September 22, 2023

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SC has meteor showers with debris from Halley's Comet - 05/06/2022 - Science

SC has meteor showers with debris from Halley’s Comet – 05/06/2022 – Science

Thursday morning (5) was a scene in itself Astronomy scientists From all over Brazil. The country is registered hundreds of meteors In several states, especially in the interior from Sao Pauloand in the north Parana he is in santa Catherine —The country alone recorded about 300 fragments in the sky.

Many of them are debris from Halley’s Comet. At the end of this month, it will be possible to see a new meteor shower, with a peak on May 31, which is expected to be the largest in the past 20 years, according to astronomer Marcelo Zurita, technical director of Pramon (Brazil for meteor observing). Network).

“This outbreak can generate hundreds of thousands of meteors per hour, which is very impressive for those watching,” Zurita says. “It would be an extraordinary activity. Perhaps the most intense in 20 years.”

With stations in 20 Brazilian states, the Network of Independent Astronomers recorded, at dawn on Thursday, a meteor shower called ETA Aquarids. “Theoretically, northern and northeastern Brazil would be more privileged to observe, but time has not cooperated in these areas,” Zurita says.

Instead, better conditions occurred in the south. In Monte Claro, north of Santa Catarina, the sky was clear, cloudless and moonless, which made it possible to record 300 meteors.

“Of these, at least 120 debris are from Halley’s Comet, and they started appearing around 3 a.m. They belong to the ETA Aquárids meteor showers,” says astronomer Jocimar Justino de Souza of Bramón Station in Santa Catarina. “Today (6), there were also records, but they were less intense, only 40,” he says.

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Zurita asserts that ETA Aquáridas will be visible until May 12, but activity should continue in a less intense manner.

With good weather conditions, anyone can see meteors with small telescopes, binoculars, and especially with the naked eye. “Because they are so fast, they can quickly leave the field of view of the equipment. With the naked eye, it is possible to follow their passage more efficiently,” Souza explains.

For better observation, the advice is to stay away from city lights and turn off all lights, so that the place is as dark as possible. “The lights reduce the sensitivity of our vision and dazzle the faintest meteors,” Zurita says.

The best time to observe is from 2 am, with a peak late in the morning. “You have to get up early,” says the astronomer.