In August, astronomy enthusiasts around the world will have the opportunity to admire the Perseid meteor shower, one of the most remarkable meteor showers of the year.
What is the meteor shower?
When meteorites enter the Earth’s atmosphere at supersonic speeds, they generate shock waves that forcefully compress the air along the way. This pressure heats the air and the meteors, causing them to burn brightly, creating meteors in the sky. Meteor showers occur when Earth enters the dust lanes left behind by comets each time they pass through Earth’s orbit. The Perseid meteor shower originates from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle which orbits the Sun with a period of 133 years.
Upon entering the atmosphere, meteors move parallel to each other, but due to the law of near and far, it feels like they all come from the same point in the sky. This area is called the epicenter of the meteor shower. In which constellation is the center, the meteor shower will be named after that constellation. The Perseid meteor shower is centered in the constellation Perseus.
The 2012 Perseid meteor shower in the Snowy Range.
Photo: David Kingham on Flickr
Perseid meteor shower information
Name of meteor shower: Perseids
Source : Comet Swift-Tuttle
Operating time: July 17 – August 24 each year
Maxims: August 12 and 13
Maximum meteor ratio (ZHR): 80-100 wicks/hour
Meteor speed: 58km/s
Emission Point (Radiant): Constellation Perseus (Fairy)
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.
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.
Information to note: