Lunar nights will make the spectacle of the annual Perseids meteor shower more glamorous for much of the world this weekend. Skywatchers expect a "great show".
When the evening is Sunday, expect a meteor or "shooting star" to sweep across the sky every few minutes. The meteor shower will rise overnight Monday, with 70 meteors per hour, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.
If your view of clouds is blocked on Sunday night, then the Perseids are visible for several nights afterwards.
The moonless sky this year means the visit will be excellent, and the predicted peak of the shower is particularly good for North America, "said Diana Hannikainen, observational editor of Sky & Telescope magazine, in a statement in a very dark sky you can see up to one perseide per minute late on Sunday night or after midnight on Monday morning. "
What are the Perseids?
The Perseids have been dazzling for 2000 years, according to NASA Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun once every 133 years, so the earth traverses the comet's debris field every August, and the ice and dust accumulated over a thousand years burns in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower, the Perseids show brighter meteors than any other annual meteor shower.
The meteors can be traced back to the Perseus constellation, from d he will get her name, which will rise in the evening in the northeastern sky. From our perspective, the meteors all seem to come from a single point called "radiant," but that's because they move in parallel.
When the "radiant" is highest in the sky, we will see most of the meteors. But "Earthgrazer" meteors, flying over the earth's atmosphere and showing long, flaming tails, are visible earlier when the radiant one is deep above the horizon.
The meteors themselves travel at 132,000 miles per hour, producing their living streaks of light. You can reach between 3,000 and 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit during this shower.
The comet itself will come very close to Earth in a "near-miss" in 2126.
How to Watch
NASA scientists advise that although they can be seen anytime after 10:00 pm, the best time to discover a torrent of meteors is during the darkest night, early in the morning, starting at 11pm to the first light
Patience is the key. It can take up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark for optimal viewing. The meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they look brightest against the darkest sky that is vertical.
Some meteors have only weak, fast stripes. Others are brighter and seem to be sailing over our skies for a few seconds, leaving a glowing trail of smoke.
The best way to see the meteor shower is to sit in a deckchair or lie on your back and watch the sky with a wide view. No special equipment is needed, but if you want the best view, it helps to be as far away from artificial light as possible.
If you live in a metropolitan area, you should take a drive to avoid city lights can make the meteor shower show up. NASA scientists also said that camping in the countryside can triple the amount of visible meteors.
And do not forget to grab your camera before you go. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time lapse videos and long exposures that allow you to turn your night sky shots into van Gogh-like images of this star spectacle.
The Virtual Telescope Project will take a look at the Perseids meteor shower on Sunday from the Castel Santa Maria in the Italian province of Perugia, where the community has restored the 16th century church damaged by several earthquakes.