Kingdom to witness meteor shower

meteor shower
(Photo: AI-Generated)
AMMAN – The President of the Jordanian Astronomical Society Ammar Al-Skaji, said that the skies of Jordan will witness the peak of the Leonid meteor shower on the night of the upcoming Friday/Saturday, which is active this year between November 6 and 30.اضافة اعلان

According to Al-Mamlaka TV, Skaji said that the peak of the meteor shower is especially notable just before dawn. It can be observed in most areas of Jordan and the Arab region, particularly in locations far from light pollution, such as deserts and rural areas, under standard astronomical conditions with clear skies, low light pollution, humidity, dust, and the absence of clouds.

He indicated that studies by the International Meteor Organization have shown that around 10 to 15 meteors or fireballs can be observed per hour during the peak under standard and ideal conditions.

These meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Leo, particularly above the binary star system of Algieba, serving as a clear sign in the sky. Tracking this star can guide observers to the radiant point of the Leonids, though this does not prevent the meteors from being seen in other parts of the sky.

He mentioned, "On Saturday night, the radiant point of the Leonids meteor shower will rise at 11:56p.m. in the northeastern sky at an angle of 63 degrees. However, the best time to observe these showers is in the pre-dawn periods, between 4 and 5a.m, facing east, at an elevation angle of 65 degrees."

Skaji emphasized the fortuitous lunar setting on Friday evening at 9:04p.m, prior to the radiant point's appearance. Meteor observation will commence at the radiant point's emergence at 11:56p.m on Friday night. Initially, meteor visibility will be low but will increase just before sunrise on Saturday morning.

He explained that the Leonid meteor shower is a distinct and fascinating astronomical phenomenon that occurs when remnants and dust of comets and scattered meteoroids interact within Earth's orbit, entering the atmosphere and burning up at altitudes ranging from 70 to 100 kilometers. The density of these meteors increases when associated with a specific comet, having a radiant point with periodic dates in the year. These paths seem to radiate outward from a common point in the sky.

He attributed this occurrence to gravel-sized particles moving in the same direction as the comet, especially when they cross the Earth's orbit and move at high speeds. If the debris entering the atmosphere is relatively large, around the size of a bean, it forms fireballs that exhibit beautiful, bright, and colorful appearances. There is no danger from them as they burn up in the upper atmosphere and turn into ash.

He added that the comet responsible for the Leonids is called Tempel-Tuttle, completing a full cycle around the sun every 33 years. It was independently discovered by Ernst Tempel on December 19, 1865, and Horace Parnell Tuttle on January 6, 1866.

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