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Halley’s meteors can be seen in the early hours of Sunday

Halley’s meteors can be seen in the early hours of Sunday

The passage of the Eta Aquaridis meteors (or Eta Aquaridis) from 2024 can be seen with the naked eye in the Brazilian sky between the night of this Saturday (4) and the early hours of Sunday (5).

The peak is expected to reach 2 a.m. on Sunday.

According to the National Observatory of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the astronomical event could produce up to 50 meteors per hour at a speed of 65.5 kilometers per second.

In terms of ideal darkness and weather conditions, forecasts indicate that the waning moon will only be 14% illuminated that night, which should help in observing meteors, as it will not interfere as much with celestial lighting. Light pollution and weather, such as cloudy skies, also make it difficult to monitor this phenomenon.

The Eta Aquaridus shower, also called the meteor shower, is an annual astronomical event that occurs when Earth passes through fragments left by Halley’s Comet.

This phenomenon generally appears in the Southern Hemisphere during the months of April and May, and the peak of the illuminated scene generally occurs at the beginning of May. The meteors appear to originate from the constellation Aquarius, hence the name “Eta Aquarius.”

These meteorites are “famous for their high speed and long paths, which make them amazing to observe,” explains Brazilian meteorites research project coordinator of the EXOSS Citizen Science project, partner at the National Observatory, astronomer Marcelo Antonio.

This year, parts of Halley’s Comet have been seen crossing the sky of Santa Catarina since Wednesday (the first).

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Meteors are small celestial objects that cross space, penetrate the planet’s atmosphere, and partially or completely ignite as a result of interaction with the atmosphere and oxygen. This phenomenon creates a brightness in the sky, popularly known as a “shooting star”.

A meteor shower occurs when many meteor debris cross the night sky and originate from a common point called the radiant.

Studying meteors helps estimate the number and period of occurrence of these celestial bodies that periodically cross the Earth. The analyzes are useful for space missions and satellite control centers to protect equipment in near-Earth orbit and the Moon, such as satellites and spacecraft flights.