Night of Shooting Stars

Night of Shooting Stars

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In August, a special natural spectacle can be observed in Berlin (and all over the world).

  • Sternenhimmel© dpa
  • Sternschnuppe am Himmel© dpa
When the Earth grazes the orbit of comet Swift-Tuttle, the meteor shower of the Perseids and with it thousands of shooting stars rain down from the firmament. During this event, up to 100 shooting stars per hour can be seen in the sky.

When Is the Best Time to Watch Shooting Stars?

According to astronomers, the best observation time for the meteors is between 2 and 4 o'clock at night. Bright objects can also be observed in brighter areas, although darker places are still preferred. For the real shooting star pleasure only one thing is missing: a clear, cloudless night sky.

Get Out into the Open to Observe Shooting Stars

Dr. Monika Staesche, scientific director of the Planetarium am Insulaner and the Wilhelm Foerster Observatory, advises Berliners to take a trip to the Berlin countryside on Friday night. "Shooting stars are best observed with the naked eye in places with a free horizon view far away from the light of the city, for example in the star park in Gülpe or everywhere where free fields offer a large field of vision." Gülpe in the Westhavelland Nature Park is considered the darkest place in Germany.

Information Events at Berlin's Planetariums and Observatories

The natural spectacle is also a major event in the Berlin planetariums year after year, which informs and entertains the interested public with exciting lectures and special events. This year, the Long Night of Astronomy will take place on 13 August, just one day after the peak of the Perseids, at Tempelhofer Feld.

Why Do We Wish upon a Shooting Star?

It is an ancient superstition: Whoever sees a shooting star may make a wish. But be careful: the wish must remain unspoken under all circumstances, otherwise it will not come true. Some stories go even further, stating that the wish must be thought through to the end of the glow, so that it comes true. The origin of this belief is unknown. What all theories have in common is that people hoped for supernatural assistance at the sight of the rare and divine-looking ray of light

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Last edited: 5 September 2022