Meteor shower to be witnessed in Kazakhstan12 августа 2014, 21:21
2014 Perseid meteor shower is peaking today, August 13. The captivating phenomenon promising a falling-star show can be viewed in the Northern Hemisphere, including Kazakhstan, at night, Tengrinews reports.
It consists of tiny shiny space debris of once disintegrated Swift-Tuttle comet. This year, the most intensive meteor shower period is from August 8 to 15, peaking on August 13.
The meteor shower originates from the trail of dust behind a small, dim comet known as 209P/Linear. The debris gets tugged into Earth's orbit this year by the force of gravity from Jupiter.
Meteor showers consist of space rocks that burn up upon hitting the top of Earth's atmosphere, producing a bright flash of light that gives the appearance of a falling star. The shooting stars barrel by at a pace of 150,000 miles (241,000 kilometers) per hour.
“When a comet disintegrates, in the beginning, dust and meteor particles move in a single cluster on an orbit around the Sun. In hundreds of thousands of year the meteor shower may stretch out on the whole orbit. The Earth crosses the orbit of the Perseids in August every year and meets the particles of the comet that crash into the Earth’s atmosphere,” Kazakhstani astrophysicist Viktor Teifel tells. “The meteors will in a way fly out from one point in different direction. This point is called the radiant. And since the radiant of this shower lies in the constellation Perseus, the shower is called the Perseids.”
The scientist advised driving outside city limits to witness the meteor shower. It is hard to see the meteors in a city because of the artificial light. He also said it is best to watch the shooting starts around midnight and focus on the south-eastern part of the sky. No special equipment is necessary. The constellation Perseus is located near the constellation Auriga, which is shaped like a large pentagon.
Writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina