Muscovites will be able to watch a brilliant meteor shower at the end of next week. The peak of the meteor shower of the Perseus constellation is expected to take place on the night of 13 August.
Typically, the number of falling meteorites is about 100 per hour, but according to the International Meteor Organisation, their number could be as high as 150 per hour this year.
“No astronomical devices are needed to observe the meteor shower, so anyone will be able to enjoy the starry summer night. Perseids are white meteors sharply streaking across the sky. The glow of the brightest ones lasts a few seconds,” reports the Moscow Planetarium.
The Perseid Meteor Shower has been known to mankind for nearly 2,000 years. The first references go back to 36 AD, but officially it is believed that the discoverer of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower is Belgian mathematician, astronomer and meteorologist Adolph Quetelet, who reported on this phenomenon in August 1835.
The word “Perseids” is derived from the name of the Perseus constellation, from which these shooting stars fly if you watch closely. Meteors are caused by the Earth’s passage through the plume of dust particles released by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet completes its orbit every 133 years, and when approaching the sun closely, it melts increasing the number of particles in its tail.
The number of flaming meteors was first counted in 1839. The maximum number then was 160 per hour.