What You Need To Know About The Perseid Meteor Shower 2016

Expect the 2016 Perseid Meteor shower to be electrifying! Approximately 150 meteors/hour are expected to be seen at the peak of the outburst, between August 11-13, so you might see more meteors firing up the sky at the same time. This year, astronomers say, the number of meteors will be double as the usual rates, so try to go out of the city, in a less light polluted area, to be able to enjoy the show at max.
But what is the Perseid meteor shower and how does it happen? Every year, from mid-July, with the peak in activity between 9 and 14 August, ‘till the end of August, the Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides (Περσείδες), a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the peak of the shower will be in the night of August 11-12. The constellation of Perseus rises about 10pm, but because the Moon will be in the sky until midnight, you’ll have to wait for the predawn hours to enjoy the spectacular light show. Not only are those the darkest hours, best for glimpsing fainter shooting stars, but the radiant of the Perseids in the Perseus star constellation appears to rise above the northeast horizon, allowing for higher density of meteors spreading out from that part of the sky.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the peak of the shower will be on the night of Aug 12 to morning of Aug 13, but the Waxing Gibbous Moon will not produce favorable viewing circumstances for observers, so better wait until it sets. Also, the radiant of the shower doesn’t get too high in the sky, so the Perseids, unfortunatelly, are much fainter in this part of the Earth.
Be aware that local conditions such as light pollution, cloud cover, and precipitation will also play a major role in the number of meteors you are likely to see. Looking directly up at the sky or into the radiant is not recommended since this is just the point in which they appear to come from. You are more likely to see a trail when looking slightly away from this point. Looking half-way up into the sky will lead to the best show in the house.
Watching a meteor shower sometimes takes a great deal of patience, but if you wait long enough, you should be rewarded with an experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Happy gazing!

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Composite Image of the Moon Taken from 47 Photos Reveals Solar Corona During a Total Solar Eclipse

Shot by Czech photographer Miloslav Druckmüller from the Brno University of Technology, these amazing composite images capture the moon during a total solar eclipse revealing a vast solar corona. To achieve the crystal clear effect the shots are comprised from some 40+ photos taken with two different lenses. Additional clarity was achieved due to the incredibly remote location chosen to view the eclipse from, a pier just outside the Enewetak Radiological Observatory on the Marshall Islands, smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. You can see several more images from the project at Druckmüller’s website and don’t miss this much higher resolution version including some 209 stars. All images courtesy the photographer. 


June’s Strawberry Full Moon | June 2nd, 2015

June’s Full Moon is known as “Strawberry Moon”, from the Algonquin tribes, which recognized it as a signal to pick ripening fruit, or “Rose Moon”, name given in Europe, where strawberries aren’t native. Some may refer to it as the “Honey” moon, and there is probably no coincidence, since many people get married during this period and take the “honeymoon”.
This June, the Moon reaches its full phase on Tuesday, June 2nd. During the Full Moon periods, the Moon stays up all night long, rising when the Sun sets, and setting when the Sun rises.
Astronomically, the Moon rises in constellation Scorpius, close to Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, and planet Saturn, which is now in the Libra constellation, and in a very good place to be observed from Earth.

Another World, also known as Other World, is a woodcut print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher which was first printed in January, 1947. 

It depicts a cubic architectural structure which is made from brick. The structure is a paradox with an open archway on each of the five visible sides of the cube. The structure wraps around the vertical axis to enclose the viewer’s perspective. At the bottom of the image is an archway which we seem to be looking up from the base, and through it we can see space. At the top of that arch is another arch which is level with our perspective, and through it we are looking out over a lunar horizon. At the top of that arch is another arch which covers the top of the image. We are looking down at this arch from above and through it onto the lunar surface.

Standing in each archway along the vertical axis is a metal sculpture of a bird with a humanoid face. In each side archway is a horn or cornucopia hanging on chains. It is interesting to note that the views from above and below are consistent, placing the statue so that it faces the horn, however the horizontal view reverses the relative positions of the statue and the horn, and rotates the horn 180 degrees.

The previous month (December, 1946), Escher created a mezzotint called Another World (Other World Gallery). The image in that print is the same as this one except that the arches continue on as an infinite corridor.

The bird/human sculpture is a real sculpture which was given to Escher by his father-in-law. This sculpture first appears in Escher’s 1934 lithograph Still Life with Spherical Mirror.

Source: wikipedia

Comet ISON — which some have hailed as the next “comet of the century” — is currently located too near the sun to be seen from Earth. Since June 22, the comet has been less than 18 degrees from the sun and therefore cannot be seen against a dark sky. Your closed fist held at arm’s length covers about 10 degrees of the sky.
Scientists around the world have been tracking the promising Comet ISON because of its potential to star in a spectacular celestial show later this year, but from now through Aug. 8 the comet is on a “summer sabbatical." 
Currently located against the stars of the zodiacal constellation of Gemini, or the twins, the comet is progressing slowly eastward and will cross over into the boundaries of Cancer, the crab, on Aug. 1. A week later, on Aug. 8, the comet will have moved out as far as 18 degrees from the sun and once again will be evident against a dark sky.

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