For meteor observers and for humanity in general, the dawn of May 31st reserves a natural spectacle of rare beauty: a Meteor rain which, as it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, will be able to illuminate parts of the sky, including in Brazil. Fragments of a disintegrating comet – the so-called 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW3) – these celestial bodies can reach the number of 100,000 in just an hour.
In a note from the National Observatory, astronomer Marcelo De Cicco warns that “it is not possible to predict with precision. It could be that nothing happens, it could be a light rain, intense and even a meteor storm”, the so-called Tau Herculidae, because its radiant (apparent point of origin) is in the constellation of Hercules.
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/W. Reach/Playback.Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/W. reach
How to watch the meteor shower in Brazil?
According to De Cicco, Brazilians from the Center, South and Southeast regions will not have such a privileged view of the phenomenon as the residents of the North and Northeast regions of the country. This is because the height of the radiant at the moment of the peak – between 1:55 am and 2:10 am – is favorable for observation in the Northern Hemisphere of the planet and, in the case of the inhabitants of Brazil, in regions above the equator.
To have a good view of the meteor shower, which may experience hyperactivity on the day of the peak, the astronomer recommends that the inhabitants of the North and Northeast regions of Brazil keep an eye on the Northwest direction at dawn on the 31st, from the time indicated by the specialists.
As for the residents of other Brazilian regions, what changes is the intensity of the “rain”, which can be between 10% and 30% of the maximum expected in the regions further north. While this may sound discouraging, it is worth remembering that if the most optimistic scenarios are confirmed, it could mean tens of thousands of “shooting stars” per hour.