Shooting stars over Alberta in Canada (image from 2021)
Photo: Alan Dyer / VWPics / IMAGO
August holds a fascinating spectacle in the night sky: the Perseid shooting stars. Some can already be observed. In order to see the swarm particularly well, onlookers should leave bright cities, according to the Association of Star Friends (VdS) in Heppenheim. "At the same time, you should have as unobstructed an all-round view as possible, for example on a hill," said astronomer and VdS spokeswoman Carolin Liefke.
The Perseids are a cloud of debris from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle that the Earth dives into every year as it orbits the Sun. According to astronomers, they seem to come from the constellation Perseus – that's why they are called Perseids. When the sky is clear, they are visible every year towards the end of the first half of August.
Around three o'clock in the morning, the observation conditions are currently at their best, according to the VdS. Perseids could also be observed in the evening, but then they would probably be much less. It is also important to pay attention to the weather conditions. These are at least currently in Germany rather mixed, as the German weather service (DWD) in Offenbach announced. On Tuesday and Wednesday, showers, thunderstorms and clouds are to be expected in the north, east and south. However, astronomers do not expect the maximum of the Perseids until Sunday morning.
According to the administration of the Rhön Biosphere Reserve, some municipalities in the border triangle of Hesse, Bavaria and Thuringia want to temporarily switch off part of the public street and building lighting in some localities during the night from Saturday to Sunday. According to a statement, the localities want to set an example for the fight against light pollution with the action. Stars and shooting stars are particularly easy to see in great darkness.