Best times to watch Perseid meteor showers

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[EN VIDÉO] Discover the shower of meteors from the Perseids
The barrage of falling stars from the constellation Perseus: the Persians. These meteors are especially amazing, especially in summer!

Everyone has heard of Perseids, one of the most active meteor showers of the year, raining on our skies every summer, up to 100 meteors per hour, in the best conditions. In other words, a Beautiful shower of shooting starsthe wonderful spectacle of nature invites you to stretch out in the (dry) grass, with family or friends, in the company of crickets, to daydream about eyes immersed in the sky sparkling with stars, awaiting these hidden and luminous parts of comet. An interesting celestial spectacle, which we won’t stress enough, requires finding a remote and quiet location, in the countryside, far from the noise and fury of the earth. light pollution Big cities, to take full advantage of them.

Yes, but … this year, there is a big problem: full moon which will shine from evening to morning during the night of peak activity, August 12-13, greatly reducing the possibility of seeing a large amount ofshooting stars. Thus, instead of 50 to 60 (and even more than 100, depending on the year) Micrometeorites Visibly per hour in the second part of the night it will be necessary to be satisfied with the brightest, reduced to ten per hour. The day before and the day after the expected peak, conditions would not be better, because the moon Semi-full will also remain a problem to detect. And since it is not possible to turn it off or take cover from it, it will be necessary to deal with it … Otherwise, choose another night, when the moon is thinner and departs earlier.

Best time to see Perseids

So all is not lost, because the Pershaw meteor swarm runs from July 17 through August 22, which presents several moonless nights or otherwise, with a more discreet presence (in the crescent or in the first quarter, you will sleep very early) as currently. Admittedly, the beautiful showers of shooting stars have not yet been as active as during the nights of August 12-13, traditionally, but there are many opportunities to observe them in number. Also, nothing has to wait for this date of peak activity to take advantage of the most beautiful showers of shooting stars of the year.

Like every year, whatever night you choose to observe (and count) the Perseids—before, after, or on the date of peak activity—you must wait until sunrise and sunset. constellation From Perseus, who gave his name to the swarm, because it is within it radiantIn the second part of the night to see as many as possible. Because at this moment Earth is entering the densest region of the debris field left by the corridors of Comet Swift-Tuttle (returns every 133 years).

finally, “Last but not least”let us point out that this summer, in the second part of the night, there are not only meteors to be seen: in fact, several planets parade one by one in the sky to form a beautiful alignment onecliptic In thedawn. The first to appear is the wonderful planet Saturn, starting at 10 pm, followed by Jupiterdo not miss its brilliance, from the middle of the night. Mars Red quietly arrives around 1:30 a.m., and finally, shines Venus arises in the flicker of dawn (“Pink Fingers”Homer), about 5:30 a.m. Beautiful notes to make with the whole family this weekend, guided Astronomy scientists Amateurs who meet you everywhere in France for starry night. So that there is a culprit (C/2017 K2 PanStarrsVisible at the beginning of the night!

A very good note to all.

Note: To withstand the coldest hours of the night, bring warm clothes.

2016 Perseids meteor shower

Article from Xavier Demersmann Posted on August 12, 2016

On the night of August 11-12, the activity of the Perseid meteor swarm will be at its peak: about 200 bright stars can be seen per hour. Double the other years.

1 week after 26eStarry night, the sky presents us with a new spectacle: a shower of falling stars. Remember that this recurring phenomenon has nothing to do with falling stars… These are minute meteors, mostly the size of a grain sand Or a grain of rice that falls apart on top atmosphere. Few, the brightest de factoIt can be the size of a fist. Those in August belong to the meteor swarm of Perseids, because their radiation is located in the direction of the constellation Perseus. It’s not the only swarm of the year, but because it occurs during mild summer nights, during the holidays, and the rate of visible meteors per hour often exceeds 100 during its peak activity, it has become very popular.

This year, the maximum is expected on the night of August 11-12. Specialists are excited that at the height of the event, in the second part of the night, the number of these tiny grains remaining in the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle should be twice as many as usual for atmospheric penetration at Speed at a rate of 59 km / sec. The forecast is 200 meteors per hour.

Why this boom? Because under the influence of the gravitational pull of the planets, in particular Jupiter, the dust currents in 1079, 1479 and 1862 were left by comet passages in solar system Inside, we got closer to our planet.

Also, if that’s the case, the show promises to be twice as great. Provided of course that weather report It is favorable and that light pollution be insignificant. As for the moon (in jointly with Saturn and Mars), embarrassing him brightnessit will disappear below the horizon after midnight, that is, when Perseus flies into the sky … to be able to absorb as much of the sky as possible.

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