The night of the meteor shower is coming: when and how to enjoy the Perseids | Society

The expected Perseid rain, one of the most anticipated astronomical events of the year, can be enjoyed this week. But as is often the case with these celestial shows, there is always a day when it can be seen more clearly. In fact, the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) has assured that this 2021 will be an “excellent” year to observe the Perseids, since it will happen a few days after the new moon on August 8.

Also known as ‘Tears of Saint Lawrence’, for being a phenomenon that usually occurs in the days close to the feast of this saint, it is a shower of stars caused by the comet ‘Swift-Tuttle’. This comet, which passed near the sun for the last time in 1992, leaves behind incandescent dust particles that, when rubbing against the atmosphere, produce the bright and well-known shooting stars.

The best day to enjoy the meteor shower

The day of maximum splendor to see these luminous lines that form the passage of the comet will be at dawn from August 12 to 13, once the sky is completely dark and when the crescent of the moon is hidden by the horizon. The Perseids have been present in the sky of the northern hemisphere since last July 17, and they will be until next August 24, but it will be between this Wednesday and Friday that they will live their most stellar moment.

Regarding the hours in which more meteors can be viewed, it will be, according to the OAN, between 9:00 p.m. and 24:00 p.m. that same day (official hours of the peninsula). According to scientists, the height at which a meteor becomes bright depends on the speed of penetration in the atmosphere, but it is expected that, as is usually the case, it will do so at around 100 kilometers. In addition, the Perseids receive their name from Perseus, since they have their radiant in the constellation that receives their name, close to those of Aries and Taurus.

How and where to see the Perseids

Therefore, if you place yourself in the part of the night sky that is more oriented to these constellations, you will enjoy the celestial spectacle in better conditions, but it is possible to do it from anywhere in the night sky. Of course, to enjoy them you must flee from the light pollution of towns and cities, and place yourself under the darkest possible sky. From the observatory they recommend lying down and waiting for the view to get used to the night, so it will be more spectacular to admire the bright lines left by the shooting stars.

And you won’t need to use any optical instruments, as they can be seen clearly with the naked eye and in a dark environment. If you cannot obtain these conditions but you would like to see the Perseid rain, do not worry, because you can also enjoy them through streaming. The project Energy Efficiency Laboratories (EELabs) will broadcast through the channel a direct from the Canary Observatories from the hand of its coordinator Miquel Serra-Ricart.

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