This weekend is the 30th edition of the Nuits des étoiles. The event allows you to admire the comets that cross our sky every summer. Here’s everything you need to know to enjoy the show.
Since 1991, the French Astronomical Association (AFA) organizes the Nuits des étoiles every summer. Events throughout France allow the curious to observe the shooting stars. Thanks to mild temperatures and clear skies, summer is the perfect time to learn astronomy.
The 30th Night of the Stars takes place on the weekend of August 6, 7 and 8; the opportunity to observe the sky and its many shooting stars in midsummer #AFP #AFPgraphics #videography pic.twitter.com/vZ8ak2rscO
– Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) August 5, 2021
From late July to mid-August, our planet passes through a swarm of dust left in its path by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The debris that meets our atmosphere burns away and forms shooting stars. These are called “Perseids” because they seem to come out of the constellation of Perseus.
The peak of this “rain” is expected to occur on the night of August 10-11. The night of the stars takes place a few days before because the observation conditions will be more favorable. The Moon will be particularly inconspicuous this weekend, so its light will not interfere with observations.
In addition to shooting stars, it will also be possible to observe the planet Venus but especially Jupiter and Saturn. Once the sun sets, they can be seen soaring into the sky, turning to the east. The most equipped enthusiasts will even be able to detect the rings of Saturn.
About 200 events organized by astronomy clubs are planned in France. To find the one closest to home, Map It was made available by the French Astronomical Association.
It is also possible to admire the shooting stars from its side, with the naked eye. To do this, you have to stand in a place where the horizon is clear, away from any light pollution and look to the northeast. All that remains is to arm yourself with patience. On the AFA website, a guide allows you to follow the celestial phenomena hour by hour.