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The Ministry of Science and the Space Agency will hold events on the occasion of the Perseid shower on Sunday

The main focal point will be a mass viewing for the public free of charge in the city of Mitzpe Ramon, which will be darkened for the occasion

Meteor shower in the small crater (photo: Meschit Golan)
Meteor shower in the small crater (photo: Meschit Golan)

Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science It is reported that on the night between Sunday and Monday - August 12 and 13 - the richest meteor shower of the year - the Perseids - will reach its peak. On the occasion of this special party in the sky, the Israel Space Agency is holding a free mass observation at Mitzpe Ramon, which will be completely dark for the occasion. It should be noted that this year the rain falls on the days when the moon is at birth and is almost not in the sky and will not interfere with the observations.


"Meteor meteors originate from dust remnants left behind by comets in their orbit around the sun," explains the director of the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science Abby Blasberger. "When meteorites, the small bodies in the solar system, are captured by the Earth's gravity and enter the atmosphere, they ignite and become what we call a falling star or by its scientific name - a meteor. Because the Earth's orbit around the Sun combines with remnants left behind by comets, we occasionally get to watch a whole shower of meteors, because a relatively large number of particles are captured by the Earth's gravity and ignite as they fall through the atmosphere."


The meteor shower predicted at the beginning of next week is called the Perseid shower. This time the producer of the show is the periodic comet "Swift-Tuttle", which orbits the sun once every 133 years, and its size reaches 26 kilometers, considerably larger than typical comets. This meteor shower is called the Perseids because the meteors come from the direction of the constellation Perseus. Once a year, when the Earth passes in the wake of the comet's remains, the meteors ignite in the atmosphere at a speed of 59 km per second and create a spectacular celestial show. The average rate of the Perseids has decreased in recent years and at its peak, it hovers around 100 meteors per hour. Another phenomenon that characterizes the Perseid shower is the frequent flashing of "fireballs" - extremely bright meteors - that are seen when a relatively large body disintegrates in the atmosphere.


The Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science explains that there is no need for binoculars or telescopes to watch the meteor shower, and it is preferable to lie on your back and look towards the northeast. The moon will be right after birth and will set immediately after sunset, so its light will not interfere with viewing the meter. In order to see the meter, you need to be in a dark, non-urban place. In places where 'light pollution' is high, the chance of witnessing "falling stars" is low, so you need a dark environment to see the meteor well. At Mitzpe Ramon, which has been declared an international starlight reserve, the optimal conditions exist for viewing the stars and the meteor shower.


Note that in the early evening the rate of meteors will be low, and it will increase steadily during the night. It will peak around 23:00 PM and last until the morning hours, when the Perseus constellation will be high in the sky.


At the "Meter Parasides 2018" events in collaboration with the Israel Space Agency at the Ministry of Science, Negev Mountain Tourism and the Mitzpe Ramon local council, the public is invited to observe dozens of telescopes, lectures and explanations from senior lecturers in the field, activities for children and more free of charge. The activities will take place on the night between August 12 and 13, starting at 19:30 p.m. and into the night, in Mitzpe Ramon and other locations in Makhtes Ramon. For the purpose of the event, some of the lighted areas in the Mitzpe Ramon area will be darkened starting at 22:00 for optimal observation. Overnight stay will be possible in the regulated parking lots.

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