Tonight was the peak of the Perseids, the most famous shooting stars of the year. Relive the magic of this night in a fantastic video
The Perseids they are considered one of the most beautiful meteor showers. Meteors, romantically called “shooting stars”, are very fast (59 km/s) and bright and often leave behind them long “trails” of colored light as they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are one of the most intense showers (50-100 meteors observed per hour) and are visible from the end of July to the end of August during the warm summer nights. They are not the only meteor shower (the famous are the Geminids, the Leonids, the Orionids etc…) but without a doubt the “tears of San Lorenzo” are the most fascinating.
Where do they come from
Meteors come comet particles or asteroid fragments. When comets orbit the Sun, they leave a dusty trail. Every year the Earth passes through these trails of debris, which, when they come into contact with the atmosphere, disintegrate and create streaks of fire (due to friction) and colored in the sky (the color depends on the chemical composition). The Perseids “come” from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle (the core has a diameter of 26 kilometers). It takes 133 years to make one revolution around the Sun. Fu Giovanni Schiaparelli to realize in 1865 that this comet was the source of the Perseids while the comet was discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle. There Swift-Tuttle visited the inner solar system for the last time in 1992. For those who want to approach the observation of the sky, we recommend the book by Daniel Gasparri“First encounter with the starry sky“. Below, here is the video made by Stephen Maraggi:
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