The annual meteor shower, known as the Gamma Normids (γ-Normids), peaks this year on Wednesday (March 15), a challenge for patient skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere.
Gamma Normids is a faint meteor shower that has been active since February 2018. from 25 to 28 March. Based on The Sky Live (will open in a new tab), at its peak, Gamma Normids will produce about six meteors per hour, but this is calculated under completely dark skies and ideal viewing conditions. This means that under actual observation conditions, far fewer meteors will be seen from the Gamma Normid meteor shower.
The meteor shower’s radiant, the point from which its meteor showers appear, is in the southern constellation of Norma’s sky. This means that Gamma Normids are best seen when the small constellation Norma is above the horizon. Universe guide (will open in a new tab) gives the coordinates of the radiant point corresponding to the star Gamma Normae, the brightest star in the constellation. From Buenos Aires, Argentina, the bright dot in Norma is above the horizon all night; from Sydney, Australia, the stream should be visible from approximately 19:42 local time until dawn.
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Meanwhile in the sky (will open in a new tab) explains that skywatchers in New York and anyone in the Northern Hemisphere at a latitude above 30 degrees probably won’t see Gamma Normid because the radiant won’t rise to 10 degrees above the horizon. Below 30 degrees there is a chance to see meteors flying up from the south.
Like all meteor showers, the Gamma Normids are formed when the Earth, on its annual journey around the Sun, passes through debris left behind by a comet or asteroid. This debris, consisting of fragments ranging in size from dust to small pebbles, spreads along the path of its parent object through the solar system.
As our planet passes through a stream of gamma-normide-producing fragments, these fragments enter Earth’s atmosphere at about 125,000 miles per hour (201,000 kilometers per hour), or about 85 times faster than a Lockheed Martin fighter jet. F-16. .
Debris typically burns between 44 miles (70 kilometers) and 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the Earth, creating bright streaks of light, and larger fragments sometimes cause bright fireballs.
A meteor shower is similar to the Gamma Normid peak when the Earth reaches a particularly dense patch of fragments, where comets or asteroids eject large amounts of material as a result of the sun’s heating.
(Image credit: Samil Cabrera)
If you miss the Gamma Normid meteor shower, you might catch the Lyrid meteor shower when it starts in just over a month on April 22nd. The Lyrids have a slightly faster hourly rate than the Gamma Normids, about 18 meteors per hour.
If you’re hoping to see meteor showers when they’re at their peak, our guide to the best binoculars is a great place to start. For more information on more distant objects see our guide to the best telescopes.
If you want to photograph a meteor shower or anything else in the night sky, don’t miss our guides on how to photograph the moon, the best cameras for astrophotography, and the best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s Note: If you’re photographing the Gamma Normid meteor shower and would like to share it with Space.com readers, please send your photos, comments, name, and location to spacephotos@.
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