With videoShooting stars were seen in many places in the Netherlands last night. The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend. “We also expect to see the swarm this coming night,” says Johnny Willemsen of Weeronline.
The clouds cooperated as predicted on Saturday evening and night: there was a mix of clouds and clear spells, so there were plenty of opportunities to see the shooting stars. Many Dutch people showed their enthusiasm on X, the former Twitter.
‘Watch shooting stars on the lateral moraine in Groesbeek. Already ten in fifteen minutes!’, wrote Irma van Eeken. ‘There I am outside at 04.00 in my shirt, bare-legged bathrobe and on my slippers watching the shooting stars. Already seen 5…and also made 5 wishes. Clear skies and still really dark here in the outlying area’, Frunzel reported from the Veluwe. Mirte Damen from Woerden tweeted ‘7 in a few minutes! Falling stars’. Julie Velthoven from Tilburg reported: ‘Already seen two shooting stars, even in the city!! My own personal tradition – viewing the Perseids every August – has been carried out for years, regardless of location, and remains one of my favourites.’
Photographer Arie Jan van Termeij from Hardinxveld-Giessendam took pictures of shooting stars and let the images speak for themselves. As a result, it was not clear whether the images were made in his hometown or on Terschelling, of which he is a big fan. A certain Peter from Groningen did mention with his photos of the meteor shower that he took them on (West) Terschelling. Islander JacobaJ tweeted: ‘Shooting star above the lake of Hee. It was beautifully clear weather. There even seems to be some northern lights in the sky.’
Inland shipping skipper Johan Klos from Alblasserdam also managed to capture a shooting star on camera. Good morning it was just as nice and clear to spot 5 shooting stars from the perseus and get one of them in the picture. Go check it out,” he tweeted.
Meteorologist Johnny Willemsen enjoyed looking at the photos early this morning. “Judging by the many images, the shooting stars could be seen in many places in the Netherlands,” says the MeteoVista weatherman to this news site. The star shower had its ‘peak moment’ last night at a quarter to four – with roughly 39 to 50 shooting stars from the Perseids per hour – but he says the fun is not over yet. “We will also be able to spot more shooting stars this coming night than usual.”
The weather gods seem to want to cooperate again. Tonight there will be broad clearance and only in the course of the night veil clouds will move into the country from the southwest.
Those who want to see the shooting stars should look to the northeast, preferably from a dark place. Fewer meteors can be seen in cities due to light pollution. About 30 shooting stars per hour are likely to be seen around midnight. That number rises during the night to an average of about fifty to sixty.
It’s been a long time since a star shower came by that was clearly visible. The Boötids meteor shower in January was the last big chance to see many shooting stars, but clouds then threw a spanner in the works. In August last year, it wasn’t cloud cover that was the spoilsport, but the light from the full moon that interfered with seeing the shooting stars of the Perseids. This time, the moon is 10 percent illuminated, so not a major distraction.
The Perseids are so called because the shooting stars appear to come from the constellation Perseus. Perseus is a demigod from Greek mythology, son of the supreme god Zeus. He is best known for his encounter with the Medusa, the woman with snakes on her head instead of hair who turned everyone to stone with her gaze.
In reality, they are dust particles and fragments from comet Swift-Tuttle. When Earth passes through the comet’s debris cloud in its orbit around the sun, the particles burn up in the atmosphere at an altitude of 100 kilometers. We see that as meteors. The Perseids are known to flash across the sky very quickly, at over 200,000 kilometers per hour. The meteor shower used to be called the Tears of Laurentius, because the shooting stars appear around the name day of Sint-Laurens.
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