The brightest summer shooting stars: time to watch the Perseid meteor shower

The brightest summer shooting stars: time to watch the Perseid meteor shower
Watch meteor shower in the Moscow sky overnight into 13 August. People have been watching the Perseids for about two thousand years. The first mention of this phenomenon can be found in the year 36 AD.

Overnight into 13 August, you will be able to observe the Perseid meteor shower in the Moscow sky. This starfall is one of the three most spectacular space phenomena along with the April Lyrids and December Geminids. In a cloudless sky Perseids will be visible to the naked eye.

"Perseids look like white luminous streams seeming to 'draw' the night sky. Their glow time usually lasts a few seconds. Watch meteor shower peak from 11:00 pm to 00:00 am. It is expected that this year we will see up to 100 meteors per hour," said the Press Service of the Moscow Planetarium.

They added that only cloudy weather and a waxing moon may hinder observation of the starry rain.

Meteors appear when particles of cosmic dust burn while entering the atmosphere. Streams of celestial bodies are usually associated with the Earth’s passage through the dust scarves remaining after comets.

People have been watching the Perseids for about two thousand years. Previously, they were mistaken for shooting stars. The first mention of them occurred in 36 AD, but it is officially believed that the annual meteor shower was discovered by the Belgian mathematician, astronomer and meteorologist Adolphe Quetelet. He reported it in August 1835.

The Perseids owe their name to Perseus constellation. Visually, the star shower origins at its level. Meteors appear when the Earth passes through a scarf of dust particles released by Swift — Tuttle comet. The phenomenon was discovered independently by two American astronomers — Lewis Swift (on 16 July 1862) and Horace Parnell Tuttle (on 19 July 1862). The comet approaches the Earth every 135 years. This celestial body is to approach the planet once again in 2126.

Learn more about space using mobile app launched this year by the Moscow Planetarium. Download it in Russian and English in Android stores and iOS. Moreover, Planetarium launched the 'Lecture on the Rooftop' project for astronomy fans. Until 12 September, popular science lectures on the origin of the Universe, black holes, modern super-powerful telescopes and much more will be held in the Sky Park (rooftop venue). Project’s launch is timed to the Moscow Planetarium's anniversary. On 5 November, Moscow Observatory will celebrate its 90th anniversary.