Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Natural fireworks, courtesy of the Perseid meteor shower

08.08.2007
As the Perseid meteor shower becomes visible in all its glory on 13 August, natural fireworks will fill the sky.

Showers of meteors, or ‘shooting stars’, appear as bright streaks of light in the sky. The display runs through the night.

Dust trails are left behind by every comet as it nears the Sun. As Earth’s orbit crosses the dust ejected by the comet Swift-Tuttle, a regular occurrence every August, it provides a fabulous spectacle for viewers on Earth. As the particles enter the atmosphere, they burn up, producing the fireworks. This phenomenon, called the ‘Perseid’ meteor shower, gets its name from the constellation Perseus, from where the shooting stars seem to come.

This year the Perseids are visible from 17 July to 24 August. One or two per hour can be seen at the start, increasing to about five to ten per hour in early August. The display will be at its maximum before sunrise on 13 August, when 80 to 100 meteors should be visible every hour, weather permitting.

The best time to go observing is during the pre-dawn hours of 13 August. The occurrence of a new Moon on 12 August will make for perfect observing conditions.

Even if the sky may not be totally clear, you can expect to see tens of meteors in the sky from all over Europe. The display will be on all night, starting from about 23:00 CEST on 12 August, peaking before sunrise on the 13th. This year, as a bonus, Mars is visible as a bright red dot in the East, after midnight.

Telescopes or binoculars will not be necessary as the shower is visible with the naked eye. It is important to be in a dark area, without much smog, pollution or illumination. Do make yourself comfortable – use a reclining chair or spread a blanket on the ground. The shooting stars will appear all over the sky, you need not look in a particular direction. Just make sure your eyes can adapt to dark.

The Meteor Research Group at ESA is performing coordinated observations at several locations in Austria and Germany in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and three more participating institutes: The ‘Institut für Weltraumforschung’, Austria, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany.

A detailed list of all observation posts can be found on the map. After the observations are conducted, we will publish pictures provided by ESA’s observation teams. Stay tuned!

Detlef Koschny | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM9Q6UL05F_index_0.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>