Friday, 19 October, 2018

Another Chance To See The Perseid Meteor Shower

Reuters A man points his light at the Milky Way during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower at Mavrovo national park
Grady Vargas | 15 August, 2018, 19:05

The green color was created, at least in part, by the meteor's gas glowing as it vaporized.

Stargazers come out to watch the Perseid meteor shower early on Monday morning north of Castaic Lake, California August 12, 2013.

If you're planning to catch the shower, you should begin looking for meteors Sunday night about 9 p.m. and through the evening. Some of them intersect with the earth due to their colliding trajectories.

The meteors range in size from as small as a dust particle to up to a boulder. The orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the comet responsible for the Perseid shower, is almost perpendicular to Earth's orbit. As Earth makes its yearly journey around the sun, it moves through these clouds of comet debris, introducing many meteors at once into the atmosphere, resulting in what we know as a meteor shower. It is said the Perseid shower commemorates the time when Zeus visited Danae, the mother of Perseus, in a shower of gold.

Asteroid: Asteroids are space rocks that orbit the sun.

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Meteorite: If a meteoroid enters the atmosphere and falls to the surface of the Earth without vaporising, it is called a meteorite.

But for a layperson, a strong meteor shower is just a pretty sight. A meteor shower is best seen far away from urban areas.

At best, a typical Perseid meteor shower produces 80 to a few hundred meteors per hour.

On a clear night close to peaking hour, one could expect to count about 60 meteors per hour. They are the Perseids, occurring this month and the Geminids that take place in December.

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