Shooting stars are back, the peak between 11 and 13 August – Space & Astronomy

The classic appointment with the shooting stars of San Lorenzo is back, the Perseid meteors, whose peak is expected between 11 and 13 August. After a memorable 2021, this year’s show will be compromised by the full Moon, so it is better to anticipate the observations of a couple of nights, or wait for the final part of the night.

Also known as the Tears of Saint Lawrence, the Perseids are generated by the grains of dust left by the comet Swift-Tuttle that burn on impact with the Earth’s atmosphere, producing spectacular trails of light in the sky. The peak this year will be in the nights between 11 and 13 August during which, in conditions of perfect visibility, in very dark places, up to 100 meteors could be observed per hour.

“After a memorable 2021, by 2022 the observing conditions of the Perseids will be decidedly less favorable”, commented Gianluca Masi, scientific director of the Virtual Telescope. To get around the problem, it may therefore be advisable to play in advance, for example by focusing on the nights of 9 or 10 August, or to wait for the sunset, in the final part of the night. he witnesses a peak: “since at dawn the observer is on the part of the Earth that advances along its orbit towards the cometary dust – added Masi – it is as if he saw from the windshield, rather than from the rear window of our planet. This condition , together with the setting of the moon, therefore guarantees good results “.

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