Tonight there will be an AMAZING stellar spectacle in the Scottish skies – spectators can see up to 100 shooting stars an hour.
The Perseid meteor shower (Per-see-id) will peak between tonight and tomorrow night.
It’s the debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which appears every 20 to 200 years.
It was sighted in 1862 and 1737 and last seen glowing in the night sky in 1992.
The average speed of a Perseid meteor is around 129,600 miles per hour, which will decorate the sky with fast, bright meteor trains.
Meteor trains form when the air in front of the meteor is squashed and heated to thousands of degrees Celsius.
Smaller meteors then vaporize, leaving a bright trail of light that can explode the larger meteors into fireballs.
Although the rain will peak this weekend, it will be active through August 24th.
Astronomer Steve Owens has hailed Perseid as the “most reliable meteor shower of the year” as he expects more than 100 shooting stars per hour.
The Glasgow Science Center’s Science Operations Manager has given some top tips on how best to visit it.
The expert said: “On any clear, dark night, look up long enough and you will see a shooting star. Those beautiful flashes of light in the sky – also called meteors – are actually not stars at all, they are.” Tiny bits of space dust burn up in our atmosphere.
“For most people shooting stars are a rare event, but under dark skies you can expect to see a few meteors on any clear night. You can’t see many at all from cities under light-polluted skies.”
“These rare meteors, bright enough to outshine our streetlights, often go viral on social media, but as soon as you read about them or see shaky video of them, they’re gone. Blink and you will miss her.”
“But there are certain times of the year when the chance of seeing shooting stars increases dramatically, during so-called meteor showers.”
“Our solar system is full of debris, the remnants of planet formation. As the earth orbits the sun, it sucks up any debris that gets in its way. There are places in space where this debris clumps together, and when.” As Earth enters one of these denser regions, the amount of debris increases — and with it, the number of shooting stars.”
“On the night of Saturday, August 12 to Sunday, August 13, 2023, Earth will pass through the densest part of a dust cloud left behind by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, causing the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. You can start looking for Perseid meteorites now and the shower will last until the end of August, but the shower will peak overnight on August 12-13. reached August.”
Mr Owens said Perseids have an expected peak rate of about 150 shooting stars per hour.
However, he insists that those who want to see the meteor shower should seek clear skies, as light pollution in cities “drowns” them out of sight.
The coffin also suggested an ideal time and place to marvel at Perseids.
Mr Owens said: “The best time of night to view the Perseid meteor shower is from around 10:30pm on August 12th. The later you observe, the more meteors you will see. The little hours before sunrise are best.”
“The number of meteors you will observe hourly depends on a number of factors: the density of the dust cloud that Earth is moving through; the night time you watch; the portion of your sky that is obscured by clouds; and the darkness of your sky.
“When the weather forecast looks good, it really pays to go into a dark place and witness one of nature’s most spectacular events. There are many great places in Scotland for viewing meteors in the dark skies. You could drive to the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park to see some of these.” Scotland’s darkest skies, but really any effort you can make to escape the city lights will help.
“Meteors move all over the sky, so you don’t have to look in a specific direction, but of course if you have a tall building or tree that’s blocking the view, or a street lamp nearby that’s a bit blinding, put those on your back.
He added: “You don’t need special equipment to watch a meteor shower; only the eyes. Hopefully you’ll be out late enjoying the celestial spectacle, so best make yourself comfortable. You might want to bring one with you.” Bring a deck chair.
“Just lie back, dress warmly, enjoy as much sky as possible and be patient. The longer you look up, the better your eyes adjust to the darkness. Having to get in and out of the house or car A look just doesn’t work.
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