Perseids: Rain of Shooting Stars

This Saturday, August 7, 2021, the Fuss de Nature Association was to organize an astronomy evening to mark the night of the stars. The planned appointment at the parking lot of Pepinier’s arena in La Fleche (Sarthe) has finally been canceled due to the weather.

What are Star Nights?

Since 1991, the French Astronomical Association (AFA) has organized the Nuits des étoiles every summer. Events across France allow the curious to see the shooting stars. Thanks to mild temperatures and clear skies, summer is the perfect time to learn about astronomy.

What is the schedule of Stars Night 2021?

Each year, the AFA welcomes everyone free of charge to suitable locations for viewing the sky and the stars, that is, away from the lights. on your glasses!

  • In Le Bourget, near Paris, the Air and Space Museum offers viewing of the stars through astronomical glasses from binoculars or from the tarmac and attending screenings and events. August 7 from 6 pm to 1:30 pm.
  • On the Ruis peninsula in Sarjue in Morbihan, Brittany, the Ruys Astronomy Club offers free sky observation from the picnic area in the parking lot of Sascinio Beach, while participating in a guided walk among the constellations, Jupiter and its 4 main satellites . , Shani with his rings. Telescopes are available. August 7 from 9:30 pm to 2 pm.
  • Near Lyon in Vaulx-en-Velin, the CALA (Club d’Astronomie de Lyon Ampre) offers to spend a contemplative evening of sky with binoculars and glasses at François Mitterrand Park, hosted by amateur astronomers. Organization. August 7 from 8 pm to 11:59 pm.
  • In Sete, the Association Setois d’Astronomie dans le Pay de Thou offers an evening to observe the stars in the Parque des Pierres Blanches, Mont Saint-Clair. August 7 from 9:30 pm to 1 pm. More information on 06 42 71 22 81 or by email: [email protected]
  • At the Bau Radon Municipal Stadium in Roquefort-la-Bédoul, not far from Marseille, “whisper readings” are offered while looking up at the sky. August 7 from 9 pm to 11 pm. Get more knowledge.
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What can we see in the sky?

From late July to mid-August, our planet passes through a swarm of dust left on its way by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The debris from our atmosphere gets incinerated and forms shooting stars. These are called “Perseids” because they seem to have descended from the constellation Perseus.

The peak of this “rain” is expected on the night of August 10-11. The night of the stars occurs a few days earlier as the observation conditions would be more favorable. The Moon will be particularly wispy later this week, so its light won’t interfere with observations.

In addition to shooting the stars, it will also be possible to observe the planet Venus, especially Jupiter and Saturn. Once the sun goes down, they can be seen rising in the sky, turning to the east. Even the most equipped enthusiasts will be able to explore the rings of Saturn.

A constellation that is visible only in summer

The ringed planet is closest to us this summer. “From one year to the next, we will not find the planets in the same place”, explains Philipp Götberg, a member of this association of sky enthusiasts. “Some that are very far away will take time to move, for example Saturn or Jupiter. We will find them in roughly the same place next year, but on the other hand, very close planets like Venus or Mars will move away very quickly.” The Summer Triangle is a constellation that is visible only in this season. A rain of shooting stars should be visible in the sky next Friday.

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About 200 events are planned in France organized by astronomy clubs. A map is provided by the French Astronomical Association to locate the closest to the house.

It is also possible to admire the shooting stars from your side with the naked eye. To do this, you need to position yourself where the horizon is clear, away from any light pollution, and look to the northeast. All that is left is to arm oneself with patience. On the AFA website, a guide allows you to follow celestial events hour by hour.

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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