Astronomy

Can you view the Perseid meteor shower anywhere on Earth?

Can you view the Perseid meteor shower anywhere on Earth?


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The peak viewing dates of the 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower is said to be between the dates of August 11 through the early morning hours of August 12.

Being a resident of the United States, I keep getting my peak viewing dates and times for my area and for the whole of the United States. There is never any mention of any other parts of the world having the capability to view this meteor shower.

Is the Perseid Meteor Shower visible to all parts of the world?


You can see perseid meteors from all the Northern Hemisphere, and the Northern part of the Southern Hemisphere. Provided the sky is clear, the moon has set, and Perseus is above the horizon you will see meteors. This shower has a wide peak, so you can see them over several nights.


Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower Dazzle Sunday Night's Sky

[seealso slug="astronomy-apps"] The result of this natural event is a beautiful sight for us on land. Expect to see the peak of the meteor shower around 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., your local time, wherever you are. In preparation for the natural show, NASA recommends finding open sky away from artificial lights, laying down on the ground and giving your eyes about a half-hour to adjust to the darkness. Most of the world will be able to see the shower, except parts of Australia and Antarctica that may be too far south. If there's bad weather in your area, you can still view the shower via NASA's camera over Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA's Ustream video, embedded below, will begin at approximately 9 p.m. ET.
Live streaming video by Ustream Are you going to watch the annual Perseid meteor shower? Let us know in the comments, and share photos of the shower on social media. Don't forget to tag your tweets with the hashtag, #perseid Images: (1) Flickr, Dave Dugdale/LearningDSLRVideo (2) Flickr, Darren Kirby/bulliver (3) Pierre Martin via NASA (4) Flickr, Johan Larsson.

Radiant

Meteor Showers are named for the constellation out of which they seem to come. Because all of the particles are moving in roughly the same direction, the meteors which strike our atmosphere all “point” back to the direction of the comet’s path. This point in the sky is called the Meteor Shower Radiant. The Perseids appear to come from a point next to the constellation of Perseus. Perseids can be seen anywhere in the sky, but the direction of motion, when traced back, will point to a point next to the Perseus constellation.

Composite Image of the Perseids Meteor Shower 2013- Germany – © mLu.fotos
The radiant point for the Perseid meteor shower is in the constellation Perseus (North East, after midnight). But you don’t have to find a shower’s radiant point to see meteors. Instead, the meteors will be flying in all parts of the sky!


Photograph meteors

The Perseids also offer a good opportunity to photograph meteors. To accomplish this you need a camera capable of taking exposures of at least 60 seconds. It also advantageous to have a wide field lens such as a 24mm or 28mm. These lenses are normally “slow” with a focal ratio of 3.5 or higher. These lenses are still capable of capturing meteors but the lower the focal ration the better as “faster” lenses are more capable of capturing these fast streaks of light. If you simply aim your camera at the sky your time exposure will show the stars trailing through the frame. Meteors will appear as straight streaks of light crossing these star trails. Advanced astrophotographers use motorized mounts for their cameras to follow the stars and to avoid star trails. Meteor streaks will appear as they do in the sky, as streaks of light against a starry background.


When and Where to See Perseid Meteor Shower

What is it: When Earth crosses the orbit of Swift-Tuttle, a comet that orbits the Sun every 133 years, the debris cloud of Swift-Shuttle hit Earth’s atmosphere. The debris travel at around 59 kilometers per second and peak temperatures can reach anywhere from 1600 to 5500 deg C, thus burning up as they speed across the sky and causing the celestial spectacle of multitude of shooting stars. Even though the meteors are part of Swift-Tuttle, it is called Perseids Meteor Shower, because they appear to originate from the Perseus constellation.

You may also like: Orionid Meteor Shower

When to See the Perseid Meteor Shower:

Earth crosses the comet’s debris cloud every year. The shower is visible from middle July to middle of August (July 16 – August 23, 2020), and the peak shower takes place around second week of August (August 11 to 13 this year) as the Earth crosses the thick of the cloud.

Perseids will peak between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 11 to 13. If the sky is cloud-free, you can expect to see 40 to 100 meteors per hour this year. The shower’s peak is on the morning of August 12, 2020.

