Thursday morning (5) was a spectacle in itself astronomers from all over Brazil. country registered hundreds of meteors in many states, especially interior from Sao Pauloand . North of Paraná is on Santa Catherine – The state alone recorded about 300 pieces in the sky.
Many of them are debris from Halley’s Comet. Later this month, it will be possible to see a new meteor shower, with a peak on May 31, predicted to be the largest in the past 20 years, according to astronomer Marcelo Zurita, technical director of the BREMON (Brazilian Meteor Monitoring Network) .
“This outbreak can generate hundreds, thousands of meteors per hour, which is very impressive for onlookers. This would be an unusual activity. Perhaps the most intense in 20 years”, says Zurita.
The Network of Autonomous Astronomers, with stations in 20 Brazil’s states, recorded a meteor shower called the ETA Aquarids at dawn on Thursday. “In theory, the north and northeast of Brazil would be more privileged for observation, but time has not cooperated in these areas”, says Zurita.
Instead, the best of conditions ended up in the south. In Monte Claro, northern Santa Catarina, the sky was clear, cloudless and moonless, making it possible to record 300 meteors.
“At least 120 of these are debris from Halley’s Comet, and they became visible around 3 a.m. They are related to the ETA Aquarids meteor shower”, says astronomer Joaquimar Justino de Souza from the Bremen station in Santa Catarina. “Today (6), there were also records, but it was less intense, only 40”, he says.
Jurita confirmed that ETA Aquaridas will be visible until May 12, but activity should continue in a less intense manner.
With good weather conditions, one can see the meteors with small telescopes, binoculars, and especially with the naked eye. “Since they are quite fast, they can rapidly leave the field of vision of the instrument. With the naked eye, it is possible to follow their path with greater efficiency”, Souza explains.
To observe better, the tip is to move away from city lights and turn off all lighting, so that the place is as dark as possible. “Light reduces the sensitivity of our vision and dazzles the weakest meteors”, says Zurita.
The best time for observation is from 2 am, which peaks in the early morning. “You have to get up early,” says the astronomer.