Mitzpeh Ramon, the highest point in the Negev and pollution-free, will be one of the most popular sites Sunday night for viewing the annual Perseid meteor shower, which this year is billed as one of the most spectacular ever.
The Annual August show occurs when planet Earth crosses the path of the Swift–Tuttle comet. Ice and dust traveling at around 130,000 miles per hour burn up as they enters Earth’s atmosphere, leaving blazing tails in the dark skies at night.
Hostels are providing guided tours along the Ramon Crater to view the shower, and tours also are available at Timna Park, north of Eilat.
The light show is supposed to better than ever this year because the moon is in its beginning phase, whereas next year it will be more than half-full when the showers occur.
Telescopes will be available for use at Mitzpeh Ramon, but the Perseid show can be seen with the naked eye. The best was to get a look at the showers is to lay flat on the back and keep the eyes wide open. No catnapping allowed.
The most intense showers are just before dawn.
The meteors appear to originate from a section of the sky located near the constellation Perseus. The size of the shooting stars ranges from that of a grain of sand to the size of a marble.
The Swift-Tuttle debris came closest to slamming into Earth in 1992 and a near-miss is calculated to occur more than 900 years into the future in 3044, when Earth will be “only” 1 million miles away.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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