This year the moon is in its third-quarter on August 11, 2020. Though not exactly ideal, it is much better than having a full moon blocking the view.

How & Where to see 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower:

Required Conditions: Clear Sky away from city lights — Check clear sky (cloud) conditions in your area – here.

–The best way to see it is get away from city lights, preferably to Dark Sky Preserves*. If not, to open sky areas (so that you have a 360 deg view of the sky) away from city lights like provincial/regional parks (where you can typically see a million stars on a clear starry night ) around midnight and look up — Northeast at the sky. If you live in the countryside there is a good possibility that you can see the meteor shower from your yard.

Screengrab: DarkSiteFinder Light Pollution Map.

To find reasonably dark areas near your location, check the darkskyfinder map. Search for a park (or a safe place with no streetlights away from roads/traffic) within the areas coloured dark (mustard) yellow, green, blue, grey or black (transparent). (Before travelling, please check cloud cover.)

— Make sure you switch off the phone and your eyes need

30 minutes to get adjusted to the dark. If you are carrying a flashlight, cover it with red cellophane wrap or some kind of red filter, so that it doesn’t interfere with viewing.

— Watch the night sky for at least 15 to 20 minutes for a chance to spot meteors. At its best, the shower can produce more than 80 meteors per hour. You can see the shower with naked eyes and do not need astronomy equipment.

— Take a blanket or a lawn chair so that you can sit comfortably to watch the shower.


Viewing the 2020 September epsilon Perseids

Normally, the September epsilon Perseids meteor shower (SPE) produce a peak of around 5 meteors per hour at maximum. This year, with a 60 percent illuminated moon rising near 22:30 (10:30pm) local summer time, one could easily dismiss the probably of seeing anything extraordinary from this source. Yet interplanetary dust expert Jérémie Vaubaillon has brought to our attention that the Earth may pass through debris streams that were produced by an unknown source in 1375 and 1848. The timing of these passages occurs on September 9 near 9:55 universal time (4:55am CDT) for the 1848 stream and 13:32 universal time (11:55pm HST on Sept. 8) for the 1375 stream. These times favor North America for the first encounter and the eastern Pacific area for the second encounter as it will be daylight across the European continent. The density of these streams is unknown so predictions of meteor activity can only be a guess. The best advice is to expect nothing at all and hope for the best!

On the night of maximum activity, the radiant for the September epsilon Perseids lies at 03:12 (048) +40. This position is easy to locate in the sky as it lies only one degree southeast of the bright variable star known as Algol (beta Persei). Unfortunately, the bright half-moon will lie in the neighboring constellation of Taurus, not far from the SPE radiant. The best strategy would be to keep the moon out of your field of view yet still trying to include Algol to help determine the shower association of any meteors seen. Trying to view activity prior to moon rise would most likely yield little success as the radiant only achieves an altitude of 30 degrees 45 minutes after moon rise.

This illustration shows the position of the SPE radiant and the moon on the morning of September 9. This view is looking eastward straight up in the sky. This is similar to what will be seen at 9:55 UT (4:55am CDT) from the central USA. It is suggested that you view further northward in the sky so that the moon is out of your field of view and the SPE radiant lies near the top.


How to see the Perseid meteor shower in the UK

Dark skies caused by the new moon could make this year’s showing more spectacular than usual, although heavy cloud cover may obscure the skies.

The Perseid meteor shower as seen in August 2010 above the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. Photograph: S. Guisard/ESO/PA

The Perseid meteor shower as seen in August 2010 above the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. Photograph: S. Guisard/ESO/PA

First published on Tue 11 Aug 2015 11.51 BST

The annual Perseid meteor shower could be more spectacular than usual, as a new moon results in darker skies and perfect viewing opportunities.

The peak of the meteor shower will be after midnight BST on Wednesday, with 4am Thursday being the best time to see the shooting stars, when spectators could see up to 80 streaking meteors per hour.

However, heavy cloud cover across Britain could obscure the show across much of the country, leaving spectators with a better chance of seeing the shower on Tuesday night.

