Looking up to the sky


While Astronomers from Arab countries threw light on movement of stars and planets during week-long camp held in Dhofar Governorate’s Rakhyut area as written in Oman Daily Observer, one can read in Muscat daily that “a Camelopardalis meteor shower at the rate of 400 meteors per hour will light up Sultanate’s skies on Friday night. Meteor showers are named after the constellation from which they appear to radiate from. This constellation is very near the north pole of the sky, near Polaris. The celestial event that people from around the world will witness, is expected to start around 10pm and will last for a couple of hours.

The meteors will be streaking across all parts of the sky, so what you need is a wide, open space where you can see as much cosmic real estate as possible, one can read in Phil Plait Slate’s bad astronomy blog. The more sky you can see, the more meteors you can see. Meteors travel very rapidly, many dozens of kilometers per second, and most zip across the sky in less than a second.

The name of the constellation comes from the Latin derivation of the Greek word for ‘giraffe.’ Taken apart, the word camelopardalis means camel-leopard, because it had a long neck like a camel and a body with spots, like a leopard. Camelopardalis is the 18th largest constellation in the night sky, occupying an area of 757 square degrees. The constellation is pretty faint, with no stars brighter than fourth magnitude. The Greeks did not see any stars in Camelopardalis and thought this region of the sky was empty.The constellation was created by the Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius and documented by the German astronomer Jakob Bartsch in 1624. In some old maps the name is also written as Camelopardalus or Camelopardus.

Camelopardalis, the giraffe copyr Ian Ridpath

Camelopardalis, the giraffe copyr Ian Ridpath




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