MessageToEagle.com

Stargazers Get Ready For The Perseid Meteor Shower - 2013!

6 August, 2013


MessageToEagle.com - It is time to prepare for the yearly Perseid meteor shower - 2013. Make sure you don't miss it!

In astronomy, there's nothing quite like a bright meteor streaking across the glittering canopy of a moonless night sky. The unexpected flash of light adds a dash of magic to an ordinary walk under the stars.

New research by NASA has just identified the most magical nights of all.



Click on image to enlarge

Perseids meteor shower. Image credit: Jimmy Westlake


"We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," explains Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12th and 13th."

Using a network of meteor cameras distributed across the southern USA, Cooke's team has been tracking fireball activity since 2008, and they have built up a database of hundreds of events to analyze.

The data point to the Perseids as the 'fireball champion' of annual meteor showers.

A fireball is a very bright meteor, at least as bright as the planets Jupiter or Venus.

They can be seen on any given night as random meteoroids strike Earth's upper atmosphere. One fireball every few hours is not unusual. Fireballs become more numerous, however, when Earth is passing through the debris stream of a comet.

Thatís what will happen this August.

The Perseid meteor shower comes from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year in early- to mid-August, Earth passes through a cloud of dust sputtered off the comet as it approaches the sun.


Since 2008, the Perseids have produced more fireballs than any other annual meteor shower. The Geminids are a close second, but they are not as bright as the Perseids. "The average peak magnitude for a Perseid observed by our cameras is -2.7; for the Geminids, it is -2," explains Bill Cooke. "So on average, Geminid fireballs are about a magnitude fainter than those in the Perseids."
Perseid meteoroids hitting our atmosphere at 132,000 mph produce an annual light show that is a favorite of many backyard sky watchers.

Cooke thinks the Perseids are rich in fireballs because of the size of the parent comet.



"Comet Swift-Tuttle has a huge nucleus--about 26 km in diameter," comments Cooke. "Most other comets are much smaller, with nuclei only a few kilometers across. As a result, Comet Swift-Tuttle produces a large number of meteoroids, many of which are large enough to produce fireballs."

Cooke recommends looking on the nights of August 12th and 13th between the hours of 10:30 PM to 4:30 AM local time. Before midnight the meteor rate will start out low, then increase as the night wears on, peaking before sunrise when the constellation Perseus is high in the sky.

For every fireball that streaks out of Perseus, there will be dozens more ordinary meteors.

"Get away from city lights," advises Cooke. "While fireballs can be seen from urban areas, the much greater number of faint Perseids is visible only from the countryside."

In total, the Perseid meteor rate from dark-sky sites could top 100 per hour.

Thatís a lot of magic. Enjoy the show.

Story written by :Dr. Tony Phillips/Science@NASA

MessageToEagle.com

See also:
Venus And Jupiter Show With Special Guests Aurora Borealis And The Moon

Follow MessageToEagle.com for the latest news on Facebook and Twitter !

Don't Miss Our Stories! Get Our Daily Email Newsletter

Enter your email address:


Once you have confirmed your email address, you will be subscribed to the newsletter.

Recommend this article:


Wonderful Mobile Astronomy Apps For All Stargazers!

It doesn't matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced backyard astronomer. It's never too late to become interested in astronomy and these superb applications can help you in your stargazing pursuits. We have put together a selection of some wonderful applications for you mobile or ipad. Many of the applications are free and you will be amazed how beautiful they are!

Best Picture Of Spectacular War & Peace Nebula Taken By VLT


Fantastic Images Of Man-Made Clouds - A Result Of ATREX Mission

Subscribe To Our Space, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Earth and Xenology News!

Grab the latest RSS feeds right to your reader, desktop or mobile phone.


comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Go to - MAIN PAGE

Copyright @ MessageToEagle.com All rights reserved.
Go to - MAIN PAGE


Advertise With Us!

Submissions

Get our top stories
Follow MessageToEagle.com

 Subscribe in a reader

Join Us On Facebook!

Stargazer's Corner



Stargazers' Calendar August 2012 - Don't Miss The Night Sky's Highlights

Beautiful Star Trails Over Australian Night Sky!

Other Popular Articles

Intense Blue Lightning On Saturn Visible From Space In Broad Daylight!

Beautiful Night Sky Timelapse Takes You On A Journey To Astronomer's Paradise
There are not many locations left on this planet where you can still experience a dark sky like this. Walking on the desert near Paranal between the scattered stones and boulders on the pale red dust feels like being on Mars but under the Earth sky. It is an amazing experience to be under an ideal night sky, a pure natural beauty unspoiled by urban lights.


First Photo Ever Of The Entire North Pole As Seen From Space!

You have never seen the entire North Pole, not until now... This is a unique photo showing for the first time the entire Artic region. We have previously only been able to view parts of the North Pole, but in this very special version of the Blue Marble image much more can be seen... Can you see your country on the image?

Intimate Connection Between Black Holes And New-Born Stars
Astronomers have known for some time that black holes and supermassive black holes accretion and star formation appear intimately connected. However, it does not mean that powerful gravitational forces of the black holes disrupt surrounding material in their vicinity. On the contrary, a black hole seems to be helping stars to form.


Amazing Noctilucent Clouds Appear Over Queensferry, Scotland

As we have previously mentioned, noctilucent clouds are back, but their origin is still unknown. There is no doubt that noctilucent clouds have been spreading in the recent years. You don't need to go to the poles to admire these beautiful, mysterious electric clouds.


2012 Noctilucent Clouds Are Back - But Their Origin Is Still Unknown

The clouds are called noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds (NLCs) and they are a relatively new phenomenon. Previously, they were only seen over almost exclusively in Earth's polar regions, but they are now also visible in the skies over the United States and Europe and else where. There is no doubt any more. The clouds at the edge of space are spreading...

W3Counter