August Skywatching Tips: Perseid meteor showers, Jupiter opposite the Sun from Earth, 4th Full Moon of season | HT Tech

August Skywatching Tips: Perseid meteor showers, Jupiter opposite the Sun from Earth, 4th Full Moon of season

August is perhaps the best time this year to enjoy viewing Jupiter and Saturn, as both planets reach opposition this month.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 03 2021, 13:28 IST
NASA will catch some Perseids online as NASA's Meteor Watch team plans a live stream overnight on August 11.
NASA will catch some Perseids online as NASA's Meteor Watch team plans a live stream overnight on August 11. (Pixabay)
NASA will catch some Perseids online as NASA's Meteor Watch team plans a live stream overnight on August 11.
NASA will catch some Perseids online as NASA's Meteor Watch team plans a live stream overnight on August 11. (Pixabay)

August is here and there are a number of events that are set to happen in space that are more than fascinating. In fact, this is the perfect time for the Perseid meteor showers, Jupiter-Sun-Earth at ‘opposition', and the fourth full moon of the season. The Perseids are a kind of meteor showers best known to occur in this month. It happens every year as the Earth crosses the debris trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Most of these meteors are very small in size, merely the size of a grain of dust, or pea, and yet they create phenomenal ‘shooting stars' as they pass through and burn up in the atmosphere, says Nasa/JPL.

When and where can Perseid meteor showers be seen? Perseids can be seen anytime from mid-July through late August, but the most likely time to catch a couple is a few days on either side of the peak. This year the peak falls on the night of August 11th, and into the pre-dawn hours of August 12th. Under pitch-black skies, one can see almost a meteor per minute during maximum activity.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.

Meteor showers appear to radiate from a point called the radiant, though they can streak across the sky anywhere above you. For the Perseids, this point is in the constellation Perseus.

August is here and there are a number of events that are set to happen in space that are more than fascinating. In fact, this is the perfect time for the Perseid meteor showers, Jupiter-Sun-Earth at ‘opposition', and the fourth full moon of the season. The Perseids are a kind of meteor showers best known to occur in this month. It happens every year as the Earth crosses the debris trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Most of these meteors are very small in size, merely the size of a grain of dust, or pea, and yet they create phenomenal ‘shooting stars' as they pass through and burn up in the atmosphere, says Nasa/JPL.

When and where can Perseid meteor showers be seen? Perseids can be seen anytime from mid-July through late August, but the most likely time to catch a couple is a few days on either side of the peak. This year the peak falls on the night of August 11th, and into the pre-dawn hours of August 12th. Under pitch-black skies, one can see almost a meteor per minute during maximum activity.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.

Meteor showers appear to radiate from a point called the radiant, though they can streak across the sky anywhere above you. For the Perseids, this point is in the constellation Perseus.|#+|

Also, be sure to check out that gorgeous crescent Moon in the west after sunset with the planet Venus. This will be just after the sun sets on August 11. Make sure to go to dark, safe and secluded location away from the bright city lights. Lie down with your feet roughly facing the north and look up. The meteors radiate from around the Perseus constellation.

NASA will catch some Perseids online as NASA's Meteor Watch team plans a live stream overnight on August 11.

August is perhaps the best time this year to enjoy viewing Jupiter and Saturn, as both planets reach opposition this month. Gas giants such as Jupiter and Saturn revolve at a much slower pace around the Sun as compared to the Earth, about 11 and 30 times slower, respectively and when these planets are aligned on the same side of the solar system as Earth, directly opposite the Sun, it is known as ‘Opposition.'

Opposition is a time when Earth and a planet farther from the Sun, such as Jupiter, are aligned on the same side of the solar system. “This is when that planet is directly opposite the Sun in our skies,” says NASA/JPL.

During this event, the planet is visible in the sky from sunset to sunrise and reaches its highest point around midnight. Technically, Opposition is just the precise moment, but in practice, it's better to think of it as a period of time, usually about a month. Opposition takes place for Saturn this year on August 2nd, while for Jupiter, it's August 19th.

Over a period of several days, the Moon can be seen as becoming increasingly full from the 19th to 22nd. The full moon on the 22nd is known as a ‘sensational blue moon,' as it's the third out of four full moons this season, whereas normally each season there are only three. This occurs every 2-and-a-half-years, or as they say very eloquently, ‘once in a blue moon.'

The Moon slides beneath Jupiter and Saturn Aug. 19–22. The full moon on the 22nd is a "seasonal blue moon," which is a name for the third of four full moons this season, where typically there are only three, said NASA/JPL.

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First Published Date: 03 Aug, 13:27 IST
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