Meteor showers are one of the most attractive astronomical phenomena that can be followed without the need for advanced equipment. Those who live in the Northern Hemisphere will have a unique opportunity during August, provided they know how and when to see the Perseid rain.
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Although the Perseid rain will last between July 17 and August 24, 2021, its greatest intensity will be recorded between August 11 and 13, according to NASA estimates.
Also known as tears of Saint Lawrence, the phenomenon gets its name because most meteorites appear near the constellation Perseus.
Rain occurs when fragments of dust, ice, and rocks left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, as it passes close to the Sun, fall on Earth, disintegrating when they come into contact with the atmosphere.
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere and you have the possibility of going to a place without light pollution, you will be able to observe up to 40 stars per hour.
But how to find them? Since the rain appears near the constellation Perseus, the first thing to do is locate them in the night sky. According to NASA, the most appropriate time is August 11 starting at 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. ET).
If you are not a specialist, it is best to support yourself in applications such as SkySafari (ios Y Android) or SkyWalk 2 (ios Y Android), which offer tools with which you can locate the constellation in a few minutes.
When you have identified Perseus, you just have to be patient and wait. It may take several minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness and begin to identify the stars.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you will also be able to see the phenomenon although not with the same intensity. But those who live under latitude 30 south (south of Brazil, and south-central Argentina and Chile), with difficulty will be able to see a star if they do not have specialized equipment.
For those who do not have the possibility to follow the phenomenon outdoors, NASA will broadcast the event from 11:00 pm ET on August 11 until 4:00 am ET on August 12. (8:00 pm PT to 1:00 am PT) through Youtube, Facebook Y Twitter. If it is cloudy, the experience will be repeated between the night of the 12th and the early morning of the 13th, at the same times.
The event will be spearheaded by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center’s Office of the Meteorite Environment, which tracks meteorites, fireballs, and other phenomena in the sky to inform space missions and the general public.