August has arrived with the beautiful streaks of light coming from the sky that many have been waiting for: the Perseid meteor shower. This year, the Perseids peak will occur on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13 with peak frequency typically reaching around 80-100 streaks per hour.
Perseids. Information about the meteor shower
Meteor Shower Name: Perseids, FEMALEOrigin: Comet Swift-Tuttle
Opening period: from July 17 to August 24 each year
High: August 12, 13
Maximum meteor ratio (ZHR): 80-100 meteors/hour
Meteor speed: 58 km/s
Emission point (Radiant): Constellation Perseus (Fairy)
Where does the Perseid meteor come from?
Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, our planet regularly sweeps the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the source of the beautiful Perseid meteors. Meteorite fragments are usually only the size of a grain of sand left in the comet’s path to plunge into Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds, around 210,000 km/h, burn brightly and form a contrail shining in the sky. the name “meteor”.
The above phenomenon occurs when the Earth passes through the “dust, debris” left by the comet, the “dust, debris” moves at supersonic speed in the atmosphere, it creates shock waves, it collides with particles from the atmosphere, compressing the particles so quickly that they can’t move away from the “dust, debris” and of course the particles from the atmosphere get much hotter. , the higher the temperature of the shock wave when compressed up to thousands of degrees causes the material components of the comet’s “dust particles, debris” to burn up in the atmosphere in long streaks like these. We can see it, but the dust particles, the debris from the comet is too small to land on the ground like a meteorite, it was swallowed up just above our atmosphere.
With a core diameter of up to 26 km, Swift-Tuttle is the largest object to regularly pass by Earth. According to calculations, the comet has a period of 133 years, the last time it passed by the Earth was in 1992 and the next time will be in 2126. It has been calculated that the comet will hit the Earth during its next visit , but this risk has been eliminated.
Best meteor shower of the year
The Perseids and Geminids in December are the two largest meteor showers that occur regularly each year. Normally, the rate of meteors seen by the Perseids per hour is around 80 to 100 at its peak. In particular, there were years when the Perseid meteor “explosion” occurred, when the number of observed meteors increased significantly. The most recent was the Perseid meteor shower outbreak in 2016, which resulted in a predicted rate of around 150-200 meteors per hour. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case this year.
Of course, the Perseid meteor shower does not only occur on the night of August 12-13, you can observe one or two nights before and after, although the rate is reduced but worth it.
Besides scale and time, the location of meteors is also a question that interests many people. Most meteor showers have an emission point (Radiant) from which most meteors tend to emanate. Similarly, the emission point of the Perseid meteor shower is located in the constellation of Perseus (England), but it is not really necessary to determine the exact emission point as well as the constellation. This constellation will rise at midnight in the northeast and gradually rise.
For best viewing, find an open, safe, optimal location in the suburbs or countryside and be prepared to stay there for a few hours. Take about 20 minutes to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark before you can see better, and while stargazing avoid looking directly at electric lights and mobile devices. You should observe after midnight then the star trails will become more, just lay down and look up to look around the vast sky, you can admire, be careful to be very concentrated because the star trails pass very quickly , less than 1 second.
Contrary to the misconception, your eyes are actually the best tool for observing meteors, not a telescope, you won’t need any assistive equipment to observe this meteor shower, just You must use the eye naked to see them, but you must prepare some tools for night observation such as warm blankets, mosquito repellent, drinking water… in addition, if you have a telescope, or binoculars to see other objects are also very good and if the weather is bad, go to bed and do not try to do anything. Finally, sit or lie down comfortably and wait for the cosmic fireworks.
Information requiring your attention
– There will be times when you encounter a fairly large meteor, people often call it a fireball, don’t confuse it with a UFO.
– The most important thing in the observation is good weather and clear sky, not necessarily the maximum time, you can observe the most meteors at the maximum time, not only see the rain The meteor is at its peak so you can see it from now on, as long as the weather is good.The Hanoi Amateur Astronomy Association will organize a night event to observe this phenomenon, so please follow the association’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thienvanhanoi/