The Perseid meteor shower will pass through the next night. This often results in a spectacular spectacle. Due to the full moon, conditions are not ideal this year. Astronomer Felix Bettonvil explains how you can still see shooting stars.By Lennart ‘t Hart
Wat is een vallende ster?
- Een vallende ster is eigenlijk geen ster. Het is een meteoor. Dat is een stukje rots dat in de dampkring van de aarde verbrandt. Wat je daarvan ziet, is een lichtstreepje in de lucht.
- De Perseïden zijn een wolk van gruis, achtergelaten door de komeet Swift-Tuttle.
To see shooting stars correctly, we depend on a number of things. The most important: is it dark or not? Most of the Perseids pass in the night from Friday to Saturday. Unfortunately, the moon is then very bright. In addition, dwarf fainter bright shooting stars.
The swarm comes every year around this time in August. In good conditions, sixty to eighty shooting stars per hour can be seen at the top. But the moon may not shine for that. It shouldn’t be cloudy either. At least there won’t be any clouds tonight. Despite the moonlight, you can still see about ten shooting stars per hour.
The best time to spot meteors is between 3 and 4 a.m. tonight. According to astronomer Bettonvil, it doesn’t matter which direction you look. Although it is smart to look at the darkest part of the sky. To do this, stand with your back to the moon. Also try to find a place with as little artificial light as possible.
Keep your eyes on the sky
You don’t necessarily have to stay up late at night to see the Perseids. Also tonight between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. you already have a good chance of seeing a shooting star. In addition, at this time, objects travel through the atmosphere. This means that meteors leave long trails.
The Perseids are one of three great swarms that fly over Earth each year. The Geminids arrive in mid-December. At the beginning of January it will be the Boötiden’s turn.
But you can also see shooting stars at other times, as there are a lot of active meteors. Every clear night you have a chance of spotting one. If you keep looking at the sky long enough and patiently enough. The Perseids can still be seen for the next few nights, but less and less each night.
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