Falling shower: it will be possible to observe some in the coming nights

La queue de la comète C/2020 F3 en 2020


The tail of comet C / 2020 F3 in 2020
The falling stars will be visible to the naked eye. (© Leonid Tit / Adobestock)

It is a recurring phenomenon that can be observed with the naked eye. The nights of Wednesday 4 May to Thursday 5 May, then from Thursday 5 May to Friday 6 May 2022, swarms of about thirty fallingthe Eta Aquarids, will be at their peak in the sky around 3 p.m.

But what is the scientific phenomenon behind these star rains?


Meteor showers are associated with comets that regularly pass through the sky. “As they pass, they degrease the dust created by a pipe behind it, called torus. When the Earth meets this torus in its orbit around the sun, falling stars are produced. And depending on the geometry of the torus, the phenomenon can last for several days and nights and spread over a period of time, “explains Gilles Dawidowicz, General Secretary of the Astronomical Society of France.

This time it is Comet Haley who worries: “It only passes every 76 years close to Earth! That is why these falling stars are visible in the sky from April.

But a peak is noticeable right now, and it will be quite spectacular!

Gilles DawidowiczGeneral Secretary of the Astronomical Society of France

Indeed, the phenomenon can create quite persistent streaks, “which can turn blue, white or green. »

Once the peak is passed, the effect will fade and these stars will be less visible.

How to properly observe the falling stars?

Since they are visible to the naked eye, it is very easy to watch the show. “The good weather favors their visibility. Then, in order to observe them well, you need to stay as far away from the parasitic lights as possible: it is better to go in the countryin Mountainin the sea. “Light pollution in cities makes it difficult to see this dust in the sky,” notes Gilles Dawidowicz.

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To better locate the rain, it is necessary to look at the constellation of Aquarius.

It is very easy to find constellations with applications such as Google Sky and SkySafari.

Gilles Dawidowicz General Secretary of the Astronomical Society of France.

And to enjoy the show, you do not need a telescope: “just take a blanket, lie down on the grass and look at the sky,” smiles the expert.

Next meeting this summer

Next episodes in sight: the Perseids (known as the night of the falling stars). They will take place from July 14th to August 24th, culminating between August 11th and 12th. “This time about 100 meteors will be visible per hour! “, Rejoices Gilles Dawidowicz.

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