It is indeed a time of rejoice for those who discovered stargazing as a hobby. November has quite of lot of surprises in store for us including a rare planetary conjunction and a meteor shower. The meteor fireworks in November will take place between the 17th and the 18th and it is sure to give you a run for your money.
At the beginning of November, viewers from all over the globe will revel in the august spectacle brought to us by the celestial bodies. Jupiter, along with Mars and Venus will shine bright early in the morning along with the Leo and Virgo constellations.
Traditionally, a meteor shower refers to an astronomical event in which celestial bodies radiate from one point in the night sky. Meteor showers are caused by meteoroids, which are cosmic debris, that enter Earth’s atmosphere at high velocities.
Researchers point out that a lot of the meteors that pass through Earth’s atmosphere are even smaller than a sand particle. Hence, most of the meteors disintegrate and burn inside’s Earth atmosphere, never reaching the ground.
There are also rare astronomical events called meteor storms, when Earth’s atmosphere is being bombarded by more than 1000 meteors an hour. The stream of debris that hits Earth are part of comet. Usually comets are capable of producing debris through a thermo dynamical process called water vapor drag.
Fred Whipple, an American astronomer, was to first to show how a comet actually works. Whipple theorized that each time a comet comes in proximity to the Sun, it has the capability of shading both ice vapors and meteoroids. Basically, the meteoroids that detach themselves from the comet’s body tend to hover around the comet forming something called a dust trail.
The most spectacular meteor shower that we experience each year seem to be the Leonid meteor shower. Usually this astronomical event begins around the date of 17 November. During this shower, the night sky is bombarded with thousands of meteors per hour making up for one hell of a show!
Scientists have been able to develop a little tool in order to help them determine the incidence of both meteor showers and meteor storms. Let’s see some history in action: it seems that there were meteor storms in 1767, 1799, 1833, 1866, 1867 and 1966. The most recent meteor storm were observed in 1999, 2001 and 2002.
We are looking forward to see nature in motion once more.