2018 Perseids meteor shower to peak over Bulgaria on August 11 and 12

The nights of August 11 and 12 will see the peak displays of the 2018 Perseids meteor shower over the skies of Bulgaria.

The Perseids, which peak annually during mid-August, are considered the best meteor shower of the year. Given the summer season, the optimum viewing opportunities are in the northern hemisphere.

With very fast and bright meteors, Perseids frequently leave long “wakes” of light and colour behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers (50-100 meteors seen per hour) and occur with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view them, Nasa said in an explanation of the phenomenon.

Perseids are also known for their fireballs. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and colour that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with apparent magnitudes greater than -3.

The Perseids have been observed for at least two millennia and are made up of bits of dust and ice trailing the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years, according to Nasa. Their name derives from the fact that they appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus.

For the nights of August 11 and 12, the weather forecast is for clear skies over Bulgaria’s Black Sea cities of Varna and Bourgas, though the viewing enjoyment would be higher at other places along the coast with fewer lights. Capital Sofia and Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv are also set for clear skies, weather forecasters said.

(Photo: Fred Bruenjes via nasa.gov)



The Sofia Globe staff

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