Astronomer Brendan Owens, at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, plans to go out onThursday morning before dawn, when the Earth turns into the path of the meteors.

“I never miss the Perseid meteor shower. Every year I’ve taken the opportunity to go outside just before dawn. It is one of nature’s best night shows,” he said.

But the Met Office forecasts cloudy skies for most of the UK on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, which could interfere with seeing the meteors. Coastal areas around the England-Scotland border will have the best chance of clear skies.

The rest of the UK will have better chances of seeing the shower late on Tuesday night. For the best view look towards the east, although meteors can be visible in any part of the sky.

Spectators do not need a telescope to see the meteors, but astronomers recommend a blanket to wrap up warm and a deck chair to recline in, in order to view as much of the night sky as possible. A red light torch is good for preserving night vision, and it is best to avoid the use of mobile phones. One trick is to attach a red sweet wrapper over an ordinary torch with an elastic band.

Rural areas with low light pollution are the best locations for viewing the shower. Urban spectators can look for the darkest parts of the sky and cover up any light sources with their hands.

The Perseid meteors are bits of debris left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes through our solar system once every 133 years. When the comet gets close to the sun it heats up and releases debris into its orbit. The Earth then ploughs into the debris trail, resulting in predictable meteor showers around this time every year.

“From a scientific perspective, you can get information on how much material is breaking off from the comet,” Owens said. “You can gain scientific information as well as experiencing a beautiful spectacle.”

The meteors may look magnificent, but they are no more than bits of rock and ice the size of a grain of sand. They flare up in the sky because they are moving so fast - 60km per second.

The shower is named after the constellation Perseus, as the meteors appear to radiate from that particular cluster of stars. The Perseid shower started on 13 July and will die off quickly after the peak on Thursday, until the end of the shower on 26 August.


Enjoy the Perseid Meteor Shower Even if it’s Cloudy

Oh no! You have planned to go out and watch the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower this weekend, but it’s cloudy. You can’t see a thing!

Don’t despair, as you can still enjoy the meteor shower in other ways, until the sky clears.

There are few possibilities and two rely on reflections of radio signals from distant sources, such as TV transmitters many hundreds of miles away.

Or you can “watch” a visual graph is with the Meteorscan Meteor Live View created at the Norman Lockyer observatory in Devon England

How do these work? Basically these transmitters are at a distance where they are beneath the horizon from the radio receivers perspective. If you tune into this far of transmitter all you would normally get is static as it is so far away and hidden, due to being below the horizon.

When a meteor strikes Earth’s atmosphere it decelerates rapidly. The friction created by the air causes the meteor to burn up at extremely high temperatures creating the white “shooting star” that we are all familiar with. This process also ionizes the air along the trail making it possible to reflect radio waves.

The reflected signals are picked up by the radio receiver and can be heard as pings or whistles. Data can also be displayed on a computer in the form of different types of graph.

There will also be a live audio and video stream, along with a live “Stay Up All Night” chat about the Perseids with NASA astronomer Bill Cooke and his team from the Marshall Space Flight Center as they answer your questions about the Perseids via live Web chat. Join them on Friday, Aug. 12 at 11 p.m. EDT — 03:00 UTC GMT — then make plans to stay “up all night” until 5:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Of course, as we have mentioned before, you can join in with watching the Perseids with the rest of the world via Twitter and the #Meteorwatch hashtag. Even if you can’t see any meteors, you can see where other people are watching them with the Twitter Meteor Map

Check out all these fantastic and interesting meteor tools and hopefully you’ll have a chance to go out and enjoy the shower with your eyes when the sky clears.


Night Sky Map for August 2020: The Milky Way

Welcome to the Night Sky Map for August 2020! This month, we talk about one of the night sky’s most magnificent sights—the summer Milky Way, which is the galaxy in which our Sun and all of its planets are located. Here’s how to see the Milky Way in the summer night sky.

Just click here or on the image below to open the printable map—then bring outside!

