A Shooting Star for Every Wish

If you have a wish, then the weekend is a good time to make your dreams come true. The only thing you have to do is wait for the night to fall, go outside, lay on your back, and look up to the sky and wait until you see a shooting star.

My son observes the night sky and the Milky Way at Grenchenberg, Switzerland August 10, 2012.

The night skies in the first half of August brings hundreds and thousands of shooting stars. Planet Earth crosses the dust trail of comet Swift-Tuttle, and the particles race into the atmosphere making the air glow. The maximum number of shooting stars appears around August 12.

The night sky with the Milky Way and a Perseids shooting star are pictured in Switzerland August 10, 2012. When planet earth crosses the dust trail of comet Swift-Tuttle around August 12, hundreds and thousands of shooting stars appear on the night sky. The shooting stars or meteors are visible paths of small particles racing into the earth’s atmosphere making the air glow. These meteor showers are called Perseids because they appear to come from the constellation Perseus. The Perseids have been observed for two thousand years. They are also called the Tears of St. Lawrence, since August 10 is the date of that saint’s martyrdom.

The shooting stars or meteors are visible paths of meteorids. Meteorids are small particles, most have the size of a pebble. The meteor’s height is about 75 kilometers. They move very fast, much faster than aircrafts or satellites. The particles in the meteor cloud seen today are around a thousand years old.

These meteor showers are called Perseids because they appear to come from the constellation Perseus. The Perseids have been observed for two thousand years.

So make your wish, and hope for the best. Good luck!

Night sky in Switzerland August 10, 2012. The trees in the foreground are illuminated by light painting with a colored flashlight.
Night sky with Milky Way, Switzerland August 10, 2012. The trees have been lightpainted with a coloured flashlight for the exposure.

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