The Truth Behind Meteor Showers | When and Where to See Them

The Truth Behind Meteor Showers | When and Where to See Them

[singing] When you wish upon a star… you’re
actually wishing upon a meteor shower… Well, that just sucks all the magic right
out of it, doesn’t it? But, hey, as long as you believe! Anyway, let’s cut to the chase of the scientific
facts of what meteor showers really are, and how likely you are to spot one! First up, there’s the terminology. There are 2 words people tend to confuse with
each other: meteors and meteoroids. Meteors are essentially streaks of light made
by burning debris from comets. Ok, to put it more romantically, meteors are
“shooting stars”! Meteoroids are space rocks before they enter
the earth’s atmosphere and lose the –oid part of their name. Any idea what they’re called if they make
it to the planet’s surface? Meteorites, exactly! So the Meteoroids in space become Meteors
in the atmosphere, and if they make to the ground, they’re Meteorites, and land on
your house. Just kidding. Where do these rocks come from? I just told you! Were you paying attention? You’re getting a quiz at the end of this. Ok, I’ll let it slide, …for now! These things are fragments of comets. Just like Earth and other planets, comets
move around the Sun. Planets do it in a regular mostly circular
way. Technically, their orbits are elliptical,
but the difference can be minimal, especially for our lovely little Earth. But for comets, the shape is much more exaggerated. It’s as if you took a circle and stretched
it waaay out. That’s why comets are sometimes far from
the sun as they move along their orbit, and other times they get extremely close. When comets come near the Sun, it boils away
some of their icy surface, and dust and rock break away. And – meteoroids are born. There’s plenty of this stuff floating out
in space and circling the Sun. But occasionally, our planet comes across
a trail of debris when our orbits cross paths. For example, you ever drive your car on the
highway, and go right through a swarm of bugs, and a bunch of them splat on your windshield? Yeah, it’s like that. Only in space. If you could watch this cosmic collision from
far away, it might look slow, quiet, and uneventful. But when the debris hits our planet’s atmosphere,
it’s going about 30,000 mph! And don’t forget that our planet is zipping
along its orbit at 67,000 mph, so you have two objects moving incredibly fast, right
into each other! And you know what high speeds usually mean? More friction, which produces heat. Therefore, most of them burn up harmlessly
since temperatures reach 3,000°F as they’re falling toward the surface! The scorching air the hot rock leaves behind
makes for a glowing trail, and, thus, you get the great sky show that is a shooting
star. Some of them shine bright and make fireballs
that you can even see during the day. You can hear them too if they get around 30
miles away! As for most meteors, you can see them from
about 60 miles. It might feel like that’s too close for
comfort, but the atmospheric layer is 5 times thicker than that. And don’t worry about being on a plane during
a meteor shower – aircraft only fly about 6 miles up in the air. That beautiful fiery show is far faaar away! The more meteoroids the Earth bumps into,
the longer the spectacle will last. Most of them are small, so they burn up and
never make it to the surface. Phew, no more worries about one falling on
your head! When things get especially intense and around
1,000 meteors are born every hour, this is known as a meteor outburst or meteor storm. Meteor showers normally last a few weeks. And get this: they have names! No, not Bill or Melinda, although that might
make it easier to remember! They’re named after the nearest constellations
or bright stars they appear next to with an “id” or “ids” ending. For example, you can tell that the Delta Aquariids
meteor shower is visible near Delta Aquarii. That’s one of the bright stars in the Aquarius
constellation. Any guesses where the Orionids meteor shower
shows up? Right, the constellation famous for his belt:
Orion. In case you’re wondering where the wishing
tradition came from, it goes back to Greek astronomer P-tolemy, uh no, sorry, his name
is actually pronounced Tolemy – apparently nobody knows where his P went. He lived at around 100-170 CE. He believed that when deities were looking
at the Earth from above out of curiosity, a star or two would accidentally drop down. And because you could be sure they were paying
attention at that moment; it would be the perfect time to tell them what your heart
desires! If you get lucky, you can spot a sporadic
meteor in the sky at any time of the year. It can be day or night, although it is harder
to see them in blue skies. In general, some important factors for hopeful
