The famous Perseid meteor shower, which occurs between July 17 and August 24, 2021, peaked this Thursday, between 20:00 and 23:00, with forecasts averaging 110 meteors per hour. From Casa do Pinedo, in the Fafe Mountains, Moreira de Re Diocese, photojournalist Evo Borges of O MINHO took some pictures of the phenomenon announced by the Lisbon Astronomical Observatory (OAL).
As the night progresses, radiation continues to rise in the sky, and meteor tracks become shorter and shorter, lasting only a few tenths of a second in the middle of the night. At the end of the night, before dawn, the radiation is higher in the dark sky, where meteors are more visible but last for less time.
To observe meteor showers, OAL advises to go into the countryside, away from the city lights, with an unobstructed horizon: “If the sky was clear, we would have a wonderful view of the sky. Jupiter would appear in the constellation Aquarius, Saturn next to it in the constellation Capricorn, and already wonderful summer constellations would appear. In all its splendor.”
What are Perseids?
The Perseids are the most impressive and popular meteor shower of the year, with a high meteor shower rate and occur every year in summer (in the northern hemisphere) under pleasant temperatures and starry nights.
They are caused by the passage of Earth by fragments of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which were left behind during its passage. The orbit of this comet has a duration of 133 years and the last time it entered the inner solar system was in 1992. The radiation of this meteor, that is, the point from which traces of falling stars seem to come out, is in the constellation Perseus.
The severity of Perseids varies from year to year, in part due to lunar conditions. If the full moon shines above the horizon during the night of maximum activity, the display will be reduced because most meteors are faint and moonlight will make them difficult to see. In 2021, the time of the new moon phase will occur on August 8, which will provide excellent conditions for observing the Barshawi meteor showers on the night of August 12 and in the early morning of August 13.
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