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Perseids meteor shower to light up the night skies: Here’s how to see it

CM 11/08/2021 1

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The Perseids meteor shower is expected to light up the night sky on Thursday night, with the nearly new moon making viewing conditions ideal this year due to the relative lack of moonlight.
The meteors in the Perseids shower tend to be bright so skywatchers may be able to spot up to 60 meteors per hour, if not more. Be aware, however, that meteor showers are sporadic, so you may only see one or two every few minutes and there may be larger gaps of time between meteors. The name of the game with meteor showers is patience.
The Perseids have their source in dust and debris from the Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was last in Earth’s orbital path in 1992.
Going out to see the shower before midnight is recommended for spotting “earthgrazers,” colorful meteors that travel slowly across the sky while leaving a long trail, according to EarthSky. To spot the largest number of meteors, watch after midnight.

The Perseids are known for “fireballs,” which are brighter and more colorful and last longer than average meteor streaks.
To lessen the impact of the moon’s light, place a large structure or natural object between yourself and the moon.
As with any meteor shower, the most favorable conditions for viewing require the darkest skies possible. For this reason, it’s always best to be distant from cities and sources of light when viewing one, because light pollution makes it difficult to spot meteors.
The Negev is often a good place to see the shower, with the area around Mitzpe Ramon being a favorite for many as there is little light pollution in the area. Last year, tens of thousands of Israelis crowded the area to view the shower so be prepared for traffic.
A number of viewing events will be held throughout Israel on Thursday, including at a number of national parks and local observatories. Most of the events are already sold out.
The Shirat Hakohavim Observatory in Yeruham recommends a number of locations in the Yeruham area, including the Yeruham Lake, the Colorful Sands Park, the Nahal Yamin parking lot and the Nahal Akrabim Campground.
Remember, the desert can get cold at night so make sure to bring blankets and warm clothes.
The meteors come from the direction of the constellation of Perseus which sits in the northeastern sky, but don’t just look at the constellation when searching for shooting stars as they could appear at any point in the night sky. It’s best to lie on your back in order to see as much of the sky as possible in order to catch the most meteors.
Stand with the moon behind you for the best viewing experience. It’s best to avoid checking your phone while star gazing as the light messes with your ability to see the shooting stars.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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