When you wish upon a star

Shooting Star

The  Perseid meteor shower will normally peaks around August 11. The mid-August new moon usually creates perfect conditions for watching the meteor shower.

The Perseid meteor shower can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere. Look between the radiant, which will be in the north-east part of the sky and the zenith (the point in sky directly above you). The stream of debris is called the Perseid cloud and stretches along the orbit of the comet Swift–Tuttle. The cloud consists of particles ejected by the comet as it travels on its 133-year orbit. Most of the particles have been part of the cloud for around a thousand years. However, there is also a relatively young filament of dust in the stream that was pulled off the comet in 1865, which can give an early mini-peak the day before the maximum shower.

Shooting Star

The best vantage points to see the shower in Malta are Dingli Cliffs or the remote parts of Mellieha, like l-Ahrax and further in from the Red Tower (between Ghadira Bay and the Gozo ferry terminal). Alternatively head out to sea on your boat.  The crucial factor is to keep well away from any light pollution.

Shooting Star

So turn off your mobile phones and your headlights,  grab a blanket and your most deeply desired wishes and head out to one of these vantage points over the next few nights.  You never know, when you wish upon a star your dreams really could come true.

Milky Way - Meteor shower

The Astronomical Society of Malta organises activities to view the Perseid meteor showers. So why not get in touch to find out more about this year’s gathering.


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