According to the astronomer from Nhandeara (SP) Renato Poltronieri, who is part of the Brazilian Meteor Monitoring Network (Bramon), the peak of the meteor shower will occur between Thursday (5) and Friday (6).
“The constellation of Aquarius, where this rain comes from, appears before dawn on the 6th. So, if you want to see something, try to observe it from 3:30 am. Always looking to observe the sky in a cleaner place, without light pollution. The countryside always favors having small towns”, explains Renato to g1.
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Comet Halley Fragment Cloud (white dots). The fragments reach Earth from South to North between May 5th and 6th, generating Eta Aquarids, and from North to South on October 21, generating Orionids — Photo: meteorshowers.org/BRAMON/Disclosure
“There may be an increase in the number of meteors. However, in recent years, this rain is kind of weak [entenda mais abaixo]. Calculations indicate up to 40 meteors per hour, but we can’t rely on that, just observe.”
The Eta Aquarids meteor shower started on April 21st, runs until May 12th and has better visibility in the Northern Hemisphere. However, in Brazil it is possible to honor the phenomenon under ideal conditions, according to the astronomer. Check out:
- Choose to observe the sky at the peak time of the meteor shower, starting at 3:30 am on the 5th and 6th;
- Go to an area where there is no light pollution;
- Follow up if there is no forecast of rain, as it makes meteors difficult to see;
- To facilitate the location of the Constellation of Aquarius there are applications that “scan” the sky, such as Star Chart, Stelarium and Star Walk;
- There is no need to use scopes or telescopes.
“Here in Nhandeara I have six cameras monitoring the sky, since 2014, and we don’t have wonderful rains like before. The city with low light pollution, in the case of Nhandeara or nearby Votuporanga, remains a good place to observe”, says Renato.
Average rate of meteors per hour expected for each region of the country during the maximum in ideal conditions — Photo: BRAMON/Disclosure
Weakest meteor shower
To g1, the astronomer explained why the meteor shower has become weaker over the years.
In the case of Eta Aquarids, the trails of Comet Halley spread through space over the years due to solar winds, for example. So the duration of the meteor shower has become longer, but less intense.
“For us to compare, an example is a person who smokes. When we blow on cigarette smoke, it makes that trail. Suppose that’s the trail the comet left. That was many, many years ago. In Halley’s case, it’s not 1910 or 1986, it’s thousands of years ago. It’s the smoke, that trail, over the years, spreads in space by solar winds and other factors that lead to scattering.”
“The meteor shower that used to last two or three days now varies from 10 to 12 days, because there is a larger layer. However, the large concentration of particles that we saw in the past spread and that is what unfortunately has been happening in recent years. We don’t have a meteor shower like we used to.”
Nhandeara astronomer explains about the meteor shower forecast for the week
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