Tonight The Moon Made Us Appreciate The Perseid Fireworks

The summer sky in August for astrophysicists is the highlight: the shooting star fireworks of the Perseids.

really. Because this year’s problem: Around the same time as tonight’s maximum meteor shower is a big and bright supermoon in the sky. It beats out the cosmic tracer like a big spotlight.

As the nights are getting darker again in August and the time of eternal twilight is also coming to an end in northern Germany, there are really good conditions to see the shooting stars.

“However, the Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak shortly after midnight on 12/13 August,” Prof. Thomas W. Krupe, astrophysicist and director of Planetarium Hamburg, “Times could hardly be worse, because in the early morning hours of August 12 our satellite is in the sky as a full moon. And because it is near Earth, it is extra large and bright. ”

August Purnima is the last in a series of four Super Moons that began in May.

What is Super Moon?

Full moons that come closer to Earth are called super moons. In astronomy, the term perigee is used when the Moon is at its closest point in its orbit around our planet. While in July there was only ten hours between perigee and full moon, in August it is already about 32.5 hours.

“Yet, this full moon appears larger and brighter than usual. A full moon closer to Earth can be 17 percent larger than a distant one, ”Prof. Krupe explains. “To illustrate the difference, a two-euro coin can be compared to a one-euro coin. It can also be up to 30 percent brighter from afar – extremely unfavorable for viewing shooting stars. ”

Those who are interested play in the card that the apparent radiation point and name of the Perseids are in the constellation Perseus. It is higher in the sky only after midnight, so that’s when most shooting stars are visible.

What are Perseids?

“The Perseids are burning particles from the Swift-Tuttle comet, whose ‘crossroads of dust particles’ cross Earth every August,” Prof. Krupp says. “They crash into Earth’s atmosphere and burn up 70 to 100 kilometers above our heads to form the cosmic paths we know as shooting stars.” (Rob, Constellation Hamburg)


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