Skywatch: Perseids meteor shower will occur this week – Tulsa World

Posted: August 6, 2017 at 2:48 am

Sunday: The Big Dipper will be visible in the northwest tonight and is one of the most recognizable star patterns in the night sky. This group of stars is also useful in finding other stars. Imagine the handle of the Dipper as forming part of an arc. Move along the arc to the bright star Arcturus, which the International Space Station passed by a few days ago. Arcturus is one of the brightest stars visible in the sky. From Arcturus, continue along the arc to another bright star known as Spica. The mnemonic device arc to Arcturus and speed on to Spica will help in remembering these two bright stars names and locations.

Monday: The full moon occurs this afternoon at 1:10 p.m. The full moon of August is known as the Sturgeon Moon. This moon was named by fishing tribes because a large number of sturgeons were caught at this time. A partial eclipse of the moon occurs today as well, but will not be visible in the United States. Remember, though, in two weeks the total solar eclipse will occur.

Tuesday: Tonight the planet Jupiter is about 20 degrees above the south-southwest horizon. A telescope aimed at the giant will reveal its four brightest moons all on the western side of the planet. The moons appear as bright stars near the planet and their motion can be apparent when they are observed for several hours.

Wednesday: There are a number of bright passes by International Space Station the rest of the week. Tonight the space station first appears 10 degrees above the northwest horizon at 10:12 p.m. Three minutes later the space station reaches its highest point of 61 degrees above the northern horizon. The ISS will be located halfway between the North Star and the bright star Vega. Also at this point the space station slips into the Earths shadow and disappears.

Thursday: The International Space Station takes a bright northerly track through the sky tonight. The spacecraft starts off in the north-northeast at 9:20 p.m. By 9:23 p.m. the space station has reached its maximum altitude of 35 degrees above the northeast horizon. A minute and a half later the ISS disappears as it enters the shadow of the earth 20 degrees above the eastern horizon.

Friday: The Perseids meteor shower peaks tomorrow afternoon, so the next two nights will be the time to look for them. but the moon will provide some interference. The radiant, or point in the sky where the meteors originate, is in the northern sky in the constellation of Perseus. At 4 a.m. the radiant is 50 degrees above the north-northeast horizon. Since the moon will be out for much of the night, rates of about 40 meteors per hour might be expected.

Saturday: The brightest International Space Station pass was held for the end of the week. Tonight the ISS begins its journey across the sky at 9:11 p.m. 10 degrees above the northwest horizon. The space station then passes through the handle of the Big Dipper and by 9:14 p.m. is directly overhead. As the spacecraft continues across the sky, appearing brighter than any other object visible at this time, it eventually slips into the Earths shadow 20 degrees above the southeast horizon.

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Skywatch: Perseids meteor shower will occur this week - Tulsa World

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