Scientists and astronomers have exciting news for the population: the Perseid meteor shower will be one of the greatest we have experienced so far. No less than 200 meteors per hour are expected to sail across the sky at the peak point of this phenomenon.
The Perseid meteor shower is an annual event. Every year, they take over the sky in the month of August.
Meteors are chunks of meteoroids which come near the atmosphere of the Earth; when they reach this point, they disintegrate. They burn to extinction before reaching Earth, so, generally, there is no danger of collision. On the night sky, meteors look like burning lights, which gained them the surname of “falling stars” or “shooting stars”.
According to scientists, the Perseids are meteors which appeared from the Comet Swift-Tuttle (discovered by Lewis Swift and Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1862). They come out when our planet encounters the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle Comet. Parts of the comet melt because of the heat of the Sun in our System.
This year, the Perseid meteor shower has already begun. What people have to do is watch the western part of the sky, past midnight, to get a good view of the “shooting stars”. The climax of the phenomenon is expected to occur in a week’s time. Researchers assure us that we will be able to see even 200 meteors per hour between 11 and 13 of August. This number is almost double than the usual, which makes this year’s meteor shower a very special one. The explanation behind it is the gravitational alignment, as astronomers announce. Other planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, also come in contact with the comet, and push the debris towards Earth, causing a larger number of meteors than usual.
The Perseid meteor shower will be visible from Earth mostly in North America and Europe. All you have to do is stay up at night, and after the stroke of midnight, just enjoy the show that the Universe has put up for you. Scientists advise that the countryside is the best place of observation, while in the city, parks are the perfect location. The open space is crucial in this matter. Nevertheless, cloudy nights might ruin your plans of watching the cosmic lights.
Make sure you won’t miss one of the greatest beauties of nature! Remember 200 shooting stars are due to 11-13 August. Have you thought of 200 wishes?
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