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Night of the Perseids: a rain of shooting stars to observe this night

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Night of the Perseids: a rain of shooting stars to observe this night

On the night of this Friday to Saturday, thousands of shooting stars will enter the atmosphere. A spectacle visible to the naked eye, provided you follow a few rules.

A rain of shooting stars in the sky to observe. From Friday to Saturday, it is the night of Perseids, where millions of shooting stars will cross our celestial vault. This phenomenon, which happens every year, runs from July 17 until August 24, but it is this night that the show will be at its peak.

This myriad of stars comes from the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes close to Earth every 133 years. Dust is detached from it during its course in our galaxy.

And it is then these small pieces which enter the atmosphere at a speed of 58 km/s and which decompose, forming bright colors such as red, blue or green.

A Super-Moon at the same time

This year, specialists predict between 50 to 60 visible stars per hour. Usually, during peak activity, up to 100 stars can be seen per hour. But tonight, the Full Moon will shine for its last Super-Moon night of the year and may eclipse the sight of some stars.

“We will have to be content with the brightest, reduced to ten per hour at most”, explains Futura science.

But don’t worry, the stars will be there, let Gilles Dawidowicz, vice-president of the astronomical society of France, tell our colleagues at actu.fr.

“The moon could possibly be problematic, but it won’t stay in the field of vision all night. If it ever causes too much light, don’t hesitate to position yourself so that it is hidden behind a tree , for example,” he said.

No telescope needed

To make the most of this celestial spectacle, it is advisable to observe the sky in the second part of the evening, from 1 am. No need for telescopes, the stars are visible to the naked eye. NASA even advises against its use because of the very limited field of vision that the instrument offers.

The city of space advises to “get away from urbanized areas and light pollution generated by lighting”, she writes on her site. The French association of astronomy lists in an interactive map with the best observation points in France during this starry night.

To see the most stars, you have to look northeast, towards the constellation of Perseus, where the most debris crosses the Earth’s atmosphere.

The city of space recommends above all to move away from the light sources of mobile phones. “This will make your pupils constrict due to the brightness of the screen and you will then miss some Perseids, it takes about 15 minutes to regain its night vision”, explains one on its website.

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