wnol.info August 23 2017


Special telescope in school to watch meteor shower

August 23 2017, 11:09 | Guillermo Bowen

A Perseid meteor trail

A Perseid meteor trail

The Perseids, which come around every year, are widely regarded as the one of the best meteor showers of the year. According to Nasa, this year, the meteor shower is slated to peak between 11-13 August, making this weekend the ideal time to watch the night sky lit up by shower.

Even though there has been a lot of chatter about the upcoming solar eclipse, if you've found a new love for astronomy, you'll love to hear that this weekend - the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks.

If you can, it's best to observe in the early hours of the morning, so either be prepared to stay up really late or as I have done in the past, set the alarm for around 2am, then venture out to observe.

Although there will be fewer at that hour, "these meteors tend to be very long and long-lasting so it is definitely worth trying to see some of them", according to the IMO website. But in the meantime, as Earth passes yearly through the dust and debris it has left behind, this creates the annual Perseid meteor shower.

The yearly show got its name because the stars appear to fly out of the constellation Perseus.

Despite wild media reports about it being the brightest meteor shower in human history, NASA said "no such thing is going to happen".

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year on a predictable schedule, starting around July 17 until about September 1.

He contiued that in 2017, NASA is expecting enhanced rates of about 150 per hour or so, but the increased number will be cancelled out by the bright moon.

Whether you're on NASA's payroll or a total layman, the Perseid meteor shower is not to be missed. "This major shower takes place during the lazy, hazy days of summer, when many families are on vacation", EarthSky.org Bruce McClure said. That means about 86 percent of the moon will be illuminated, shining a light in the night sky that may upstage the Perseids. Yes, according to a viral story published online, the sky would be so brightly lit that there would be no night on Saturday.

The comet orbits the sun every 135 years. The moonlight will block some of the fainter meteors. "That's good because they are bright, but bad because if you are not paying close attention, you may miss them".

Your best opportunity to see the most of the show will be away from the constant hum of city lights.



Other news