Saturday, 1 August 2020

See the Meteor Show from your garden

Dear Blogger

It seems ages since we heard from Karen, our Little Ness Astronomer,

Meteor Shower

Info from UK Astronomy Events:

The Perseid meteor shower starts slowly ramping up...The beauty of this event is you don't need any equipment just a coffee or hot choc grab the kids or partner and go out into your garden or a nice dark field and look up.

The peak of the shower happens in the middle of August usually 12/13 but we entered the cause of the shower a dust stream left from a comet in July and won't leave it until the end of August, so the shower of meteors slowly builds up each night to its peak then slowly dwindles back to normality.

These fixed events like the Perseids are named due to the location in the sky from where the meteors radiate, the Perseids are named so because they seem to come from the constellation Perseus in fact from around the ancient hero's head. 

Perseus rises pretty much from when the sunsets I'd say around 10pm onwards to the North East, now if you don't have a compass handy put your left arm out towards the setting sun, your right arm straight out the opposite side, bring them both together in front of you and look up probably slightly to your right you should see a slightly off W in the sky. Cassiopeia the vain queen, Perseus is just below this.

As the night goes on Perseus rises and so you will get a better chance to see the meteors, later in the night some say around 2am will be best so set an alarm and get a hot drink.

What can we expect to see?
Well every year they predict 100-120 an hour but..... your never going to see this amount I'm sorry to say because of light pollution, the moon which isn't to bad rising as a crescent around 2am at its peak but I personally have laid on a field with my wife and counted 67 in around an hour and a half. 

But its unpredictable as its a dust lane left by a comet with dense areas within it so you never know.