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The time of the Perseids - Attention: The approach of the stars of the meteor - meteorology

The time of the Perseids – Attention: The approach of the stars of the meteor – meteorology


Like every year, Earth flies through the debris path of Comet Swift-Tuttle on about August 12th. Therefore, there are currently a lot of meteor stars that can be seen during the night. Thursday night is very appropriate, as the skies are clear over large parts of Switzerland.

Year after year, the Earth flies through the debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle in its orbit around the Sun. It is around August 12th, this year at 2pm CEST. However, during the day it is too bright for us to be able to watch the falling stars. However, on the nights before and after August 12, an above-average number of meteor stars can be seen in the sky. This year Thursday night is especially important to watch, as skies are clear in many places in Switzerland. Especially in the east, late Thursday evening is also an option.


the fool

On Thursday night, many shooting stars move across the sky.

Markus Greiser, head of the Ischenberg Observatory

Up to 100 shining stars per hour

Next night, up to 100 stars can be expected per hour. However, because towering stars travel very quickly and usually only glow for a short time, only a small portion of this cometary debris can be seen. Look for a location that is as dark as possible with little light remaining for observation. Thursday mornings are especially good for observing. In the first half of the night, the rising crescent moon is still in the sky.

Where should I look?

The Perseids appear to come from the constellation Perseus. However, this does not rise until later in the evening above the northeastern sky. Accordingly, rather flat stars initially move across the sky and partially disappear in atmospheric haze. During the night, Perseus rises above the horizon, thus falling stars can also be found higher in the sky. However, it is useful to observe the entire sky spectrum, depending on the exact entry point of the falling star into our atmosphere.

Some dust and a lot of scenes

The falling stars themselves are nothing more than tiny dust particles from Comet Swift-Tuttle. When these dust particles enter the upper atmosphere at high speeds, they evaporate. The dust particle causes the surrounding air to glow along the injection channel for several meters. However, this effect only lasts for a short time.