The Perseid meteor shower, from Madeira and Roque de los Muchachos, will be broadcast live

The maximum activity of the shower of shooting stars will occur on the night of August 12-13

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Whoever wants it can enjoy the
Perseid meteor shower from Pico do Arieiro (Madeira, Portugal) and from the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma), without the need to travel to these places. And is that the channel will broadcast this magical phenomenon live on the night of Friday the 12th to Saturday the 13th of August, with the aim of making the population aware of the problem of
Light pollution.

The broadcast is possible thanks to the collaboration of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) with the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), under the Interreg EELabs and LIFE [email protected] projects.

The truth is
this type of pollution affects 10% of the continental surface, a percentage that amounts to 23%, if the SkyGlow (brightness of the sky) produced by the emission of artificial light into the atmosphere is taken into account. This one has different
consequences on biodiversity, human health and astronomy.

Faced with this scenario, different regions have armed themselves to reverse this situation. One of them is Macaronesia, in which institutions from different fields have come together in various projects to fight against this type of air pollution, quantifying the levels of light pollution in those areas where it should not have reached and taking measures to stop its progress. .

Why can the Perseids be observed on these dates?

The Earth crosses, every year around this time, the cloud of dust and rocks that the
Swift–Tuttle Comet it has left in each of its orbits around the Sun. That is why at night, from mid-July to the end of August, the activity of the Perseids, known as 'Tears of Saint Lawrence', can be observed.

File image of the Perseid meteor shower. /


This year, its maximum is expected at 1:00 a.m. on August 13. According to the calculations of the standard models, the activity of the Perseids is around 100 meteors/hour (ZHR or zenith hourly rates) although, this year, the full Moon will make it difficult to observe throughout the night.

“This year, the full moon will make it difficult to see the faintest meteors. For this reason the frequency of Perseids will be lower - about one every 15 minutes - and we will only observe the brightest ones, which will continue to be impressive. As in previous years, it is necessary to find a place away from urban centers,
fix your eyes on a point in the sky and wait patiently to be able to see some of the luminous traces of the Perseids”, comments Serra-Ricart, astronomer at the IAC and coordinator of the EELabs project.

What do we call 'shooting stars'?

What are known as 'shooting stars' are actually tiny dust particles, some smaller than grains of sand, that break off from comets or asteroids as they orbit the Sun.

The resulting cloud of particles (meteoroids), given the melting produced by solar heat, is dispersed by the comet's orbit and
is crossed by the Earth in its annual journey around the Sun. During this encounter, the dust particles disintegrate as they enter the Earth's atmosphere at high speed, creating the well-known luminous streaks that receive the scientific name of meteors.

Perseid Phenomena in Viazynka (Belarus). /


The Perseids get their name from the constellation of Perseus, where their radiant is located (the point in the sky from which they seem to be born), but they have their origin in the
Swift–Tuttle Cometwhich was discovered in 1862, and which, with an approximate size of
26 km in diameterIt is the largest object that periodically approaches the Earth.


The EELabs project ( is funded by the INTERREG VA MAC Program 2014-2020, co-financed by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) of the European Union. Five centers in Macaronesia (IAC, ITER, UPGC, SPEA-Azores, SPEA-Madeira) work at EELabs. Its mission is to develop Laboratories to measure the Energy Efficiency of Artificial Night Light in protected natural areas of Macaronesia (Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores).

Meanwhile, LIFE [email protected] is co-financed by the LIFE program of the European Union, coordinated by SPEA, and has as partners the Câmara de Câmara de Lobos, the Câmara Municipal do Funchal, the Câmara Municipal de Santa Cruz, the Câmara Municipal of Machico, the Municipal Chamber of Santana, the Municipal Chamber of Santa Cruz da Graciosa, the Direção Regional dos Assuntos do Mar, Instituto das Florestas e Conservação da Natureza, Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, Institute of Technology of the Canary Islands, Fluxo de Luz and the Society Spanish of Ornithology.

Three Spanish Supercomputing centres: the Extremeño Center for Advanced Technologies (CETA-CIEMAT), the Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya (CSUC) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) will collaborate in the distribution of the retransmission of the web portal (sky

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