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‘The probability of seeing a falling star is great’: How to watch Thursday night’s meteor shower in Switzerland

‘The probability of seeing a falling star is great’: How to watch Thursday night's meteor shower in Switzerland
Photo by Neil Rosenstech on Unsplash
Thursday night’s Perseid meteor shower is expected to be the best in years due to favourable conditions. Here’s how you can catch it.

Meteorologists are predicting clear skies tonight, Thursday, August 12th, allowing people across Switzerland to watch the Perseid meteor shower.

This phenomenon occurs when the Earth crosses the path of the debris left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet. 

This event occurs annually between, approximately, July 20th and August 25th, with a peak in intensity between August 11th and 15th. 

The most active night this year is August 12th to 13th.

Experts estimate that tonight around 110 shooting stars could be seen per hour, with two peaks at 10 pm and 3:37 am.

‘Cosmic dust’

The light show is a consequence of “cosmic dust”, not falling or shooting stars. 

Although it might sound like a bad Jamiroquai album or something you might be offered by a man wearing an unbuttoned shirt in a nightclub, “cosmic dust” is actually a scientific term.

“You can think of it as a collision between the earth and the cosmic dust trail,” explains Martin Jäger, from the Mirasteilas Observatory. 

Jäger told Südostschweiz “the swarm is interstellar ‘dirt’”

“You can think of it as a collision between the earth and the cosmic dust trail.”

“That is what stargazers from Earth ultimately perceive as a shooting star,” says Jäger.

How can I catch the meteor shower? 

For best visibility, choose a dark, unlit place and look towards the northeast and Perseus constellation.

Experts suggest you get out there early so as to make sure your eyes adjust to the light. 

If you need help, there are various sky map applications to download to your smartphone.

For a detailed explanation of how to best see the show, check out the following link. 

READ MORE: Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Switzerland

Markus Griesser, head of the Eschenberg observatory in Winterthur ZH, told Swiss tabloid Blick said you will be “able to see the falling stars from everywhere”. 

Griesser said the weather was important, as was proximity to the cities. 

“The probability that you will see a falling star is great,” says Griesser. But the weather also has to take part. “A cloudless view of the sky is ideal.”

“In cities, the shooting stars are often difficult to see because of the many artificial lights.”


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