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Launching Star Rain: Perseids near its climax

Launching Star Rain: Perseids near its climax

The moon spoils the end
The Perseid shower is approaching its peak

Every summer, a real spectacle appears in the night sky: the mares. Sometimes falling stars can be seen every minute. The reason is the comet debris cloud that crosses the Earth. But this year the moon steals the show from the shower of meteors.

Each summer, on its way around the sun, the Earth rushes into a field of debris once left by a comet in its path. Then small and large dust particles penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of more than 200,000 kilometers per hour. This creates intense friction, as the particles burn up and can be seen in the sky as bright stars. Since these occur more frequently, one speaks of a meteor shower.

In the coming days, there will be many shooting stars in the night sky again. They come from the debris path of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Because they appear to have come from the constellation Perseus when seen from Earth, they are called Perseids. As the week progresses, the intensity of the falling star rain will continue.

“Pereside reached its theoretical peak in the early morning of August 13 at around 3 am,” said Sven Melchert, Chairman. In order to see the Perseid swarm, spectators must look east, according to the Friends of the Stars Association in Germany. Stargazers can typically see about 30 to 50 meteors per hour – that’s up to one meteor per minute.

The full moon lights up almost everything

The best time to watch is from 11 pm to 4 am. The weather should also continue, says NTV weather expert Björn Alexander: “Basically, the forecast in terms of weather is from good to very good.” It is true that cloud fields may occasionally pass during this week. “However, most nights are widely overcast to become clear and warm.”

However, the moon is putting a wrench in the works this year: The full moon will be on August 12th of all days, and it will remain in the sky during the perfect observing time. Since the full moon illuminates the sky very brightly, only the brightest specimens of Perseids will appear.

According to Friends of Stars, comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle was discovered independently by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle on July 19, 1862 and takes about 133 years to orbit the sun. It should then be visible from Earth in the year 2126.