#AceNewsReport – Aug.13: With the crescent moon setting early, the skies will be dark for the peak viewing hours of midnight (local time) to dawn on Aug. 12. This chart shows expected levels of Perseid activity for July and August 2021, relative to the peak on Aug. 11-13, ignoring the effects of the Sun, Moon, and clouds. All times are in UTC. …
#AceDailyNews reports on the Perseids are on the Rise! In this 30 second exposure taken with a circular fish-eye lens, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Our meteor-tracking cameras spotted their first Perseid on July 26, but your best chance to see them will start the night of Aug. 11 by Jennifer Harbaugh NASA blogs …..
Credits: (NASA/MEO/Bill Cooke)
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, and far away from light pollution, you might spot more than 40 Perseids an hour! (If you’re in a city, you may only see a few every hour; skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere will also see fewer Perseids, with none visible below about 30 degrees south latitude.) The night of Aug. 12-13 will be another great opportunity to see the Perseids: with a full Moon (and lower meteor activity) during the Perseids’ peak in 2022 and a waning crescent high in the sky for 2023, this might be your best chance to do some summer skywatching for a few years.
Find somewhere comfortable, avoiding bright lights as much as possible (yes, including your phone), and give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark—up to half an hour if you can. The Perseids will appear as quick, small streaks of light: they get their name because they look like they’re coming from the direction of the constellation Perseus (near Aries and Taurus in the night sky), but Perseids in that area can be hard to spot from the perspective of Earth. So just look up and enjoy the show!
If you can’t see the Perseids where you live, join NASA to watch them on social media! Tune in overnight Aug. 11-12 (10 PM–5 AM CDT; 3–10 AM UTC) on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to look for meteors with space fans from around the world. If skies are cloudy the night of Aug. 11, we’ll try again the same time on Aug. 12-13. Our livestream is hosted by the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, which tracks meteors, fireballs, and other uncommon sights in the night sky to inform the public and help keep our astronauts and spacecraft safe.
Where do the Perseids *actually* come from?
The Perseids are fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits between the Sun and beyond the orbit of Pluto once every 133 years. Every year, the Earth passes near the path of the comet, and the debris left behind by Swift-Tuttle shows up as meteors in our sky. (Don’t worry, there’s no chance that we’ll run into the actual comet anytime soon.)
Where can I go to learn more?
And, if you want to know what else is in the night sky this month, check out the video below from Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s monthly “What’s Up” video series:
What you can expect to see from Australia during 2021’s Perseid meteor shower
15 hours ago
If you are anywhere north of Brisbane, you might be lucky enough to catch a meteor streaking across the sky in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
The Perseid shower, which shows up every August, is known for its bright and fast meteors caused by the Earth travelling through a trail of debrisstrewn across the solar system by a comet.
That event, lasting several weeks, is dubbed “one of the best meteor showers” in the Northern Hemisphere, where it has been known to produce 100 meteors an hour.
However, University of Southern Queensland professor of astrophysics, Jonti Horner said the rate would be much lower here.
“For us here in Australia, we don’t get a very good show because the place in the sky the meteors are coming from stays very low to the horizon and that means we just don’t get to see as many of them,” Professor Horner said.
“But it’s certainly well worth looking out for if you’re out and about anyway, or if you’re particularly enthusiastic.”
The International Meteor Organisation predicted the shower would peak just before dawn on Friday morning, but Professor Horner said Cairns residents could start seeing meteors around 2:00am.
Professor Horner said the meteor shower would be visible above the northern horizon.
Queenslanders living further south than Cairns may be able to see the meteor shower an hour or two before dawn.
“Let your eyes adapt to the darkness and watch,” he said.
“But don’t expect incredible fireworks where there are flashes of light all the time.”
The further north you are, the better chance you will have of seeing some action.
“If you’re as far north as Cairns, in the hour or two before sunrise you might be lucky enough to see 15 or 20 meteors, shooting stars, per hour,” he said.
“Exactly the same applies in the Northern Territory, and in the northern half of Western Australia.
“Darwin’s rates would be comparable to, or slightly higher than Cairns, as Darwin is four degrees further north.”
Professor Horner said as far south as Rockhampton the rate was reduced to 10 or 15 per hour.
“By the time you’re as far south as Toowoomba, it’s maybe 5 to 10 and if you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, you don’t see any at all,” he said.
If you are in lockdown, or too far south, NASA will be livestreaming the peak of the shower.
Outback astronomer Anthony Wesley said the shower was caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
“The comet is just a big lump of ice, fairly loosely held together,” he said.
“When it comes into a part of the solar system where we happen to live, it gets heated up by the sun and a lot of the outer parts of it just break off.
“You get lots of little pieces of rock and ice and grains of sand that just get warmed up by the heat and left behind as the comet turns around and heads back out again.
“The meteor show is called the Perseids, because the meteors appear to come from the part of the sky located within the constellation Perseus.”
The Rubyvale astronomer said the tiny meteors were “no more than a millimetre or two” big.
“It takes something seriously large, like a few centimetres across, to make a really bright fireball in the sky,” Mr Wesley said.
He said some meteors could survive the heat of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
“The Earth picks up hundreds of tonnes of just dust from space every day,” he said.
“It’s quite common for people who live in high-rise buildings to be able to go onto their roof, if you’ve got a football-pitch-sized roof say, there’s a chance you’d find a few little spicks and specks that had fallen out of the sky.”
When can you see a better show?
Professor Horner said his favourite show, the Geminids shower, was due to arrive in December.
“The Geminids give better numbers than the Perseids anyway, but it’s also higher in the sky so you also see better numbers,” he said.
“This year the Moon does interfere and that’ll lower things back down a bit but it’s still fairly good.
“That’s on the night of the 14th of December into the morning of the 15th, so it’s like a little bit of a Christmas treat.”
Professor Horner urged stargazers to keep an eye on local media rather than international media when it came to astronomy and meteor showers.
“If something is really visible from the Northern Hemisphere, it won’t be as good for us, and vice versa, just because we see a different part of the sky,” he said.
Professor Horner said there was an overlap, depending on how close you were to the equator.
“But there’s a real risk with just trusting blindly an article that you find on the internet because it’s from a really reputable source, like the BBC, because it’s not written for you as a target audience,” he said.
“The facts might not be the same.”
by Brice Russ
#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.13: 2021:
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