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Transcript
Orionids meteor shower is in the morning sky and Comet of Century on 28th November 2013 It’s good news for sky‐gazers. Rain has gone and now the sky is clear for meteor showers. Would you like to see a shooting star to make a wish, then wake up early in Tuesday this week and there is a chance to find at least one in a minute. One can watch a very spectacular meteor shower peaks around the Monday midnight to Tuesday early morning. The meteors will appear to be originating out of the constellation of Orionids and hence known as the Orionid shower. That’s because all the meteors appear to “rain” into the atmosphere from a corner of Orion, the hunter. The constellation climbs into view in the wee hours of the morning, so that’s when the shower is at its best — between midnight and dawn. A meteor shower is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate, or originate, from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth's atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories. Most meteors are smaller than a grain of sand, so almost all of them disintegrate and never hit the Earth's surface. Intense or unusual meteor showers are known as meteor outbursts and meteor storms, which may produce greater than 1,000 meteors an hour. The meteors are bits of debris from Comet Halley. The comet sheds grains of dust as it orbits the Sun. When Earth crosses the comet’s path, some of those grains plunge into the atmosphere at high speeds. They instantly heat to thousands of degrees. They vaporize, creating the streaks of light known as meteors. Most of the dust grains are quite small. But a few are a little bigger — the size of a small rock or larger. They form brilliant streaks that are visible even in a bright sky. A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude ‐4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky. Sky watchers should search for an open space in order to have the most favourable viewing experience of the 2013 Orionid meteor shower. There’s no equipment or real skill needed to watch a meteor shower, one just need to be comfortable, patient and only through his/her eyes. Viewers can just lie on the ground and look straight up into the dark to see the meteor shower without the need of binoculars or telescopes. Keep warm since meteor shower viewing is an outside activity, stay far away from the bright lights as much as possible and allow the eyes to adjust with the darkness for about 30 minutes. More celestial treats: Comet ISON is approaching as Comet of the Century A new Comet, discovered in September of 2012 has been named as ISON in the honour of the organization International Scientific Optical Network is now on the way to Sun and passing closely to Earth. The comet has been discovered by Belorussian and Russian astronomers, starts out the month by making a relatively close flyby of the planet Mars. The comet ISON has given a date on 28th November 2013 to the Earth to be seen in naked eye. Refinement of the ISON orbit by astronomers added to the excitement; this comet ISON will get very close to the sun this winter and could become a spectacular object to behold with naked eye in and around 28th November 2013 on Earth. Because of ISON’s size and brightness at a great distance from the sun, it’s given sky‐watchers plenty to be excited about and is going to be recognized as the "comet of the century". The following link will give you a virtual look of the ISON. http://www.solarsystemscope.com/ison Gujarat Council on Science & Technology (GUJCOST) and Gujarat Science City are designing a series of outreach activities on comet ISON next month to track Comet ISON and to enjoy the universe!