starry night  Where do you see the phenomenon?

Perseids, or meteor showers, can be seen in late July and early August. This week, on the night of Thursday to Friday (12/13/08) they are at the peak of their activity. In good weather, it will be possible to see dozens of falling stars per hour. Mikai Zawisa, a Krosno native and photographer, tells how to prepare for it.

Meteors falling over the Bieszczady mountains on the night of August 12, 2020

Michael Zawisa

Meteorites, colloquially known as a meteor, are glowing marks left by tiny rock fragments falling into the atmosphere. The Perseids have one of the largest meteor showers of the year.

The opportunity to discover the largest number of meteors falls in the second half of the night of August 12-13. – Then the place where meteors appear in the sky – radiant – high above the horizon – explain Michael ZawisaPassionate about astrophotography. – Remember, however, that you will also be able to see a lot of them throughout the night, max. This year we have exceptionally excellent conditions – dark, moonless nights.

The 20-year-old Michau studied at the Copernicus Science Center and Music School. Currently, she is after her first year of study at AGH University of Science and Technology. He has been passionate about night sky photography and astronomy for several years.

Last year, Krosno residents were able to see approximately 80 meteors during the maximum night and 106 the following night.

Milky Way galaxy and meteors

Michael Zawisa

Where do you watch?

It’s best to get out of town to observe away from the spotlight. When choosing a favorable and darker place, a light pollution map is very useful:

Entering Krosno in the upper left corner, we can see that the city area is marked in purple (in the center) and red (in the suburbs). This means that the sky is heavily polluted by external light.

Looking at the map legend (in the panel on the right), there are actually slightly darker skies in the neighboring towns. We can count on better conditions for observation when going south of town.

Yellow and green indicate the average brightness of the sky. In the blue, dark blue and gray areas, the sky is already very dark

In the immediate vicinity of Krosno, the viewpoint of Korczyna-Czarnorzeki next to the ski lift and the new tower can be a good option. If you want to see the most “falling stars” you have to go to the Bieszczady Mountains, for example to the vantage point of Lutowiska, in the Dark Sky Park. There, under the darkest skies of Poland, the Perseids can be seen with excellent views of the Milky Way – Michai explains.

This year, the photographer is going to the buffer zone of Bieszczady National Park. It is not allowed to stay in the park itself at night.

How do you watch?

You do not need a telescope or binoculars to observe, the phenomenon itself is visible with the naked eye. We can look in any direction because meteors can appear all over the sky.

It’s a good idea not to use light sources, such as a phone or flashlight, until your eyes get used to the darkness that takes several minutes. It is best to watch without raising your head, so when lying down or sitting, it is worth taking care of a warm blanket or a lounger – Photographer advised. – By being fully prepared, there is a chance to see up to 80 meteors per hour. But in practice, seeing a few dozen “falling stars” would already be a huge attraction and probably exhaust many wish lists.

However, capturing the meteors in the photo is a little more difficult. It is essential that the camera is off and the exposure time is slow. Fans of astrophotography create their photos from many frames, even if they were taken for several hours. We have written more about this area over here.

Michai posts pictures from this year’s “Night of Photography Stars” Facebook. It also plans to release a calendar with pictures.

A year ago, at that time, it was also possible to see comet C / 2020 F3 NEOWISE in the sky, the most amazing in 23 years. Taken by the young photographer over Kamieniec Castle

Michael Zawisa

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