Residents of Northern Hemisphere of the Earth last night watching a real meteor rain. Perseid stream, or, as it is called, "the August meteor shower." In the sky could be seen up to a hundred meteors falling per hour. This phenomenon is not a rare thing, but every year like these "shooting stars" becomes less and less.
In the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Laboratory day passes, or rather, the whole day open house — the fun starts around midnight. It was at the end of the summer, when you can watch the Perseid meteor shower, the people — just the August meteor shower — Visitors come from all over the country.
"Today I had a dream that was a meteor shower and my hands attacked many stars I thought I should go," — says one of the visitors laboratory Valentine Kurchin.
Stars in his hands — it really is something out of dreams. In fact, even before the meteors do not reach the ground. The particles of matter — scientists call them sand grains or dust particles, each weighing a few grams — burn up entering the Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of 80 to 40 kilometers. Actually, for the sake of this colorful time of their death — and we peer into the sky.
"Speck of dust from the dust located several thousand kilometers. Turns out that burned for two motes in a minute. Course, Chinese fireworks you will not see — it's still normal falling meteors, and they do not gush," — says a senior researcher at the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory Vladimir Samodurov.
And yet, it's 100 shooting stars per hour! It is best meteor shower is visible in the distance from the city. As soon as darkness descends into the clearing, fans unfurl their telescopes. However, just looking at them, moving away disappointed. Today, powerful optics to anything. Simply look up.
The fact that the stellar rain easier and more interesting to observe with the naked eye, and the scientists say. And yet, the giant telescope at the Institute of Astronomy, directed to the north-east. Multiple cameras from different angles convey the picture of the sky on the computer. There is an important research work.
"It's very important for science and for applications — primarily it is safe spacecraft. We study the flux density, details of which will more accurately calculate the probability of collision of meteors with spacecraft," — says a senior researcher at the Institute of Astronomy Nail Bahtigaraev .
Unique phenomenon Perseids can be called a stretch — yet we see it every August. But year after year, shooting stars become smaller. The so-called high was two decades ago. And now that area of the land crossed by the stream where least meteoroids. The next maximum is expected only in centuries. In the meantime, astronomers recommend patience and, of course, the desire to keep at the ready.