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Under The Milky Way

There are not many places in the Northern Hemisphere better suited to observe the Milky Way (Castellano: Via Lactea, Catalan: Vía Láctea) than here in the Mediterranean basin. I love the Milky Way and its suggestive infinitude. In Mallorca, away from Palma, we are privileged to a clear view on some days (or rather, nights) as we don’t suffer so much of the light pollution of the larger cities.

August is a good month for sky watching. This is the month of the Perseids, an astronomical phenomenon of a meteor shower of shooting stars and falling stars. The peak in its activity is normally

between August 9th and 14th, depending on the particular location of the stream. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky, but because of the path of Swift-Tuttle’s orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere. As with all meteor showers, the rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours, since the side of the Earth nearest to turning into the sun scoops up more meteors as the Earth moves through space (quoted from Wikipedia).

In Mallorca, the Perseids are referred to as the Llàgrimes de Sant Llorenç (tears of Saint Lawrence), with August 10th being the date of that saint’s death.

Make a wish.

The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of flickr.com and Miguel Ordinas Oropesa.

Muchas gracias.

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