Heppenheim/Hamburg (DPA) – Spectators and stargazers can expect fireworks: the stars falling by the hundreds on the Perseids Islands can be seen in the night sky in the first half of August.
And the conditions for the scene are good – as long as the weather lasts all this summer, which so far has been fairly mixed. “The conditions are particularly favorable this year, because the moon sets late in the evening,” says the Association of Friends of the Stars in Germany. This means that its light will not illuminate the night sky and will not disturb the view of dying cosmic dust particles. “Under optimal conditions, you could see a meteor rushing across the sky every minute or two.”
According to Sternfreunde, the peak of the meteor stream is expected on the nights of August 12 and 13. If you then look east in a clear sky after midnight, you can see dozens of stars falling per hour. But even on the weekends before and after you can see the glowing particles.
The Perseids appear to come from the constellation of Perseus, but it’s the debris cloud from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle that floods Earth every year in its orbit around the Sun. According to Astronomical Friends, the comet was independently discovered by Louis Swift and Horace Tuttle on July 19, 1862, and it takes about 133 years to complete one orbit around the Sun. The next time it should be visible from Earth is in the year 2126.
According to the Hamburg Planetarium, what burns up in Earth’s atmosphere are the crumbs of a comet that it loses in its orbit. Each August, Earth crosses this cosmic debris path, and comet particles fall into the atmosphere like raindrops on a car window. Then they burn up to 100 to 80 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Some particles are bright enough to be seen even in the interfering light of large cities. However, the planetarium advises you to go to a dark place without disturbing the light and also to be patient. Falling stars will likely come in bursts, and the eyes will have to get used to the darkness of the night.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210805-99-714652 / 2
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”