A sparkling set of shooting stars decorated Israel’s skies during the late
night hours between Sunday and Monday.
The Perseids meteor shower, which
has occurred every summer for two millennia, began on approximately July 17 and
will end August 24 this year.
Hourly Rate – the number of meteors an observer can see per hour during a dark,
clear night – was expected to be 100 meteors per hour, with a velocity of 59
km. per second, according to according to Tel Aviv University Astronomy Club data.
A number of events were held to mark the shower, including an exploratory evening with the
Bareket Observatory star observation team at Carmi Har-Hanegev Farm, on the edge
of the Ramon Crater.
Activities at the Bareket event included a
combination lecture and film presentation, training on star observation maps,
observation through a sophisticated telescope and explanations about
constellations with a special laser-guided celestial tour.
Society for the Protection of Nature presented an “Evening of Shooting
Stars,” a celebratory night in honor of astronomy.
Yet another event, called Stardust, occured at the
Negev Desert Ashram, built on the ruins of what used to be the Shittim Nahal
army outpost in the Arava.
Nir Lahav, a physics doctoral student
at Bar-Ilan University, and Yoav Landsman, an aerospace engineer at Israel
Aerospace Industries, lead discussions.
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