This weekend -Sunday night into Monday morning- the sky will be the scene of one of the most beautiful natural spectacles of the year: the Perseids meteor shower. Did you know Tenerife is one of the best places in the world to see the stars and, therefore, observe this phenomenon? Go in depht into astrotourism!
The most anticipated night for astronomy lovers is near. They typically appear between July 17 and August 24; however, it will be in the night of August 12 when the Perseids will peak. This year, in addition, coincide with the new moon phase, a factor that will darken the sky even more and will make easier the meteors observing (you may be able to see around 100 shooting stars an hour).
But … what exactly are Perseids and why do they appear? The origin of this phenomenon is Comet Swift Tuttle, which is 26 km in diameter and whose wake is crossed by the planet Earth every August. This wake is full of small particles and fragments which are attracted by the Earth’s gravity and end up hitting our atmosphere, giving rise to the light effect that we see from the ground and we know as a shooting star. The greater the speed with which the meteor hits the atmosphere, the brighter the wake will be.
How to see the Perseids
Perseids meteor shower can be seen from all over the Northern Hemisphere; however, it is best to go to a place with clear horizons and no light pollution (far from city centres), as this will allow us to see even the least bright stars. The trick to see them better? Find the Polar Star and fix the view on it.
Other tips made by experts are to lie on your back and do not use optical instruments (binoculars, telescopes) that limit the field of vision.
If you follow these tips, between 10pm on Sunday and 9am on Monday, you will be able to see dozens of meteors in just 15 minutes!
Tenerife, privileged observatory
Those who prefer not to leave the comfort of home, can also enjoy this phenomenon thanks to the Canary Islands Institute Astrophysics, which will broadcast it in streaming from Teide Observatory. Because the truth is that Tenerife is one of the best places in the world for astronomical tourism!
Thanks to its extraordinary weather, clean atmosphere and geographic location, the Canary Islands are internationally recognized for the quality of their skies, to the point that they are home to two international astronomical observatories of the IAC: one in La Palma and the other in the volcano Teide, in Tenerife. In fact, Tenerife has recently obtained the “Starlight Tourist Destination” certification that accredits the island as a privileged place in the world for the star gazing.
Keeping this in mind, it is not surprising that a lot of travelers decide to come to Tenerife to do astrotourism: night excursions to see the stars in the Teide National Park are one of the favorite activities for this kind of travelers.
If you also bet on astronomical tourism, Baobab Suites is your place. In our hotel, located in the south of Tenerife, you will find our Experience Centre team, which will organize excursions and activities to enjoy the wonderful Tenerife sky at night, without giving up comfort and luxury of our suites. Everything at your fingertips, to have a holidays in the stars!