide-field cameras, to show any potential meteor they catch. “
stated the website on the event page.
The University of Texas atAustin McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, is scheduled for a short live stream between 10:45 pm. EDT and 23:45 EDT on Wednesday (0245 and 0345 GMT on Thursday.) For the 2021 Perseids:
“In addition to live views, we will discuss the origins of meteor showers, their relationship to comets and much more. The moderators in the live chat will answer questions and the host will take more at the end. “
stated the YouTube page of the event.
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
The Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will stream the views of the Perseids 2021 live from its observation cameras of the sky between Wednesday 23:00 EDT and Thursday 6:00 EDT (Thursday’s 04: 00-10: 00 GMT).
The center said viewers can choose to enter or stay online during the show.
“Stay or come back when you can. If the sky is cloudy, it will be rescheduled for the night of August 12 “
NASA officials wrote on the page ofFacebook event.
L’Flagstaff Lowell Observatory, Arizona, the place where Pluto was famously discovered, will begin a livestream for the 2021 Perseids at 00:00 EDT on Thursday (05:00 GMT), to hunt down meteors as the sky gets dark. Research assistant Megan Gialluca will conduct the live broadcast.
“We’ll use the Lowell Discovery Telescope’s All-Sky Camera to hunt meteors together, and then you’ll be ready to find more on your own when meteor showers peak in the hours before dawn.”
said the observatory on the livestream page.
L’Kopernik Observatory in Vestal, New York (just outside Binghamton) has scheduled a virtual observation session starting at 9:30 pm EDT on Thursday (1:30 GMT on Friday).
“Our livestream astronomer, Jeremy Cartie, will be available for comments and questions”,
officials said on the YouTube page, adding:
“With the recent new moon, the only thing that stands in our way of a great show is the weather.”
Some sky watchers plan to camp out to see the 2021 Perseid meteor shower, but at the very least, viewers should bring something comfortable to sit on, snacks and bug spray, so relax and look up for it. heavenly spectacle.
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