Lots of shooting stars to see next week
PREGNANTS – The annual star shower Perseids will be seen again next week and this year there will be even more. During the peak in the night from Thursday to Friday 13 August, there are 69 per hour. The weather looks favorable with clear spells ahead.
The fact that more shooting stars can be seen during the Perseids this year than during other years has to do with the light from the moon. On August 9, it is New Moon and the nights after that are also quite dark. Moonlight makes it impossible to see faint meteors, but that is hardly the case now.
Last year the number of shooting stars visible during the peak night of the Perseids was about 45. By comparison, in 2022 it will be a full moon and only 16 can be seen per hour. If you want to see a lot of shooting stars, you should do so this year and not wait for next year.
Although most meteors can be seen on Friday, August 13, the number of shooting stars visible the nights before and after are also high. For example, on Wednesday, August 11, approximately 34 shooting stars can be seen per hour and on Sunday, August 15, there are approximately 35 shooting stars per hour.
The Perseid meteors appear to emerge from a point on the northeastern horizon. That point is near the constellation Perseus, from which these shooting stars get their name. The best place to look is outside the cities or towns, in places with little artificial light.
What are shooting stars?
Shooting stars are pieces of space debris that penetrate our atmosphere. The space debris is called a meteoroid, and once the debris leaves a trail of light, we call it a meteor. Every day a few meteoroids enter our atmosphere, but sometimes entire meteor showers pass the earth.
The meteor showers originate from comets. Comets constantly lose pieces of rock and ice under the influence of radiation from the sun. When this space dust enters our atmosphere, 100 kilometers above the earth’s surface, at high speed, the stone starts to glow. This is due to friction and the compression of the air ahead of the meteoroid.
The path of the shooting star is also electrically charged due to the high falling speed. This process is called ionization. When the difference in charge is eliminated, radiation is released, which we see as light. Meteoroids fly into our atmosphere at about 252,000 kilometers per hour. That is 315 times faster than a Boeing 747 flies.