meteor gazers to consider are: – the time of night
– light pollution (more on that later) – cloud conditions
– the moon phase (the brighter it is, the worse your visibility will be)
– and getting an unobstructed view. You always have higher chances of witnessing
a meteor show if you check the dates of upcoming showers. Some of them happen at around the same time
every year, so astronomers and enthusiasts look forward to these dates. Lyrids, for example, take place in April,
Perseids in August, Orionids in October, Leonids in November, and Geminids in December. Mark your calendars. Probably the most famous meteor shower, the
Perseids, normally starts in mid-July and lasts until August 14. It peaks on its final five days. You can thank the comet Swift-Turtle – no
wait, sorry, that’s comet Swift-Tuttle for lighting up our sky with 60 meteors per minute! This comet is the largest space object to
pass the Earth several times. Something similar in diameter is what cleared
our planet of dinosaurs so many years ago! Most Perseid meteors are only about the size
of a grain of sand, and the biggest of them are as large as marbles. They race through the atmosphere at a NASCAR
wishful speed of over 130,000 mph! The longest meteor shower in history was recorded
in November 1833. It happened just east of the Rocky Mountains. The Earth was sprayed with 240,000 shooting
stars of different sizes for 9 hours straight! Plenty of time to make all your wishes! All this glory took place during the annual
Leonids meteor shower. It’s considered the most powerful one as
it brings 12-14 tons of space particles along with it. Although you won’t see a 9-hour shower every
year, it’s still mighty impressive around its peak in mid-November. The Geminids come in December right after
the Leonids. A cool fact about this meteor shower is that,
unlike practically all others of its kind, it’s not caused by a comet but by the asteroid
3200 Phaethon. The Geminids move slower than other meteors. Even during peak hours, they only shoot a
maximum of 40 meteors per hour. However, scientists say it’s getting more
massive every year! Ok, now you know when you can see a meteor
shower for yourself. So what about equipment? Where’s the best place to go and see one? If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, that
increases your chances of getting a better view. The best time of day is right before dawn. Unlike with most sky observations, you don’t
need a telescope, binoculars, or an elevated spot. Just grab some blankets, layers of clothes,
and a thermos with something hot to keep you warm. A camping chair might be a good idea too. And in case you fall asleep at your observation
spot, don’t forget to set an alarm! You can just lie down in your backyard, but
it might not be the best idea unless you live in the countryside. Otherwise, light pollution will get in your
way. That’s all those street, house, and traffic
lights that make the city glow. These days, there’s a lot of it, even out
in the suburbs! So if you can, get out of town and find a
nice peaceful viewing spot for the big show. It could be an open field or lakeshore, for
example. The most important thing is that it’s dark
there at night. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to pack the one
essential thing I forgot to tell you about: patience! Unlike what you see in well-edited professional
videos, there’s no guarantee you’ll see tons of shooting stars one after another. If you’re lucky, it could be a meteor once
every few minutes. Or, it could be less frequent. It just depends on things like sky conditions,
the moonrise and sunset times, the moon phase, and the point where the shower is coming from,
just to name a few. Don’t overstrain your eyes and nerves staring
at the sky for too long. Make sure to take a break every 30 minutes
or so. To increase your chances of spotting meteors,
install a mobile app or print out a map showing the constellations. Remember, these showers are named after them
because that’s the direction where you can see them. Spotting meteor showers is a waiting game,
but it’s a game worth playing. The most spectacular shows are rather rare,
so if you get to see one or two in a lifetime, you’re quite a lucky one! Have you ever seen a meteor shower? Let me know down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey! – don’t go off into space
just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. All you have to do is pick the left or right
video, click on it, and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

100 thoughts on “The Truth Behind Meteor Showers | When and Where to See Them

  1. COMMENTS are sometimes extremely far from the sun โ˜€๏ธ but sometimes they get close to the sun which is called a subscription.

