May will end with a beautiful meteor storm that promises to delight astronomy enthusiasts. According to forecasts, the storm can be partially observed in Brazil, at dawn on Monday (30) and Tuesday (31).
As explained by Professor Rodolfo Lange, of the Educational Astronomy Observatory at the Estadual Paulista (Unesp) in Power (SP), this phenomenon will be best observed from North America, such as in Mexico or the United States, but it should produce a real light show in the skies of Brazil.
“The prediction is thousands of meteorites an hour!” explained the professor excitedly. “If the predictions are confirmed, it will be a sight unprecedented in history, except for the similar record that occurred in 1833.”
Recording meteor showers in Rio Grande do Sul – Photo: Heller and Jung Observatory / Disclosure
A meteor storm is a shower of rock fragments from celestial bodies that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. In this case, thousands of meteors scattered per hour enter the orbit of the planet.
As the professor explained, in 1995, the comet’s brightness suddenly increased, becoming about 600 times brighter than its average size. It can even be seen with the naked eye, which is unexpected for a comet with a core of only 1.5 kilometers in diameter.
A month after this “outbreak,” astronomers said the comet’s nucleus had split into a few large pieces. Observations indicated at least four large fragments, two of which were in the process of disintegration.
The 1995 rupture resulted in a massive amount of dust being thrown into space. Some calculations show that on Tuesday night, Earth will vertically cross a dense region of this debris.
“Outbreaks are just moments when the amount of meteors increases. Imagine you’re driving a car on the highway and suddenly you’re driving through a swarm of bees, hitting your car window. The same thing happens with Earth. A swarm of particles left behind by a comet crosses,” the professor directed.
Meteor showers in China – Photo: Reproduction / GloboNews
Each year, the comet’s trail of dust generates a smaller meteor shower known as Tau-Herculides.
This should provide at least two Tau-Herculidae outbreaks:
- At about 00:00 on Tuesday, the first “outbreak” is supposed to occur, when Earth crosses debris trails left by the comet in 1892 and 1941. For this “outbreak”, up to 50 meteors per hour are expected;
- The second outbreak should occur in the early hours of this Tuesday, by the time the Earth reaches the dense path launched by the 1995 rupture. As this will be the first time we have crossed that path, there is not much consensus on that. The exact time this will happen. , But maybe around 2:15at the same time as we cross the left path in the path of comet 1979. At this time, basic modeling indicates a rate of 600 to 700 meteors per hour. However, given that in 1995 the comet broke into several parts, the severity of this outbreak could be as high as Ten thousand, or maybe 100,000 meteors per hour during the maximum.
“If the most optimistic forecasts are confirmed, it will certainly become one of the largest meteor storms ever seen,” the professor celebrates.
Meteor shower associated with a broad trail of debris left by the comet – Image: AstroPics.com, Wally Pacholka/AP
According to the professor, it is still not possible to know the exact width of the debris path. If wider, the tau Hercules meteor could be observed from early Monday night until 2:30 a.m. this Tuesday.
And he concludes: “It would be very worthwhile to look for a dark place, far from the great centers, and try to follow all the moments of this wonderful celestial phenomenon.”
Engraving depicting the great meteor storm of 1833 – Photo: Adolf Vollmy/Handout
The most famous meteor storm in history occurred on the night between November 12 and 13, 1833, when an “outbreak” of meteor showers, called Leonidas, created a spectacle in the sky of the United States.
According to the professor, the outbreak of Leonidas was completely unexpected, and therefore caused turmoil and hysteria in the population. Several incidents were recorded that night in the United States.
To follow everything up close and well explained, the professor invites astronomy enthusiasts to the event at the Café Museum, located about 30 minutes from Powerthis Monday, from 19 pm.
On the site, it will be possible to observe the sky with the help of telescopes and also enjoy food. Admission to the event, which is open to the public, is R$20 for the entire event and $10 for half. Must be booked in advance appearance.
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