Tech UPTechnologyThe Perseid Meteor Shower 2018

The Perseid Meteor Shower 2018

This year, 2018, it will be especially interesting to observe the Perseids, also known as the Tears of San Lorenzo because of their proximity to the date in the saints (August 10, San Lorenzo). This shower of stars receives its name – as it is known in astronomy – for having its radiant in the constellation of Perseus , that is, the point from which the meteors seem to start.

You will be able to contemplate the Perseids from July 12 to August 23, but the busiest days will be the early mornings of August 10, 11 and 12, and the most intense night par excellence, that of August 12-13.

Attention! If that night you cannot go to a place away from the city lights to enjoy the starry sky, you will be able to watch the event live from our social networks.

Broadcast made by with the collaboration of the Extremadura Buenas Noches project. “


According to astronomers, about 60-70 meteors per hour are expected, but it is possible that at some times of the night, we can see between 150 and 200 meteors per hour.


Will the Moon be an obstacle this year?


We are in luck, because the moon of the previous day will be new, so the night will be dark and ideal to contemplate an astronomical phenomenon of this caliber; one of the most anticipated of the year. Clear skies are expected , so it looks like we will have excellent conditions for the Perseids (something that doesn’t happen every year).


If we had less than ideal conditions such as a lot of light pollution, cloudiness, the presence of the Moon – this is not the case – or a low radiant height, we would see fewer meteors.


Remember that to see the meteor shower you do not need to use any device : you will be able to contemplate them and marvel with your own eyes. Of course, make sure you stay away from the houses / buildings to avoid light pollution and be able to enjoy the starry night surrounded by wild nature, for example. Don’t forget to bring warm clothes , as it can get quite cool at night.


Where does this meteor shower come from?


The Perseid meteors come from Comet 190P / Swift Tuttle – 26 kilometers in diameter – which every 133 years completes a journey through the inner solar system, leaving behind a trail of dust and sand. When the Earth passes through the debris zone, the comet particles – Swift Tuttle in this case – are pulled by our gravity and hit the planet’s atmosphere, disintegrating and leaving bright flashes of light that can cross the sky to a speed of between 56 and 72 km / s.


From where can I see them?

They can be seen all over the sky . It is best to look to the northwest at the beginning of the night, covering as much of the sky as possible so as not to miss any of the spectacle. The ideal? Contemplate them from 22:00 hours, until the next day at 10:00 am peninsular time. In fact, the National Geological Institute of the Ministry of Public Works recommends directing our gaze towards the darkest areas, in the opposite direction to the position of the Moon if we begin the observation before its sunset.

Fun facts

Comet Swift Tuttle last passed the Sun in 1992. Its next approach will take place in 2125 .

The earliest record of this shower dates back to AD 3 6 in China, when Chinese astronomers observed high rainfall activity and recorded the data for future generations.

Observation guide of the Society of Meteor and Comet Observers of Spain / (SOMYCE).

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