  2. Hey Love you Bright Side!โคโค You inspired me to create a YouTube Channel!!! Would love to have some Support!!๐Ÿ˜

  3. Hey Love you Bright Side!โคโคโค You inspired me to create a YouTube Channel!!! Would love to have some Support!!๐Ÿ˜

  4. Thanks for the update about stars โญ๏ธ I thought the star was harmless but I guess not๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

  5. awesome, not for the content, but the hard work invested behind all videos on the channel || All respect and no BS

  6. This video was very interesting. The photos are very good. I cannot remember the distances and numbers but it was very enjoyable to watch. You are moving forward and doing a great job. Thanks a lot !

  7. 0:18 "as long as you don't believe In many Mainstream religions" that is. Stars, planets, galaxies, and moons in Most mainstream religions including Christianity, Islam, and more Have all of them, and the sun on invisible curtains in the sky, of which tiny light-holes are on those curtains (See book Of JOB for example) . As well as a Flat-Earth, of which does not move.

  8. Bright side you are the best. But we don't konw who are you. Please show your face to us please. Please everyone who want his face to be reveled. Please comment or like this comment. Please bright side show us your face.

  9. Only one lady has been actually hit by meteor and she was laying in her bed when it happened and lived to tell about it

    ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ”ฅโœ…๐Ÿ’ฏ be an Og of mine today

  11. Love your videos bright side , I wish to dub your videos in our native language (Hindi ) on revenue sharing Basis on your tube thanks ๐Ÿ™, I will be really thankful if this happens .

  12. I've been watching the Persieds since I was a kid. They are happening this weekend and are the greatest meteor shower of the year. You will see hundreds of shooting stars. Its beautiful and they look huge. Even though there is a bright moon, you'll still see plenty. Put a sleeping bag on top you car with a pillow, recline a lounge chair in the yard, lay back and be astonished. Try to watch after midnight, but anytime is going to be fantastic.

  13. I once went to a star gazing program and we saw a meteor break into 9 parts right in front of our eyes in the sky and become 10 different meteors…. I can still close my eyes and see that moment

  14. Bright side please do a video of things to do to fix ghost touching on phone I love your channel hope you guess do it keep up the good work

  15. Funny, this video coincides with the Perseid Meteor Shower happening this weekend. If interested, look online for the best viewing times in your area. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. I love this beautiful space๐ŸŒŒ
    And have craving to learn about hidden and mysterious things….
    Which is very interesting
    You gave me a good it

  17. Ughhh! Schools around the corner and I hate the food there.. And watching bright side while getting ready for school, relaxes me and takes my mind off the food and waking up at 6 am ;-;

  18. I do say, only humans have the capacity to use 3 different names for the same thing depending on where it is in the atmosphere or if it's in space. Why not just say meteorite in space, meteorite coming down, meteroite crash/crater. It's not that bad nor hard to use a second word to describe something.

  19. Hey derp da derp. The flood killed the giants and dinosaurs. No evidence of meteor but mountains of evidence of the flood. Noah and the Bible. Derpy breath

  20. I saw a great shower in the early 1990's there was about 1 every 2 seconds and i was in the middle of nowhere so nice dark skies.

    What is the difference between meteors and meteoroids? 0:25
    Where do these rocks come from? โ˜„๏ธ1:04
    Why most of them burn up harmlessly 2:16
    Meteor showers 3:50
    Where the wishing tradition came from โญ๏ธ 4:26
    The most famous meteor shower 5:50
    The longest meteor shower 6:32
    Whereโ€™s the best place to go and see one? 7:31

  22. I love meteor showers. I always try to watch them! <3 I've seen a few. They're so amazing! I can't even describe the beauty!

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