THE Southern Delta Aquarids meteor showerwhich had its peak at dawn last Saturday (30), continues at the beginning of this month, and in the dawn of this Monday (1°), it was recorded over Rio Grande do Sul, in the area of Caxias do Sul.
The meteor entered the atmosphere at an altitude of 92.6 km and exploded, becoming extinct, at an altitude of 72.9 km. It had a duration of 0.88 seconds and a magnitude (brightness) of -3.3.
Delta Aquarids are fragments of Comet 96P Machholz, discovered in 1986 by Donald Machholz. The origin of the name is because the radiant – the place in the sky where meteors enter – is close to the constellation of Aquarius. The best direction to view is to the east, where the sun rises, also to the northeast and southeast from 3 o’clock.
See the photos of the Southern Delta Aquárids meteor shower recorded by Heller&Jung Observatory cameras installed in Porto Alegre, Gramado, Novo Hamburgo and Taquara.
What is a meteor shower?
According to the coordinator of the Astronomy Observatory at Unesp (Universidade Estadual Paulista), Rodolfo Langhi, there are always meteors and every night it is possible to see one. However, a meteor shower occurs when it is possible to see several meteors per hour at night.
Langhi explains that this happens because the Earth, as it revolves around the Sun, passes through tracks left by asteroids or comets in space. “They are tiny particles, the size of a grain of rice. When they reach Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up completely. That’s the rains.”
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