Tonight, people around the globe will be able to observe an unprecedented number of shooting stars – up to one hundred every hour. The Perseid meteor shower will be at its peak on August 13.
The annual August show performed by the Perseids is expected to be particularly spectacular this year and, at least in western Russia,: the weather is warm and the skies are clear. The full moon, however, will spoil the observation to a certain extent.
The meteor shower will be possible to observe for two to three days. It is recommended that those willing to enjoy the spectacle leave cities for areas with less ambient light. No special equipment is needed to see the meteors, though binoculars may make the show even more breathtaking.
The shower of meteors is formed by the comet Swift-Tuttle every time it approaches the sun. When the Earth passes through this stream of dust left by the comet in August, the small particles burn up in its atmosphere, leaving a bright track on the sky.
The comet Swift-Tuttle passes through the Solar System every 130-135 years, but it leaves behind particles in the Earth’s orbit. It is these particles that collide annually with our planet’s atmosphere. The comet made its last appearance in 1992.