When in the sky it is possible to see enchanting show?Meteor showers, or star rains as they are called, are a magic, fantastic, wonderful show! It is worth looking at it though once and it will be difficult to get off this habit. All meteor showers which have own names are fine and unique. And the most effective representations arrange Perseida which activity begins in the middle of July and lasts until the end of August.
“The falling stars“ interested mankind since ancient times. Mentions of them can be found in many sources - the Japanese chronicles, the Russian chronicles, Ancient Chinese and Arab compositions. In clear summer nights fans of astronomy of that time gathered and laid down in a circle, looking at the sky. A certain site which was carefully sketched on the sheet of parchment or the papyrus was allocated for each of them. Then these separate drawings were reduced in an overall picture. These simple supervision were those. Seriously began be engaged in studying of meteors only in the second decade of the 20th century.
That it meteoroid, meteor and meteorite?
Many modern people believe that meteors are and the truth stars which roll down a heavenly dome. But this phenomenon has absolutely other nature. The solar system, besides planets, their satellites, comets and asteroids, is inhabited also by other objects - dust, sand, various stones and other garbage. Such space trifle just is also called meteoric bodies (meteoroida).
The earth in the movement on an orbit constantly faces this trifle which at a huge speed crashes into the terrestrial atmosphere. As a rule, the most part of meteoroid collapses at the height of 70 - 100 km, without having reached a surface. The observer sees the arrow-shaped whitish trace accompanied with one thousand sparks. It is also a meteor. The biggest and bright meteors are called race cars. They represent a fiery sphere with a smoke tail and sound effects at weed. It is often possible to hear a certain similarity of explosion. Sometimes race cars not completely collapse in the atmosphere, and those fragments which passed through it and fell to the ground, call meteorites.
Besides single meteors, there are also meteor showers. They have a number of distinctive features: belong to the same swarm, are observed in a certain season, “take off“ from a concrete point in a firmament (radiant) and occupy constant orbits in space. Names meteor showers are given on constellation in which their radiant is located. As them to observe
A it is necessary to observe meteors to the modern astronomer - the fan by an ancient method - visual which continues to keep the scientific value also now. In what advantages of this method? First of all, in simplicity and availability. But there is a wish to look also at the weak meteors invisible to a naked eye therefore it is necessary to get the field-glass or the telescope. Here, of course, the field-glass is more preferable as it has a bigger field of vision, and this undoubted advantage. In other words, the field-glass it is easier “to catch“ the bright heavenly guest.
Preparation of the “working“ place has to become the following step for the beginning observer. To stand and look long up it will not turn out - the neck will be tired, and it is not always convenient to lie on the earth. Therefore it is necessary to get a chair and a little table on which it is possible to place astronomical cards, atlases, a small lamp and other accessories. Certainly, it is necessary to place observation post far from sources of strong light. Best of all - in the country.
With what to begin supervision? Certainly, it is possible just to sit, look at the sky and to admire magnificent space “fireworks“. Most of readers of this article will act this way. And it is good as still nobody cancelled the esthetic party of a question! But it will be much more interesting to the advanced observers to make a certain program.
For example, it is possible to determine a radiant of a meteor shower by the celestial map and on in advance prepared copy of the same card, to sketch a trajectory of flight of a meteor. It is desirable to number the turned-out lines then to register data of supervision. In the magazine it is necessary to write down also such characteristics as visible star size of meteors (it is estimated on memory), number, duration and the moment of flight, color, special signs, for example, existence of a bright trace, flashes etc. of
the Most charismatic meteor showers
of Kvadrantida. they are fairly called “New Year`s heavenly fireworks“. Usually this shooting stars lasts during the period from December 28 to January 7, with a maximum for January 3 or 4. When the cold makes the way under clothes and drives to the warm house, fans of astronomy can warm soul contemplation of this fine meteor shower. Cloudy weather which is characteristic of a winter season can be its only shortcoming. The radiant Kvadrantidov is located in Bootes constellation and it is easy to find it, being guided on a bright star - to Arktur. Why these meteors call Kvadrantidami, but not some “Volopasidami?“ The matter is that earlier in the Northern hemisphere there was a constellation the Wall Quadrant which was cancelled. And modern Bootes, the Dragon and Hercules entered into this constellation.
Perseida. Perhaps, only lazy did not hear about them. If to try to remember what astronomical event of the second half of summer is the most memorable, then at once occur Perseida. They received the name on constellation of Perseus from which they appear. They are known to mankind more 1200. The maximum of activity of this stream traditionally falls on August 12 - 13. The quantity of meteors in these numbers reaches 60 in an hour, however sometimes happens also on 100 pieces an hour. Perseidov is the mother a korotkoperiodichesky comet of Swift - Tuttlya, to be exact, the breed remains from her stone “tail“. Perseida are the fast meteors flying in the atmosphere at a speed of 60 km/s. They have white color and can leave behind a long trace.
Drakonida. As can already guess from the name, the radiant of this shooting stars is located in Draco constellation. The stream begins in the first of October, and the peak of activity is observed on October 8 - 10. Unlike Perseid, meteors of this stream extremely slow and reddish. There are they during passing of our planet through a dusty loop of a comet of Dzhakobini - Cinner. As a shortcoming Drakonid it is possible to consider their small time of action - only several days, from October 4 to October 10.
Orionida. One of the most beautiful meteor showers connected with the well-known comet of Galley and appearing from constellation of Orion. The maximum number of meteors fall on October 21. Orionida are remarkable the fact that they possess 12 - a summer cycle of activity, that is each 12 years shooting stars reaches the apogee which falls in the next years. Scientists consider that this frequency is influenced by Jupiter which inclination unevenly distributes meteoric bodies along an orbit of a comet of Galley. Sites, like cambers and hollows - with the maximum and minimum density of meteoroid respectively are formed.
Leonida. Are active from November 14 to November 21. Each 33 years appear phenomenal meteoric heavy rains. So, in 1883 the storm of the falling stars so struck residents of Boston that they thought of approach of the Doomsday. Subsequently this event was immortalized in legends, songs, pictures of artists and even in registration plates of cars.
Geminida. On power this meteor shower competes to Perseidami, and can sometimes give also bigger splash. The radiant of a stream is in constellation of Twins, and the maximum of activity is observed on December 13 - 14. The fact that Geminida are rich in bright medium-rate meteors and race cars is remarkable.
Here they are what, most charismatic star rains. But, of course, it is not the complete list. Is still Lirida, Ariyetida, June Bootida, Taurida, Ursida, etc. All of them are in own way beautiful. It is possible to learn about their features and time of supervision in annual astronomical atlases in more detail.
Now when I write this article, are just active Perseida which I, unfortunately, will not be able to admire fully from - for bright light of the Moon.
Pure to you sky!