Grab your blanket or outdoor chair for the night Wednesday through Thursday: conditions are ideal for seeing a swarm of shooting stars. A real peak is expected, especially around 2 a.m. And it also promises to be an excellent time to be able to see the spectacle in the sky, says Kees Veth of the De Jager People’s Observatory on Texel.
To be fair, first of all, these aren’t really “shooting stars” that you can see well on the night of Wednesday through Thursday, says Veth. “It’s gravel, dust particles, that once detached from a comet.” This time the dust particles come from comet Swift-Tuttle.
“When such a comet approaches the sun, the outer layers evaporate and dust is released. It stays suspended in space, so to speak. If the earth passes through such a cloud of dust, such a dust path actually sweeps., so to speak, on the grain. ” This is what will happen overnight. The particles fall into our atmosphere and burn.
Additionally, flashes of light can be seen, which you can see from Earth as “shooting stars,” says Veth. “These lightning bolts are actually those grains of sand that fly through our atmosphere at a speed of about 60 kilometers per second. When they do, they cause molecules in the atmosphere to glow.”
The best time to see this show is around 2 a.m. “Then there is, so to speak, a spike in numbers at this point. So the movement of the earth is most favorable through this swarm. in the evening the lake brushes against the land. “The weather will also be perfect,” he said. “It remains clear, so you should be able to see it well.”
You don’t need much, a chair or a rug is enough. At the Texel observatory, they make it a special moment. “We have made room in a square in front of Ecomare where people can come with their chairs or rugs and then look up.”
Saturn and Jupiter
The observatory itself is also open, but to a limited extent due to the meter and a half rule. “We let small groups of people go up into the observatory to see the big planets. Saturn and Jupiter are clearly visible that evening, especially late in the evening.”
And if you don’t feel like or don’t have time to go out, Veth doesn’t have to worry about missing the special night. You just have to get out to grab part of it. “You can still watch it at home too.”
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