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Perseids: Everything you need to know about the meteor shower you can enjoy on Thursday night

Perseids: Everything you need to know about the meteor shower you can enjoy on Thursday night

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The Perseids spectacle will culminate on the night of Thursday, August 12th through Friday, August 13th. But the show has already begun, and all this week you’ll be able to enjoy the most beautiful starry sky of the year.

The Perseids are an exceptional celestial meeting. The best time to take advantage of it is between August 9 and 13. But the most exciting night of shooting is from Thursday 12 August to Friday 13 August, when the greatest number of meteors can be seen. This meteor shower is intense and continuous and can provide us, according to NASA, between 50 and 100 meteors per hour.

What are Perseids?

The Perseids, meteor showers, are actually the remnants of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which is 26 kilometers in diameter and has an orbit of 135 years around the Sun. The average size of these meteorites is a grain of rice and burns at a speed of 59 kilometers per second, at an altitude of between ninety and one hundred kilometers, that is, at the boundaries of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The name “Perseids” comes from the fact that the meteorites come from the constellation Perseus. They are also known as the “Tears of San Lorenzo” because this meteor always occurs after the first week of August, around the 10th, which is the date on which Saint Laurent is celebrated. Legend has it that the falling stars that can be observed were actually the tears that the saint shed when he was killed and burned in an inferno in the 3rd century.

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Why do they always appear at the same time?

Every year, between July 14 and August 24, the skies of mild summer nights light up, especially around August 12. Always at the same time. The Earth, in its orbit around the Sun, at this time crosses the streams of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The latter visits the sun every 133 years, and the last time we saw it in the region was in 1992. Over the millennia, dust from its icy surface has accumulated under the influence of the sun in currents that the Earth crosses every year. this time.

The absence of the moon promises beautiful notes

This year, conditions will be ideal for contemplating the maximum number of falling stars: the moon will not exist and the weather will finally be declared indulgence. So moonlight will not interfere with observing dozens of meteors piercing the sky. If you go somewhere far from big cities and thus escape light pollution, the show will be even more magical.