Starfall seen from space

These impressive animations show the star showers that we see these summer days, Alfa Capricórnidas and Delta Acuáriadas Sur, but from outer space. Starfall seen from space of outer earth.

Shooting stars (or meteors, which is the same thing) are very small particles of comets that lost part of their material and those remains remain in interstellar space forming something like a river of dust particles.

The Earth, in its wandering, permanently crosses these “rivers” of particles that when entering our atmosphere at high speed are “burned” by friction, and they shine, because the air around them is ionized. This effect produces the luminous trail that leads us to make wishes: a shooting star.

Meteors can enter the atmosphere at any time of the year, but there are some more important dates, because the Earth crosses rivers or currents with more accumulated material, as occurs when the arrival of the Perseids is announced. Before we reach them, the Earth crosses two very interesting currents, which are the reason why in late July and early August shooting stars star in the summer sky.

The origin of the Alfa Capricornidas. The biggest shooting stars

These days, we crossed the dust cloud left by  Comet  169P / NEAT, a large comet whose orbit has a relatively short period, low tilt, and is controlled by Jupiter’s gravitational effects. These shooting stars are called Alfa Carpicórnidas.

169P / NEAT orbits the sun every 1,540 days (4.22 years), and its remains are the shooting stars that we can see these days. The most curious thing about this rain is that the particles that come from Comet 169P / NEAT are incredibly large, the size of a marble or a tennis ball.

The animations that take you to outer space

Asterank , a database that records more than 600,000 asteroids. Asterank’s objective is to locate them so that one day they can serve as a supply of minerals, something like the service stations of the future. But, while this is happening, with this huge amount of data obtained from NASA and a large number of scientific observations,   Ian Webster has created impressive animations in which it is possible to see what those meteor streams are like from outer space.

The south Aquarid Delta, the slowest shooting stars

The Southern Aquarid Delta are the remains of the comet Aquarid 96p / Machholz 1 that comes from another solar system different from ours, and that the last time it passed here was in July 2012. The most interesting of the shooting stars that come from this river , is that they are probably more time flying through the sky, because they penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere at a slower than average speed. The remains of 96p / Machholz 1 enter at about 40 km / s while other meteors reach 72 km / s. So these shooting stars are the ones that linger in the sky for several seconds.

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