answersLogoWhite
Astronomy
Telescopes

Do you need a telescope to see the meteor shower?


Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
2009-08-13 04:26:36
2009-08-13 04:26:36

No. In fact, using a telescope would almost guarantee that you would not see any meteors. Here's why.

Telescopes magnify a small area of the sky; the more powerful the telescope, the smaller the area. Telescopes are great for getting a close-up view of things that aren't moving too quickly; even then, with a big scope, you'll be re-centering it often as the Earth turns and the star/planet/comet/whatever drifts out of view.

Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky. They come VAGUELY from the constellation Perseus (for the Perseid meteors) or from other constellations that lend their names to the specific shower. Perseids enter the Earth's atmosphere at 130,000 miles per hour; they cross the sky in a second and either burn out or explode. There is NO WAY for you to see the incoming meteor, point the scope at it, and center; it's already gone. And since you don't know where the next meteor will appear, it would be like playing the lottery to point your telescope at a spot in the sky and just HOPE that you get lucky.

In a strong meteor shower, you might see a dozen in a minute, sometimes three or four together. Keep your head buried in a telescope, and I'll offer you a wager that you'll miss the best parts of the show.

Telescopes are great. But not for meteor showers.

Still determined to use your telescope during a meteor shower? Point it at the Moon! The Moon isn't THAT far away from Earth; the Moon is in the same meteor shower that the Earth is. Astronomers studying the Moon have watched hundreds of meteor strikes on the Moon over just the last year or so. Little meteors that make a nice light show in the sky aren't big enough to punch the Moon very hard, but there are those millions of millions of craters on the Moon, and each one was caused by a BIG impactor. There's chance - a SLIM chance - that you could see the explosion of a lunar impact.

Naked eye on the sky, or use your telescope on the Moon; either way, good hunting!

Related Questions

User Avatar

The difference between a meteor shower and a meteor storm is that one is bigger than the other. Another way is that you can see a meteor shower without binoculars and the other you have to see with a telescope.

User Avatar

On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.On the 12 of August every year the Perseid meteor shower is around its peak, so in 2012 and any year, if it is clear, you will see a meteor shower.

User Avatar

When a meteor shower is in progress,you can see it best . . .outsidein a place far from city lightsin the skyafter midnight.

User Avatar

They won't see the same meteor as you do, but they will see a meteor shower, as they are falling in many parts of the world. So they will see ones that you don't, but both of you will be able to enjoy watching a meteor shower.

User Avatar

sometimes they...... no, it's because they...... ugh..... it's cuz they left their glasses! jk,..... invest in a telescope.


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.