From Perseids, Geminids to Quadrantids – Tech news, Firstpost

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#Throughout the year, as the #Earth revolves around the sun, it crosses streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers can light up the night sky from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you may be able to catch one.

#If you see a meteor shower, what you really see are the remains of icy comets crashing into #Earth’s atmosphere. #Comets are a lot like dirty snowballs: as they travel through the solar system, they leave behind a dusty trail of rocks and ice that lingers in space long after they leave. #As #Earth passes through these cascades of comet waste, the pieces of debris – which can be as small as grains of sand – pierce the sky with such speed that they explode, creating a heavenly firework display.

#Photo provided by W. #Liller / NASA, #Hailey’s #Comet on #Easter #Island, #March 8, 1986. #Earth passes through streams of cosmic debris all year round. #Here is a list of some major meteor showers and how to spot them. (W. #Liller / NASA via The #New #York #Times) – FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. –

A rule of thumb with meteor showers: you never watch #Earth pass each other in the remnants of a comet’s most recent orbit. #Instead, the engraving pieces come from previous passes. #For example, during the #Perseid meteor shower, you see meteors ejected when its parent comet, #Comet #Swift-Tuttle, was visited in 1862 or earlier, and not from its last visit in 1992.

#Indeed, according to #Bill #Cooke, an astronomer with NASA’s #Meteoroid #Environment #Office, debris from a comet’s orbit takes time to drift to a position where it intersects #Earth’s orbit.

The name attached to a meteor shower is usually related to the constellation in the sky that they appear to come from, known as their radiant. #For example, the #Orionid meteor shower can be found in the sky when astronomers have a good view of the constellation #Orion.

The best way to see a meteor shower is to go to a location with a clear view of the entire night sky. #Ideally, it would be somewhere with a dark sky, away from city lights and traffic. #To maximize your chances of catching the show, look for a location with a wide, unobstructed view.

#Bits and chunks of meteor showers are visible for a period, but they really peak from dusk to dawn over a few days. #On these days, #Earth’s orbit passes through the thickest part of the cosmic flow. #Meteor showers can vary during peak hours, with some peaking for just a few hours and others for several nights. #Showers tend to be more noticeable after midnight and before dawn.

#It is best to use your naked eye to spot a meteor shower. #Binoculars or telescopes tend to limit your field of vision. #You may need to spend about half an hour in the dark to allow your eyes to get used to the reduced light.

#Astronomers should be warned that too much moonlight and the weather can obscure a meteor shower. #You can check the moon phase and your local weather report to see if you will have a good show.

#If your local sky does not light up, sometimes there are live meteor broadcasts online, such as those hosted by NASA or #Slooh.

#While the #International #Meteor #Organization lists a variety of meteor showers that could be seen, below are the showers most likely to be seen in the sky this year. #Peak dates can change throughout the year as astronomers update their estimates.

The quadrants

#Active from #December 28 to #January 12. #Peaks around #January 2-3.

The #Quadrantids broadcast their own #New #Year’s fireworks display. #Compared to most other meteor showers, these are unusual in that they are believed to originate from an asteroid. They tend to be paler with less streaking in the sky than the others on this list.

#Active from #April 14 to #April 30. #Peaks around #April 21-22.

There are records of ancient #Chinese astronomers spotting these bursts of light over 2,700 years ago. They soar in the sky at around 107,000 mph and explode approximately 55 miles into the planet’s atmosphere. #This shower comes from #Comet #Thatcher, which travels around the sun every 415 years or so. #His last trip was in 1861 and his next rendezvous near the sun will be in 2276.

#Active from #April 19 to #May 28. #Peaks around #May 4-5.

The #Eta #Aquariids, also known as #Eta #Aquarids, are one of two meteor showers from #Comet #Halley. #Its sister shower, the #Orionids, will reach its peak in #October. #Eta aquariids’ spots cross the sky at around 148,000 mph, making it one of the fastest meteor showers. #Its display is best seen from the southern hemisphere where people normally enjoy between 20 and 30 meteors per hour during its peak. The northern hemisphere tends to see about half as many.

The aquariids of the south delta

#Active from #July 12 to #August 23. #Peaks around #July 28-29.

They come from comet 96P #Machholz, which passes through the sun every five years. #Its meteors, which number between 10 and 20 per hour, are most visible before dawn, between 2 and 3 a.m. #It tends to be more visible from the southern hemisphere.

#Active from #July 17 to #August 24. #Peaks around #August 11-12.

The #Perseids light up the night sky when #Earth collides with pieces of cosmic debris left behind by #Comet #Swift-Tuttle. The dirty snowball is 17 miles wide, and orbiting the sun for about 133 years. #His last attempt dates back to 1992.

#Usually, between 160 and 200 meteors dazzle in #Earth’s atmosphere every hour during the peak display. They travel through the atmosphere at about 133,000 mph and erupt about 60 miles above their heads.

#Les orionides

#Active from #October 2. to #November 7. #Peaks around #October 19-20.

The #Orionids are a reminder of the #Eta #Aquariid meteor shower, which peaks in #May. #Both come from cosmic material spat out of #Halley’s #Comet. #Given that celestial fame revolves around #Earth once every 76 years, this weekend’s showers are your chance to see the comet’s remnants until the real deal then passes in 2061.

The #Leonids

#Active from #November 6 to #November 30. #Peaks around #November 16-17.

The #Leonids are one of the most dazzling meteor showers, and every few decades they produce a meteor storm where over 1,000 meteors can be seen per hour. #Fingers crossed for luck – the last time the #Leonids were this strong was in 2002. #Its mother comet is called #Comet-Temple / #Tuttle and it circles the sun every 33 years.

The #Geminids

#Active from #December 4 to #December 20. #Peaks around #December 13-14.

The #Geminids, as well as the #Quadrantids that peaked in #January, are believed to have originated not from comets, but from asteroid-like space rocks. #It is believed that the #Geminids were produced by an object called the 3200 #Phaethon. #If you can manage to see them, this meteor shower can brighten up the night sky with between 120 and 160 meteors per hour.

#Active from #December 17 to #December 26. #Peaks around #December 21-22.

The #Ursids tend to light up the night sky around the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. They only fire about 10 to 20 meteors per hour. They seem to radiate from # #Ursa #Minor and originate from comet 8P / #Tuttle.

#Nicholas #St.#Fleur c.2021 The #New #York #Times #CompanyMete

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