The Milky Way Galaxy

Late summer is one of the best times of year to view the full splendor of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

From our vantage point within the galaxy, the Milky Way appears as a huge, shimmering cloud of light arching from the southern horizon to high overhead. It glows with the combined light of billions upon billions of faraway stars, each too faint for our eyes to resolve. Added together, these myriad stars produced the soft glow that we see as the Milky Way.

While the Milky Way appears as an arch to our eyes, it is actually a spiral galaxy—a sprawling pinwheel of starlight and dust containing 100 to 400 billion stars! Specifically, it’s a “barred spiral galaxy” because it has a central bar bar-shaped structure composed of stars. This is not uncommon. The current hypothesis is that the bar structure acts as a type of stellar nursery, fueling star birth at their centers.

Imagine a disk with spiral arms reaching out from the center. Within this huge spiral structure, Earth and the Sun and its planets are located in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way (called the Orion Arm) which lies about two-thirds of the way out from the center of the Galaxy (and one third from the center of the galaxy).


Image showing where Earth resides within the Barred Spiral Milky Way. Credit: Bill Saxton NRAO , AUI , NSF Robert Hurt NASA .

Viewing the Milky Way

The Milky Way used to be visible on every clear, moonless night, everywhere in the world.

Sadly, the increase in light pollution over the past century has turned the Milky Way from a common sight into one that many folks have never seen. In 1994, when the Northridge earthquake knocked out power (and therefore light) to Los Angeles, emergency centers received calls from concerned citizens who reported a “giant silvery cloud” hovering over the city. Was it dangerous? Not to worry: The city dwellers were merely seeing the Milky Way for the first time in their lives!

You need a dark location to observe the Milky Way in all its glory. A typical suburban neighborhood won’t be sufficiently dark. Moonlight, security lights, and streetlights are enough to spoil the view. Look for a night when the Moon is young or it’s a New Moon. See your Moon phase tonight.

Seeing the Milky Way requires a special effort for most people, but it’s well worthwhile. The clearest skies appear just after a cold front passes through. Remember that your eyes need about 20 minutes to adjust to the dark.

From a properly dark, moonless viewing site, you can see the huge, hazy band of the Milky Way and maybe even the Great Rift, a large, dark strip of cosmic dust and gas that hides part of the Milky Way and appears to divide it in two, as shown on this month’s Sky Map below.

Note: Do not expect to see the Milky Way as you do in photographs that you see online. A camera can capture light better than our human eyes. What you may see is a whitish, cloudy—dare we say, milky—arc sretching across the night sky from South to Northeast. In the late summer, the brigher areas are in the southern part of the sky, toward the core of the galaxy, where the stars are more dense. Now look north, towards the outer edge of the Milky Way the stars are less dense.

Unlike a meteors shower or other event, the Milky Way is on display every night of the year, and it’s especially grand in late summer. Find yourself to a really dark spot and check it out!

Enlarge this Map! Click here or on map below to open a large image.


Sky map produced using Chris Marriott’s Skymap Pro

The Perseid Meteor Shower

Another highlight in August is the Perseid Meteor Shower to our skies. The Perseids are one of the best meteor showers of the year, and they reach their peak on the night of August 12–13.

Known as shooting stars, meteors appear as brief streaks of light when small space rocks called meteoroids plunge into Earth’s atmosphere. Friction with the atmosphere heats the meteoroids to the point where they burn up, each creating a bright flash that we call a meteor.

Most meteoroids are no larger than grains of sand, but occasionally pieces of a big one survive the fi ery trip through the atmosphere to reach the ground. These surviving fragments are known as meteorites.

In summary, when moving through space, a tiny rock is a meteoroid. When we see it burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, it’s a meteor. If any part of the object survives its passage through the atmosphere and reaches the ground, it’s a meteorite.

Several times a year, Earth passes through streams of cosmic debris. When this happens, we may be treated to a meteor shower in which the number of meteors jumps dramatically to anywhere from 10 to 100 meteors per hour.

In the case of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, every August, Earth encounters debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. As Earth plows through the cometary debris, each little particle appears in the sky as a momentary streak of light—a meteor.

Perseid meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, so your best viewing strategy is to recline or lie on the ground and look toward the darkest and most unobstructed region of the sky. A sleeping bag or air mattress makes meteor watching a lot more comfortable.

