From July 17 to August 24 in 2020 the Perseids light up the night sky. That is the name of a popular meteor shower which comes back every year during the first half of August. The peak of the Perseids is on August 12. At that night one can see extra high amount of shooting stars. The origin of the meteors seems to be in the Perseus constellation. Due to the proximity of time to the saint’s day of Laurentius the martyr on August 10, the Perseids are also called tears of Laurentius.
The number of shooting stars always rises when the earth on her orbit is getting very close to the former orbit of comet 109/Swift-Tuttle. In this case a maximum of up to 350 shooting stars per hour can be observed. It is a popular believe that watching a falling star means that you can make a wish. That wish will fulfil as long as you close your eyes after seeing the shooting star, make your wish and keep it secret. Apart from that the wishing star should be watched alone.
The Perseids consist of products of disintegration of the comet 109/Swift/Tuttle. A comet is an orb with a diameter of several kilometers, which most often develops a glaring train. Annually on August 12 the earth crosses the trail of dust, which comet 109/Swift-Tuttle, discovered in 1862 has left. When those dust particles find their way into the atmosphere, the molecule start to gloom. So the burning out dust grain is actually not the shooting star that glooms.
The origin of a meteor shower is also called radiant. In the case of the Perseids Perseus is the radiant and therefore the name giver for that meteor shower. Its whole activity duration is from July 17 to August 24. The constellation of Perseus shows the same-named Greek hero, who defeated the deadly Medusa. It is said that Medusa was a winged horror figure with snails as hair that turns everyone into stone who would even look at her. Meteor showers are a mass of shooting stars occurring at particular seasons. During the maximum of the Perseids one can expect to see an average number of round 100 shooting stars per hour.