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KEEP YOUR EYES FIXED TO THE SKIES FOR A SPECTACULAR COSMIC SHOW

August 10, 2018

 

2018; Know what all is there for you!

Lock the dates, the overnight hours of August 11 and August 12, 2018, are going to be spectacular for sky-gazers as these two nights are expected to be lit up by Perseids meteor showers, which are going to be one of the brightest meteor showers of the year. Wow! Isn’t it interestingly outlandish and little queer?

        

What are Perseids Meteors?

Before you bask in this visual treat of the cosmos, the deep insight into the Perseids meteors would make your nights even more meaningful and scintillating. Did you know the Comet Swift-Tuttle has an orbit of 133 years and it last entered the inner solar system way back in the year 1992? Comets are a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when they are near the sun, a ‘tail’ of gas and dust particles point away from the sun. Perseids are one among many of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle which derives its name from the constellation Perseus.

 

Best Time for Peak Viewing

Peak viewing of the Perseids Meteor Showers will be on the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13, 2018 when Earth will cross through the dust tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Earth is already passing through a stream of debris from comet Swift-Tuttle beginning on July 17 this year and Perseids Meteors showers will be visible until August 24. Perseids Showers, which also include colourful fireballs will be mostly visible in the Northern Hemisphere where Perseus Constellation is present.

 

How many Meteors can be seen?

If weather and moon cooperate to the wish of sky-gazers to enjoy this cosmic show thoroughly, around 70-90 meteors can be observed by the viewers in one hour. Try to stay in a location which is as dark as possible far from the electric light, as more darkness would mean the Perseids Meteors showers will be more clear to your eyes.

 

More Interesting Facts

The perseid meteor shower has been producing a dozens of fireballs for a whole week before the shower peaks. Every July and August months, the Earth encounters debris left behind from comet Swift-Tuttle.   Even though the comet lies in the outer portions of the solar system, far away from Earth, we still encounter debris that has been left behind during the many trips this comet has made through the solar system. Our Earth takes more than 3 weeks to pass through the wide trail of dust from this comet. Viewers are able to see some meteors from July 17 to August 24, 2018 with the rates increasing during the weeks before August 12 and decreasing after the August 13. Observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views.

 

Beware of Solar Eclipse

On August 11, the sky-gazers will be able to witness a partial solar eclipse as the moon passed between Earth and the sun.  This partial solar eclipse will be visible from Northern and Eastern Europe, Northern parts of Northern America and some Northern and Western locations in Asia. Partial Solar Eclipse happens when the moon comes between the sun and Earth but they don’t align in a perfectly straight line. We advise you not to look at the sun without proper filter.

 

What are you waiting for? Cosmic show has already been spreading its splendor for long and it is ready to scale its peak point. Fix your eyes to the skies and experience jaw-dropping and wow-inducing light shows in the night with an elusive answer crossing your mind; how big our universe is and above all, who is the supreme authority of this unending universe?

 

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© 2016 Dr Nidhi Bhan

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