We’re officially approaching Santa Marija weekend, which could only mean one thing – meteor showers. Every time mid-August comes round, the Maltese Islands get to experience this astronomical phenomenon that only a few get to see…
Since Malta is highly afflicted by light pollution, it can make things harder when trying to observe a meteor shower. However, the Perseid meteor shower, known locally as Id-dmugħ ta’ San Lawrenz, is visible from dark sites, like Dwejra in Gozo or Dingli Cliffs in Malta!
The Perseid meteor shower will be most visible from tonight or in the early hours of Friday. Luckily for us, this year’s remnants of comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle will be even more visible since they will not be outshone by the moon!
The shower is made up of rocky debris left behind the comet, which returns every 133 years! It peaks on the night between August 12 and 13, when nations get to observe the debris left behind by the comet in 1992 and centuries before.
To observe the sight at best, astrophysicists recommend that you had to an area that does not suffer from light pollution. The gozitons are in luck here since certain coastal areas in Gozo are renowned for being dark heritage areas!
It is also recommended that you avoid looking at your phone in order to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. That way, you can catch a glimpse of the fainter ones too! Simply lie with your back against the ground and enjoy the show!
And if you’re a Night Owl like me, then it’s actually best to look out for them after midnight!