The stream of Perseids: this year’s shooting star is predicted to be particularly spectacular. When to observe

The stream of Perseids: this year’s shooting star is predicted to be particularly spectacular. When to observe

This year, the Perseid meteor shower began on July 17 and will end on August 24. But it will be best to observe it on the peak mornings of the shooting star – August 12 and 13.

According to NewScientist, this year’s big summer solstice will be especially spectacular, because during the peak period the Moon will be illuminated by only 10%, preparing to enter the new moon on August 16.

How active is the Perseid meteor shower?

When the shower is just starting, you can see about one meteor every hour. That’s more than any other night of stargazing. But as August 12 and 13 approaches, the number of meteors will increase to 50-75 per hour, reaching a maximum of 100 “shooting stars”.

What is the Perseid stream?

Perseids — one of the most powerful meteor streams. Named after the constellation Perseus, where its radiant is located. This flow can be observed every year from about July 23 to August 22.

Like most meteor showers, the Perseids are formed by the remnants of a comet’s “tail.” Comets, approaching the Sun, heat up, dispersing small particles of ice and dust in the interplanetary space, which, under the influence of the solar wind, move away from the comet itself, remaining close to its orbit.

A comet’s tail consists of tiny particles of ice, dust, and rock that have been ejected into interplanetary space from the comet’s nucleus. When the Earth encounters these particles on its way around the Sun, they enter the atmosphere at a speed of 10 km/sec (the average speed of the Perseids is 50 km/sec). They sometimes draw straight, continuous, and sometimes intermittent lines, then flash in the form of a stream, and sometimes even in the form of one or more fireballs. Most flares (known as “starfalls”) are caused by meteoroids the size of a grain of sand.

The first mention of the Perseids dates back to 36 AD. e. in the Chinese annals. The Perseids were also often mentioned in Chinese, Japanese and Korean chronicles of the 8th – 11th centuries. In Europe, the Perseids were called “Tears of St. Lawrence” because the festival of St. Lawrence, which takes place in Italy on August 10, falls on a period of high meteor shower activity.

The official discoverer of the annual Perseid meteor shower is the Belgian Adolphe Quetelet, who announced this sight in August 1835.

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