Every 133 years, a significant portion of the ice completes its orbit around the sun.
As it passes, many grains of dust and small rocks dissolve. When Earth passes through the path of a comet once a year, dust grains burn up in our atmosphere.
Wow – you will see a shooting star.
This weekend, the Perseid meteor storm is at its peak.
– Tiny grains of dust weigh only a few grams, says Henning Hollen.
He is an editor at Astronomy magazine.
– I usually take a camping bed with me to lie on and look up at the sky. It’s important to find the darkest place possible – and you have the best chance of spotting shooting stars in the northeast of the sky.
Named after a Greek deity
The meteor storm is named the Perseids because it can look as if bright stars are emerging from the constellation Perseus – the son of Zeus in Greek mythology.
The comet itself that scatters stardust in its wake is called Swift-Tuttle, which is, as it should be, named after those who discovered it in the 19th century.
The last pass of the 26-kilometer-diameter glacier was in 1995. In other words, you have to be both young and tenacious to catch it the next time it leaves dust in our immediate area.
But – relax. It has passed many times in the past and left enough traces behind.
Equal opportunities across the country
About 20 shooting stars per hour that you can hope to see this weekend weather permitting.
Ron Skoglund is the meteorologist on duty in Tromsø. People who stumble home from the city overnight through Sunday are advised to look up—not just down the cobblestones.
– And on Monday night, it is not certain that there will be many people who have a lot to do. Then it’s okay to look up at the sky, he says.
The meteorologist adds that nowhere in the country does it look like it will be completely cloud-free this weekend.
– There is no better place than another. Looks like there will be quite a few clouds anyway. But of course you can get lucky, because it’s not exactly cloudy, says Skoglund.
But if you are going to look at the night sky, you should know that it takes about 15-20 minutes for your eyes to adjust.
– before you get what we call night vision. So don’t give up – at least whether it’s clear or a little zip.
The hopeful dream
The meteorologist explains that you can see the meteor storm in the northeast on Saturday night. On Sunday you’ll see it in the east, before it reaches its highest point in the sky early Monday morning.
Thus, the morning bird (or night angel) will be able to get good glimpses of shooting stars between the hours of 3 and 5.
And then, according to superstition, it is possible to wish for something. Henning Hollen knows what he wants.
– Since most comets are named after those who discover them, it must be my desire to find a new comet in the starry sky.
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