When earth goes through debris left over by a comet dusty tail, Meteor Shower occurs and numerous meteors are observed to glow from one point in the night sky. It is believed that the next major Meteor Shower in 2010 will be the Leonids held on November 17 and 18. In the past, this shower has generated meteor storms, but this time no storm is expected.
The meteors are caused due to streams of cosmic debris known as meteoroids enter in to Earth’s atmosphere at full speeds on parallel trajectories. The small rocks such as wheat size or even small with friction and with earth’s atmosphere will burn in atmosphere. Most of smaller meteors disintegrate and never damage the Earth’s surface. Extreme or odd meteor showers that are called as meteor outbursts and meteor storms may cause greater than 1,000 meteors per hour.
Beautiful Meteor Shower:
Meteors are also called as “shooting stars“, the small particles of dust left behind by a comet’s tail. A comet is a celestial body, which has a tail and follows an orbit around the sun. Although some meteors stripes through the sky by each day and night, meteor activity greatly intensifies ten times during the year. When the Earth collides with a collection of particles and orbiting the Sun, Meteor showers happens and all of us believed that these particles of ice and dust are the remnants of comets that once passed through the inner solar system.
The Meteor showers heat up and glow, when meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere, friction with the air. Meteors cause the brief streaks of light that can be seen in the sky. Some meteoroids burn up in the air totally but rarely one survives to actually damage the Earth. Then this object is termed as meteorite. Stones (stony meteorites) and irons (iron-nickel meteorites) are the two main categories in which Meteorites are separated. All meteorites are not pieces of comets, but only some of meteorites have been found in the Antarctic which have been traced back to our neighboring planet Mars.
“A few of these objects contain microfossils of ancient Martian bacterial life,” believed by some scientists. Bigger meteorites can be pieces of asteroids. Many people think that “the great extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period was caused by a large asteroid hitting the Earth.” Then dust cloud causing cooled the Earth and many species to die out, including the dinosaurs.
You can see the Meteors in any clear night though they can be seen very prevalent in midnight. A meteor shower is a best chance for you to see meteors that are not confined to a single night but are spread out over a period of days or weeks with a peak at a given time. It becomes visible by an optical illusion and you can see them from a single point named the radiant. Though, the meteors are actually travelling in parallel and appear at a set of straight railroad tracks, as an analogy.
Major Meteor showers 2010
- Eta Aquarids
- Delta Aquarids
Upcoming Meteor showers in 2010
1. South Taurids on November 5, 2010
To die-hard meteor aficionados, it is believed the South (and North) Taurids may be perfect. The meteoroid stream is very spread out and dissipated, which means the South Taurids are very long lasting (September 17 – November 27), but generally don’t offer all lot over about 7 meteors per hour, even on the expected peak date of November 5.
“Fortunately, the new moon falls on November 6, providing dark skies for this year’s South Taurid meteors. Try the night of November 4-5. The greatest numbers of meteors generally fall around midnight to one in the morning, when the constellation Taurus the Bull rides high in the sky.”
2. North Taurids on November 12, 2010
North Taurids is also long lasting (October 12 – December 2), like the South Taurids, but modest, and the peak number is predict at about 7 meteors per hour. As the South and North Taurids overlap, you will have some chance of catching a few extra meteors in the mix. Usually, you will see them in the maximum numbers at around midnight to 1 a.m., when Taurus the Bull flies nearly overhead.
“This year, the waxing crescent moon will set by mid-evening, making 2010 a favorable year for watching these rather slow-moving but sometimes bright North Taurid meteors. Expect to see the greatest numbers at late night and after midnight on the night November 11-12. A few days before and after may offer good viewing as well.”
3. Leonids on November 17, 2010
Previously, the Leonids have generated some of the greatest meteor storms, with rates as high as many thousands of meteors per hour. These storms rarely recur in cycles of 33 to 34 years. In major year, the Lion whimpers besides roars, producing a maximum of perhaps 10-15 meteors at per hour.
Though, the waxing gibbous moon shines till in midnight, after the moon sets for the night, Leonids will likely be at their best. As same as the October Orionids, Leonids normally pick up steam after midnight and put out the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn.
“Try watching between midnight and dawn on November 17 and November 18. The most Leonids will probably fly in the wee hours before dawn, or after moonset.”
4. Geminids on December 13-14, 2010
For the Geminids, the 2010 year is suitable. According to a general rule, it’s either the Geminids or the August Perseids that give us the most prolific meteor display of the year. The Geminids can be seen around 9:00 to 10:00 p.m.in years, when the moon is out of the sky.
Unluckily, the waxing gibbous moon obtrudes on the evening hours in 2010, and doesn’t set till around midnight. Although, these shower tends to increase strength after midnight and to peak at approximately 2:00 in the morning.
“The best viewing of these often bright, medium-speed meteors should be from late night December 13 till dawn December 14.”