The night sky provides all types of beauty to those who observe it. The moon and stars never fail to enchant, but another phenomenon goes further: it is an omen of good luck. They are the shooting stars. Who has never made a wish after seeing a trail of light cross the sky on a starry night?
Shooting stars, unlike what their name suggests, are fragments left by comets or asteroids. When detached from the celestial bodies, these small fragments - called meteors - enter the Earth’s atmosphere and ignite, generating the luminosity that then becomes visible to us. It is not difficult to see a shooting star when you have the chance to spend a good time looking at the sky, but there are some ways to facilitate this experience.
First, it is possible to find out when meteor showers will occur . These are the times when it is easier to see shooting stars crossing the sky. Due to the known orbit of several comets, astronomers can predict when the debris left by them will enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomy clubs often post the meteor shower season on the internet, how much debris they are likely to bring, in addition to the day when they will be more intense and therefore more shooting stars will be visible.
When and where does the meteor showers usually appear?
Meteor showers usually appear in certain areas of the sky, which is why they take names inspired by the constellations they are close to. So, if you already know the date when you are likely to see shooting stars, just find out which part of the sky you should be looking at . Nowadays, smartphone apps identify a constellation easily. Just equip your phone with one and point it at the sky to get to know the stars better and find out where your meteor shower will be.
An essential factor in observing a shooting star is good lighting . That is, the less light pollution the better. In the city, the stars are sparse, shooting stars are an almost impossible sight. Anyone who wants to see a meteor shower clearly should look for the countryside, or some isolated place, with little artificial lighting where the sky is spectacularly covered with stars. There it will be the ideal place to see the passing star.
And lastly, have fun! The occurrence of shooting stars is not an exact science, they can take hours to pass and come in the most varied amounts. Maybe just one or two. So you can’t be impatient to want to see one right away and leave. The moment of observation must be pleasant so that the wait does not become tedious and worthwhile. Good company, soundtrack, maybe even a bonfire and an evening picnic are perfect to accompany a night of stars and a glimpse of good luck.