This weekend will see the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, which appears like “a ball of fire”.
While meteors begin to appear in July, this Saturday and Sunday will offer the best chances to see the Perseids in the northern hemisphere.
This weekend, the best meteor shower of the year is predicted to peak, making it a treat for Stargazers
Myth about Perseids
Because the meteor shower appears to originate from the constellation of the same name, the Perseids are named after the Greek hero Perseus.
- The gorgon Medusa is said to have been killed by Perseus by chopping off her snake-covered head while seeing her reflection in his shield, according to myth.
- Although the meteors begin to appear in mid-July, this weekend is the greatest time to observe them because the Perseid meteor shower is at its peak in the northern hemisphere.
- Some Catholics refer to the Perseids as the “tears of Saint Lawrence“, suspended in the sky but returning to Earth once a year on August 10, the canonical date of that saint’s martyrdom in 258 AD. The saint is said to have been burned alive on a gridiron. His manner of death is almost certainly the origin of the Mediterranean folk legend claiming that the shooting stars are the sparks of Saint Lawrence’s martyrdom.
What SCIENCE Says?
The Perseids appear as the Earth moves through debris that comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle has left behind.
Smale said that many of the particles are little larger than a sand grain and that when we fly through it, “that stuff cascades into our atmosphere and is traveling at phenomenal speeds so [it] heats up.”
The primordial comet, often known as a “dirty snowball,” originated along with the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.
“It’s exciting to think that those tiny bits of dust are actually the leftover material from which the entire solar system formed,” said “Lucie Green”, a professor of physics at University College London and president of the Society for Popular Astronomy. In this manner, observing this meteor shower is very fun and important.each streak of light is indicating a certain events of past.
The peak is expected to be Saturday night into Sunday, but if anyone wants to have a late night on Sunday night into Monday, it would be still very good ,according to “Derek Smale”, program manager for the UK Space Agency’s ESA space safety and security.
Past Recorded Events of Perseids Meteors
In 1992, the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle raced through the inner solar system; it won’t be seen again until 2125.
Up to 100 meteors may be seen flashing across the sky every hour during the Perseids shower, according to Nasa, at least where there are dark skies, says Smale. Fireballs, which are unusually brilliant meteors, are also a part of the show. Some fireballs can even have red, blue, or green colors and shine as brightly as Venus in the night sky.
Smale stated, “They really can be dramatic,” and added that the pea-sized rocks that cause fireballs are in the process of erupting.
“Just because they are that much larger, there is that much more resistance against the atmosphere so they are heating up and it is literally like watching a ball of fire coming across the sky – it’s really quite something when you see these,” he added.
The Southern Delta Aquariids, a meteor shower that peaked last month, will still be visible to stargazers in the southern hemisphere while the Perseids will be seen there in less abundance.
The Perseids are expected to put on quite a display for people in the northern hemisphere, according to Smale, who also notes that the weather prediction has improved, at least for the UK, and that because of the impending new moon, the skies will be darker than normal.
He advised leaving the bright lights of cities and towns, putting your phone away, and climbing a hill for a decent view since rising above local trees and structures will improve your ability to see the sky.
As meteors might occur anywhere in the night sky, Smale observed, “the more sky you can see, the better.” People are advised to just go outside and gaze up.
According to Green, going outside to look for Perseids is a summer ritual. “Due to the comparatively mild nights, you may stay outside for a longer period of time to observe the stars. I’m going to bring a chair outside into my garden, sit back, and wait!”
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