Meteor shower in the Netherlands: gaze at shooting stars
This week, the possibility of seeing shooting stars increases significantly, as we run up to the zenith of the annual Perseids meteor shower. The peak of this meteor shower will occur during the night of August 12 to 13.
Hundreds of shooting stars
In the days leading up to, and after, the peak of the meteor shower, many shooting stars will already be visible. The number of shooting stars will increase daily until August 12, when the meteor shower reaches its peak.
During the peak of the shower, around 40 to 60 shooting stars can be seen with the naked eye per hour, provided weather conditions are favourable. In areas where it is extremely dark, away from the light pollution of Dutch cities and towns, one may even be able to see around 100 shooting stars per hour.
This year, it is possible to see more shooting stars than last year. This is due to the new moon, which means that it will be extra dark on the night of the peak. It is unclear what the weather will be like during this night, but if the skies are clear stargazers will be in for a treat. The meteor shower can be seen until August 24, according to NASA.
Spot the meteor shower in the Netherlands
The peak of the meteor shower will be at around 3.30am on August 13. At this time, you will be able to see the most shooting stars. To get a good view, you should first lie down and then look to the northeast, the direction of the meteor shower.
It’s best to find a spot where there is little to no artificial light, as this makes viewing more difficult because city lights are stronger than faint shooting stars. Make sure you are comfortable too, as spotting shooting stars is a waiting game.
You don’t have to set an alarm to get up to see the stars, because from 10.30pm – long before the peak – there is also a very good chance of seeing the shower. Bear in mind that between 10pm and 11pm, the meteor shower can be seen by looking slightly more to the north, even though the direction of the meteor shower is still towards the northeast.
If you decide to go shooting star spotting, don’t forget to let your eyes adjust to the dark for about 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, don’t look at your smartphone. Also make sure you check the weather forecast to see whether the sky will be clear or not.