It’s time to watch the Perseids

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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. On the day before the expected peak and the day after it, conditions would not be better, because almost full moon would still be troublesome 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

All is not lost, becausemeteor swarm The Perseids runs from July 17 through August 22, which offers several nights without a moon or other, with a more discreet presence (in the crescent or in the first quarter, it will sleep early) as at present. 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, any 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. The rise of the constellation Perseus, which gave it the name of the swarm, because inside it the radiation falls, in the second part of the night, therefore, to see as much as possible. This occurs when the Earth enters 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. Not to be missed either, using binoculars, a giant comet (C / 2017 K2 PanStarrsVisible in Scorpio from 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 it is under the influence of the gravitational pull of the planets, especially that JupiterDust streams 1079, 1479 and 1862 left by comet passages in the inner solar system, approached 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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