Note: How to Read the Sky Map

Our monthly sky map does not show the entire sky which would be almost impossible. Instead, the map focuses on a particular region of the sky each month where something interesting is happening. The legend on the map always tells you which direction you should facing, based on midnight viewing. For example, if the map legend says “Looking Southeast,” you should face southeast when using the map.

The map is accurate for any location at a so-called “mid northern” latitude. That includes anywhere in the 48 U.S. states, southern Canada, central and southern Europe, central Asia, and Japan. If you are located substantially north of these areas, objects on our map will appear lower in your sky, and some objects near the horizon will not be visible at all. If you are substantially south of these areas, everything on our map will appear higher in your sky.

The items labeled in green on the sky map are known as asterisms. These are distinctive star patterns that lie within constellations. When getting your bearings under the stars, it’s often easiest to spot an asterism and use it as a guide to finding the parent constellation.

The numbers along the white “Your Horizon” curve at the bottom of the map are compass points, shown on degrees. As you turn your head from side to side, you will be looking in the compass direction indicated by those numbers. The horizon line is curved in order to preserve the geometry of objects in the sky. If we made the horizon line straight, the geometry of objects in the sky would be distorted.


Can you view the Perseid meteor shower anywhere on Earth? - Astronomy

F or several weeks in early August, Earth will be bombarded by lots of extra-terrestrial debris. But you need not worry – most of it will be dust particles that burn up in Earth's atmosphere as meteors. Indeed, August is the best time to witness the meteor shower called the Perseid.

Parents can take advantage of this opportunity to introduce their children to one of the wonders of our solar system: shooting stars. Or check out Jupiter Scientific's Virtual Astronomy page for a "virtual" journey through the Universe.

Observing

When to Watch:

In 2012, the best time to observe the Perseids is from 1-5 am during the mornings of Sunday, August 12 (Note that this is the night that starts on Saturday, August 11). If you do not want to watch during sleeping hours, try observing on the evening of Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12. You should be able to see a handful of meteors if the sky is clear. To see the best observation times in your location, see meteor flux estimator. This year, the Moon is a crescent that sets after midnight, and moonlight will not interfere too much with viewing.

Clouds prevent one from seeing meteors so that if you are particularly keen in wanting to see the Perseids this year, then adopt the following strategy: Try to watch during the night of August 11-12 If clouds are present, then try for August 12-13.

If it is cloudy on both nights, you might want to check out the Aurigids that peak on September 1.

Where to Look in the Sky:

Where to Watch From:

How to Watch:

What to Expect:

Every year, the Perseid provides amateur astronomers with a delightful natural display. With excellent viewing conditions, you should see about one meteor per minute at the peak! Even if you are not observing under optimal circumstances, which is likely to be the case, you can expect to see about 25 meteors per hour.

General Information about Meteors

Particularly prolific periods for meteors are called meteor showers. They typically occur at specific times of the year. The reason for this is simple. Certain regions of our solar system have high concentrations of debris. Each time the Earth passes through such a region during its journey around the Sun, a meteor shower takes place. Many of these meteoroid regions are created from the passing of a comet. This is the case for the Perseids. Every year in early August, Earth enters a region of outer space with significant numbers of meteoroids. This solar system debris has been created by Comet P/Swift-Tuttle.

Morning is a better time for observing meteors than evening because the morning night sky faces the region of outer space that the Earth is moving toward. Click here to see a picture of the situation.

For more information about meteors told in spiritual language, see the fifteenth book of planetology of The Bible According to Einstein .

(Comets, by the way, are bodies made of ices, dust and rocks. When they approach the Sun, they melt somewhat. The solar wind then blows material off the comet to create its tail. Observationally, a comet near Earth looks like a hazy ball with a long wispy tail. Comets are created in the Oort cloud in the outer regions of our solar system when they are knocked toward the Sun. For more information about comets, see the fourteenth book of planetology of The Bible According to Einstein .)


This report was prepared by the staff of Jupiter Scientific, an organization devoted to the promotion of science through books, the internet and other means of communication.

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