Maximum Perseid meteor showers in 2021

The weather is unfavorable for skywatchers this year, but they will surely be looking for an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Perseids, one of the most abundant and reliable of the meteor showers. Maybe you will also try

We write about the Perseids every year, so the careful readers of have probably already saved that the nights of August 11-13 are theoretically the best chance of seeing this meteor. Theoretically, because the Earth passes through this swarm on its journey around the Sun from the end of July to the second half of August. So you can look for Perseid before and a few days after the max. However, as the name implies, the cap is the best moment.

So let’s hope storms, rain and clouds don’t obscure this scene. Since the moon is exceptionally generous this year, it was recently in a new moon.

A successful Perseid sight usually requires a trip out of town, to a place where the sky is dark enough to be able to see not only the brightest meteors, which can blaze in the form of supposed cars, but also those faint meteors, which slither across the sky for just a split second. .

Perseid radiant at about 11.40 p.m. It will be 37 degrees above the northeast horizon (data for Warsaw)

Perseid can be found in the northeastern part of the sky. Preferably around midnight and right after. The place from which they seem to fly, the so-called radiance, is in the constellation Perseus (see map below), but your eyes should not be directed in this direction, but at an angle of 45-90 degrees to the sides or up.

Everything you need to know about the Perseids

And if not the Perseids, then what? moon and planets

If we decide to observe meteors, it is better to focus on this activity and not be distracted by looking for other things such as satellites or planetary observations. When the Perseids aren’t as abundant as they could be, you can see an average of 100 phenomena per hour out of town, and then you can finally see other things. Certainly, there will be no observations of the passage of the International Space Station. As in June, it is not visible at night for much of August from the territory of Poland.

Immediately after sunset towards the north, it is worth looking for a series of planets that are currently following the sun. Admittedly, it’s too early to see the Perseids, but the planets may be just as eye-gravity, although the further north we go, the more difficult the task. Observers in southern Europe will see the planets moving further from above, in northern Poland almost rubbing against the horizon.

Perhaps what I’m suggesting is mission impossible, because they would all be so low above the horizon and so close to the sun, that they might be obscured by glare even when hiding below the horizon. But it is worth a try.

venus 10 august
The formation of celestial bodies near the sun at 20:40 on August 10

Venus August 11
The formation of celestial bodies near the sun at 20:40 on August 11

We have the best chance of seeing Venus, whose brightness (-3.9 mag) is comparable to that of the International Space Station as it passes its brightest over us at night, and the very narrow crescent of the Moon (in the following days it will move to the Moon. The left side of Venus and it will be expelled by it) ). In addition, Mars (1.8 m) and Mercury (-1.0 m) are between Venus and the Sun, but when the Sun sets they will be practically below the horizon.

When you decide to wait for dark skies and Perseid observations, Saturn and Jupiter will be clearly visible on the other side of the sky around 10 p.m., toward the southeast. They will not rise very high (20 to 25 degrees above the horizon), but will be clearly visible after midnight. Saturn is well oriented with the Earth to observe its ring.

The position of Saturn and Jupiter around 23:00 on August 21 (Warsaw data). The moon changes position every 24 hours, turning north at an angle similar to the distance from Jupiter to Saturn shown in the image.

Both planets are close to their maximum brightness in the sky and the Moon will also visit them. First, on August 20, it will approach Saturn, and on August 22, it will approach Jupiter.

On that day, the moon will also be on what is known as the heavenly full moon. This is called the third full moon of the season when there are four full moons. This year it took place on June 24, July 24, August 22, and September 21.

Source: inf. Own, Maps: Stellarium

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