Experience a starry night all over France from 5 to 7 August

The 31st edition of Nuit des étoiles will take place from Friday August 5 to Sunday August 7, 2022. This will be the perfect opportunity to wander through the summer night sky Since 1991, the Association Française d’Astronomie (AFA) has been organizing these three free observing evenings across France, which are open to everyone. Experience this unique immersion alone with friends or family along with amateur astronomers.

What to observe in the starry night?

During this festive astronomy weekend, the sun will disappear around 9:30 p.m across the metropolis. Then there will be numerous cosmic objects to contemplate. The Moon, planets, galaxies, nebulae, shooting stars and constellations will be in the program. To find meeting points near your home, you can view the map of the Associated Astronomical Structures. Of course, the event will take place mostly in isolated highlands to avoid light pollution.

Characteristic: the asterism summer triangleAugust’s cosmic panorama, composed of the three bright stars of Altair, Vega and Deneb, will be enthroned at the top each night, obscured from your view.

Credit: Pixsooz/iStock

From early evening

Perseids, these meteors from Comet Switf-Tutle light up summer evenings between July 20 and August 25 each year. Their peak intensity will occur on August 12 with an average of one hundred objects (from the size of a dust particle to a pea) per hour. Thus, they will cheerfully decorate the starry night sky.

the moon Friday evening will unveil its first quarter. You will then be able to distinguish its seas and craters through a telescope or an astronomical telescope as if you were on their surface. Subsequently, the natural satellite will fade behind the horizon at midnight, allowing for better light observation conditions in the second part of the night.

Saturn, Jupiter and Mars The turn will rise timidly above the ridge line, appearing quite high in the sky by mid-evening. This will be a chance not to miss seeing Saturn’s famous rings or Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

Constellation Ursa Minor Ursa Major
Part of the Little Dipper and Big Dipper, visible year-round from the Northern Hemisphere. Credit: Alxey Pnferov/iStock

Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 2.5 to 3 million light-years from the Milky Way and will merge with it in a few billion years. Moreover, it is the most distant object visible to the naked eye. While awaiting this inevitable disaster, it would be remiss not to spy on it with the panoply of instruments made available. And for even more precise renderings, astrophotographers equipped with their high-resolution cameras will reveal breathtaking shots taken in real time.

In the second part of the evening

When the moon sets, The interior of our galaxy will thus be able to reveal themselves to us. Then you can admire its Milky Trail stretching from north to south, passing through Altair (in the constellation Eagle) and Vega (in the constellation Lyra) like an immeasurably distant stellar arch.

UranusBlue gas giantsCome to greet us from 12:30 p.m., stay with us Pleiades. They form an open cluster filled with stars of the same age located 444 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. These sit in the same constellation AldebaranA giant orange star 45 times larger than the Sun is imagined to be the left eye of the horned beast.

Like all gas giant planets in the Solar System, Uranus has rings. Credit: NASA

Obviously, the list of what you will be able to check during the starry night is not exhaustive, because There will be many stars to contemplate that evening. Astronomy enthusiasts will also be happy to present them to you and introduce young and curious space minds to the myths and legends that depict the sky.

From the ground, journey to a heavenly overview that will delight the eyes of your children, whether you are young or old. See you August 5th to 7th and happy paradise to all.

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