Perseid meteor shower 2022: how and where to watch in Australia

2 weeks ago 80

After the nighttime entity successful Australia was illuminated by a trio of meteor showers – the Piscis Austrinids, the Southern Delta Aquariids and the Alpha Capricornids – past weekend, stargazers volition beryllium capable to spot the 2022 Perseid meteor ablution highest connected 13 August.

What are meteor showers?

Meteor showers hap erstwhile cosmic debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere. The root of this debris is often from comets, which person agelong orbits astir the sun.

“Like my cat, comets shed bits,” De Marco said. “These bits stay beauteous overmuch successful orbit – truthful ideate a precise elongated orbit that’s afloat of small bits.”

When the Earth crosses the way of a comet’s orbit, it encounters this debris. “It’s similar erstwhile you are driving your car done a unreality of insects – you get them each successful your windshield,” De Marco said.

The debris burns up arsenic it enters Earth’s atmosphere, resulting successful dazzling displays crossed the sky.

The Southern Delta Aquariids travel from the comet 96P/Machholz, portion the genitor assemblage of the Alpha Capricornids is the comet 169P/NEAT. Astronomers person not yet recovered wherever the Piscis Austrinids originate from.

A meteor ablution is named aft the nearest constellation to the radiant, the constituent successful the entity which the ablution appears to travel from. The radiant of the Southern Delta Aquariids, for example, is adjacent to the prima Delta Aquarii, successful the constellation Aquarius.

Sign up to person the apical stories from Guardian Australia each morning

When and wherever is the champion clip to presumption the meteor showers?

New Zealand astronomer and manager of Otago Museum, Ian Griffin, said the Piscis Austrinids, Southern Delta Aquariids and Alpha Capricornids showers are easy disposable with the bare eye. “You don’t request a scope to spot them, you conscionable request a platform seat and your eyeball,” helium said.

Piscis Austrinids: peaks 28 July

If you’re connected the eastbound seashore of Australia, the Piscis Austrinids volition emergence astir 8pm to the south-east, travelling person to owed eastbound by 11pm, De Marco said. “Look towards the east, astir 45 degrees up – astir halfway betwixt the skyline and supra your head.”

In New Zealand, the champion viewing clip volition beryllium aft 10pm.

Southern Delta Aquariids: peaks 30 July
The Southern Delta Aquariids volition beryllium disposable astir 11pm, to the east-northeast and 45 degrees upwards from the horizon, De Marco said. This ablution has the quickest meteors of the 3 peaking this week. New Zealand volition spot the ablution astir 1am.

Alpha Capricornids: peaks 30 July
The Alpha Capricornids are “relatively agleam and volition person immoderate fireballs,” De Marco said. Fireballs are precise agleam meteors – astatine slightest arsenic agleam arsenic Venus successful the greeting oregon evening sky.

At astir 11pm connected 30 July, the ablution volition beryllium disposable to the north-northeast, astir 65 degrees up from the horizon. New Zealanders tin spot it astir 1am.

Perseid meteor ablution to dazzle successful August
Another ongoing meteor ablution is the dazzling Perseids, which is expected to highest connected 13 August. At its peak, determination volition beryllium much than 100 meteors an hour, De Marco said.

The radiant of this meteor ablution is precise adjacent to the horizon, she said.

“You’re going to spot [meteors] going upwards from the northbound horizon. They’re going to look similar they are rising arsenic opposed to falling.”

In Australia, the champion viewing volition beryllium towards the northbound astatine 5am connected 13 August.

For radical who privation to program their viewing acquisition successful much detail, the open-source bundle Stellarium tin exemplary the nighttime entity successful 3D.