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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-08-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Annual 'Star Night' in Serres as spectacular Perseid meteor shower peaks

  • [01] Annual 'Star Night' in Serres as spectacular Perseid meteor shower peaks

    AMNA/ This year's 6th Star Night event at the 'Serres Astropyli' (Stargate) in the town of Ano Vrontou, at an elevation of 1,100 meters, features a lecture on Saturday night by Thessaloniki Aristotle University (AUTH) scientist and astronomer Kleomenes Tsiganis, who since 2008 has a minor planet named after him.

    The three-day Star Night event is once again scheduled to coincide with the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower.

    The Star Night in Ano Vrontou has become an institution, being held for the sixth consecutive year, and attracts hundreds of visitors, including scientists and amateurs, and devoted stargazers, from all over the world.

    Tsiganis will explain how the asteroid belt of our solar system is a source of knowlege, life, but also danger.

    The "21775 Tsiganis" is a main-belt minor planet discovered through the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search at the Anderson Mesa Station in Arizona, USA, in 1999.

    The 201

    The three-day events will be accompanied by cultural activities hosted by the Ano Vrontou Cultural Club, the Serres Municipal Museum of Natural History, the Serres UNESCO branch, the UNESCO Touring Club, and the local radio-amateurs club

    Inhabitants all over the planet, including Greece, will be over the next few days to the cosmic fireworks display put on by the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs every year as Earth passes through a trail of dusty debris left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet, and is named after the northern constellation of Perseus from which it appears to radiate.

    Earth entered the stream of debris in late July, but the meteor shower peaks towards mid-August when Earth passes through the densest part of the debris stream.

    The meteor shower can be seen with the naked eye, while best viewing time is between midnight and 5:00 a.m. The early morning hours are the most optimum for viewing this year, due to a 55 percent waning gibbous moon, given that lunar glare reduces night vision and makes it harder to see the "stars" of the show, the Earthgrazers, which are meteors that approach from the horizon and skim the atmosphere overhead like stones skipping across the surface of a lake, dotting the display with colorful bursts.

    According to astronomers, the Perseids, the most famous of all meteor showers, are due to comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which makes a full orbit around the sun every 130 years. 2 Star Night will begin with the lighting of a large fire under the starry sky, and the cosmic fireworks display put on by the Perseid shooting starts..

    The phenomenon is visible chiefly in the Northern Hemisphere, where the Perseid meteors can start being seen as early as July 23, when one meteor every hour or so may be visible. Over the following three weeks, there is a slow build-up to five Perseids visible per hour at the beginning of August and reaching a peak of 60-80 meteors per hour.


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