August brings with it mild air and glorious sparkling skies, as well as many exceptional astronomical events. Contributing to the night sky party is the appearance of the Perseid meteor shower, a famous meteor shower sought after by many astronomy enthusiasts around the world. Let’s discover the meteor shower of Anh Tien, to best prepare the first nights of autumn under the starry sky.
Where did the Anh Tien meteor shower come from?
The Anh Tien meteor shower is one of the most important astronomical events and is researched by the frequency of meteors appearing per hour and its bright meteor rate. The Perseids are derived from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, when Earth passes through its remnants in July and August each year.
The name Anh Tien is due to the fact that the meteors seem to come from the constellation Perseus. Astronomers call it the meteor shower. This constellation is named after the hero Perseus, who beheaded the evil Gorgon Medusa and married the Greek princess Andromeda.
Constellation Anh Tian
How to observe the Anh Tien meteor shower?
You can observe anywhere, but there are definitely ideal places where you can see more meteors.
First let’s go Plan and follow the weather. If the weather is not feasible, you should find another place or go out on another day. The days closest to the maximum are generally better than the following days.
The next thing you need is reduce light pollution levels where you will observe. This could be looking in the suburbs, near a park, or just choosing the opposite direction of the streetlights if you can’t go anywhere else. Allowing your eyes to adjust to the dark for at least 15 minutes will help you see the faintest meteors, in other words, you shouldn’t stare at your phone screen.
Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, so the wider the sky you look at, the more meteors you can see. Look for an area with a clear view of the horizon, without trees or buildings. A pair of binoculars or a telescope will not help you, they will only limit your vision.
Anh Tien meteor shower. Source: Unplash
When is the Anh Tien meteor shower?
This year, the Anh Tien meteor shower takes place from July 16 to August 23, with the meteor frequency increasing each night to a maximum in mid-August and then decreasing. This year, the peak occurred on the night of August 12 to the early morning of August 13.
Anh Tien meteor shower. Source: Unplash
When is the best time to observe the Anh Tien meteor shower?
The best time to observe all celestial bodies is night when the sky is really dark and the observation target reaches the zenith. For meteor showers, this will usually be at midnight and a few hours before dawn (12pm – 5:30am)
The Moon below the horizon or in the crescent phase would be ideal, as it is considered a source of natural light pollution, crushing the weaker meteors.
What is special about the Anh Tien meteor shower?
Anh Tien is one of the most beautiful meteor showers because it has many bright meteors and is one of the most active meteor showers. The Geminid meteor shower has a very high frequency of meteors per hour, but it occurs in December, when the Northern Hemisphere enters winter. The Anh Tien meteor shower occurs during summer holidays in most northern hemisphere countries, so families can enjoy it together.
When comets approach the Sun, they heat up and break into pieces. If this debris were to stop in Earth’s orbit around the sun, it could plunge into our atmosphere at a speed of 11 to 45 km/s. The actual speed of a meteor as it enters the atmosphere depends on a combination of Earth’s speed and its own speed.
The average speed of an Anh Tien meteor is about 58 km/s. The air before the meteor is compressed and heated up to thousands of degrees Celsius. Smaller meteors evaporate and leave behind bright trails, larger meteors can explode into fireballs.
Anh Tien meteor shower 2020. Photo: NASA
See more astronomical calendar 2021 here: https://deepsky2000.net/lich-cac-su-kien-thien-van-nam-2021/
Hanoi Astronomical Society HAS
HAS translation team: Dieu Linh