Perseid meteor shower visible tonight 

The Perseid meteor shower, named after the constellation Perseus, from which it apparently derives, will reach its peak tonight. The best place to be observed is far from the artificial light of the cities. The “Admiral Vasile Urseanu” Astronomical Observatory indicates in which part of the sky we must look to see the Perseids.

The best time to observe is after midnight to morning. Any meteor whose reverse trajectory reaches the constellation Cassiopeia (between Cassiopeia and Perseus) is a “Perseid.” Fortunately, this year the Moon will be in a small phase and will set at 11 pm, leaving a dark sky for better meteor observation, according to the Vasile Urseanu Observatory.

During the period of maximum Perseid activity, this year, the Earth will pass close to a path of stellar dust associated with comet C / 1852 K1, according to the meteor shower schedule set for 2021 by the International Meteor Organization (IMO), which can lead to an increase in the “meteor shower”. C / 1852 K1 (Chacornac) is a non-periodic comet discovered on May 15, 1852 by French astronomer Jean Chacornac, considered to be the current source of Eta Eridanids meteors.

The phenomenon of the “falling star” is very well known. The light trail in the sky is left by a particle less than 1 mm in diameter that burns in the Earth’s atmosphere when rubbed with air. For a fraction of a second we see this phenomenon, called by astronomers meteor (falling star), produced by the particle of cosmic dust that burns in the atmosphere. The rock that falls on Earth is called a meteorite, according to

The activity of the Perseids began, as every year, on July 17 and will end on August 24. During the maximum period, on a clear sky, 100 meteors can be observed in an hour, according to NASA. The Earth constantly encounters a cloud of dust and stones released by Comet Swift-Tuttle, at the same point in the orbit of our planet, ie at the same time of year, July-August.

The collision speed between the comet’s particles and the Earth’s atmosphere reaches even 59 km / s. Even though the particles of the cloud are rarely larger than a pea, the very high speed with which they move gives these tiny projectiles an amazing energy. Friction with the air slows them down, they heat up and ionize a long tail of air in their path. “Meteor Shower” has its radiant in the constellation Perseus, hence its name.

The constellation Perseus (Latin Perseus) is a constellation in the northern hemisphere crossed by the Milky Way, according to It is rich in stars, including the double star Algol. This is the first variable star discovered, it was also observed by the Arabs. To get a better view of the Perseids, we need to look at the sky between the cardinal points North and Northeast, to the right of the well-known constellation Ursa Major (newer generation phones also have a compass installed, which makes it easier to find the cardinal points).

The meteor shower of the Perseids is the best known, by the world population, of all the major currents over the year, both due to the fact that it has shown a regular activity over time (being observed for at least 2000 years), and and for the simple reason that its long period of activity offers ideal conditions for observation for those in the northern hemisphere.

It is one of the most dynamic meteor currents, due to the transition, in 1992, of the parent comet, Swift-Tuttle, to the perihelion – the point closest to the Sun – on which occasion there was an intensification of activity. The frequency of meteors was 400 per hour in 1991 and 1992, then dropped to about 100 per hour in 1999.

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