Saturday, May 24th, you will be awakened by a beautiful meteor shower
The sky with a meteor shower is expected to reach its maximum activity between 8 h 30 min and 9 h 40 min.
TAILS OF COMETS: Comets are small bodies of the solar system kilometric size consisting of a core of ice and dust. When their path, often elliptical, leads to the Sun, they sometimes develop beautiful tails of gas and dust.
The tail of ionized gas bluish and straight, unfolds under the influence of the solar wind- a ions and electrons ejected from the upper atmosphere of our star flux in the direction opposite to the Sun.
The second tail consists of repelled by radiation pressure of solar photons dust. Broader, whitish and often curved, it may extend over tens of millions of kilometers.
On the morning of May 24, the comet will make 209P/LINEAR rain shooting stars
209P/LINEAR the periodic comet was discovered in February 2004. It performs its revolution around the Sun in five years, approaching a minimum of 145 million kilometers (perihelion) and by moving up to 740 million kilometers ( aphelion ).
The last perihelion passage took place on May 6 It is in this month of May, the Earth passes through many trails left by the comet in previous passages. In particular, preliminary calculations made by experts in the field as P. Jenniskens and E. Lyytinen, recently confirmed by other specialists such Vaubaillon J. , M. Maslov, Q. Ye and P. Wiegert indicate that the morning of 24 our planet happen in the wake of dust left by the comet during the last three centuries.
Upon entering our atmosphere at very high speed – 60,000 km / h on average – they vaporize and ionize the air on their way, causing the phenomenon of shooting stars. The maximum activity should be reached between 8 h 30 min and 9 h 40 min but it is very difficult to estimate the intensity, since the physical properties of the comet and its behavior during its previous perihelion passages are little known.
THOUSAND meteors per hour: How many shooting stars will do you observe far from the cities, in places devoid of light pollution? Tens to hundreds per hour? How long will this rain? Besides … do you see anything? Will there be several peaks of activity? Nobody knows. In the present state of our knowledge, it is not even possible to exclude the arrival of a true meteor storm, with more than the thousand meteors per hour.
How to observe the phenomenon ?
The best observation conditions northwest United States and southern Canada is available. Moon, then crescent phase last, do not be a hindrance. The peak of activity take place when the Sun is already up here. But nothing is lost! It may be possible to contemplate shooting stars during the second part of the night of Friday 23 to Saturday 24.
RADIANT: They can appear anywhere in the sky. Having carefully observed some, simply retrace their path through thought. In the extending, it reaches a point where they intersect. This point is called the radiant. Shooting stars seem to come. The radiant is located in the northern constellation of the Giraffe ( Camelopardalis in Latin), give the name of Camelopardalides May this meteor shower in late May … if it ever occurs.
Let’s be optimistic and assume that this meteor shower actually exist. In France, the brave amateur will first attend the stealthy passage of some semblance grazing arise straight from the northern horizon meteors. Night advancing , meteors increasingly many will invite an already decorated with the presence of the summer triangle ( Altair Eagle, Vega in Lyra and Cygnus Deneb), Sagittarius sky Scorpio and Saturn.
The simulated scene above takes place at 3 h 30 min in the morning. The names of the constellations, their official boundaries, names of their brightest stars and some shooting stars and the radiant of the swarm are shown .