Meteor showers are not a one-off, special event that happens once in a while, but rather several times a year every year. However, it is the summer holidays that usually take center stage and, especially in August, the most important are the Perseids
Like every summer, the shooting stars will be best seen on the nights between the nights of August 12 to 13, which this year 2022 will be Friday and Saturday. This meteor shower, which is also popular known as Tears of San Lorenzo (given its proximity to August 10, during which the feast of this saint is celebrated), it is in fact visible all summer in the northern hemisphere. According to the National Geographic Institute, they can be seen in the night sky from the July 17 and will finish approx. August 24. So even if you can’t see each other on your busiest days, always there will be other opportunities until the end of the month.
The moon, main obstacle
If the deltas of this year’s Aquarids could be seen more easily because their period of greatest rhythm coincided with the new moon, the reverse will happen for the Perseids. According to IGN, the full moon August will be on Friday 12, coinciding with the night when the Perseids will have more activity. This will complicate your visibility, Given the reflected light by the satellite during its full moon. Thus, to increase the chances of seeing a shooting star, the ideal is to look at the darkest parts of the sky and in opposite direction of the moon.
Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle and Perseus
If this shower of stars is known as the tears of San Lorenzo because of the proximity of its apogee to the feast of the saint, the name of Perseids it is given because seems to advance of Constellation of Perseus. However, this meteor shower occurs because Earth crosses the orbit of the comet in early August. 109/Swift-Tuttle and the small particles of the tail of this come into contact with the atmosphere at high speed and undergo friction until they vaporize, causing the glow which makes us call them shooting stars.
The best places in Huelva to see the stars:
The beaches of Huelva Every summer, these are the busiest points in the province of Huelva. The concentration of holidaymakers on the coast and the convenience of getting away from the urban center to lie on the sand and contemplate the sky to the sound of the waves make it the majority option for following calls. Tears of San Lorenzo.
A chair, a towel, blankets or coats should not be missing from the equipment of a good astronomer, in case the night gets colder, some snacks and a great desire to surrender to the sky. Better if it’s in company, for that counting down of fallen stars that has become a summer pastime for families, in which the little ones enjoy their innocence.
Even though there are many points in the Andévalo and in the Sierra which prove to be, far from the slightest light pollution, perfect candidates for the observation of any celestial body. The natural environment also accompanies the nocturnal silence of the countryside, without the sound of the waves of the beach but with unprecedented attractions that make the province of Huelva an infinite field of observation.
Santa Ana la Real
There is a circular route about 2.5 km long specially themed which aims to introduce the visitor to the knowledge of astronomy and to give him the basic notions to learn about astronomy. observation of the night sky. Along the route we will find three interpretive panels with explanatory texts and images on the concepts of the universe; accompanied by QR codes that allow you to download additional information in the form of an audio guide. At the highest point there is a granite table with the cardinal points marked for observation with a telescope.
Astronomical table of the Sierra de Santa Bárbara (Higuera de la Sierra)
We can find an astronomical observation point where we can study the main constellations using an explanatory table of the celestial vault. To facilitate the work, the infrastructure is completed with tilting benches. From this point, the horizon to the south is so wide that it allows us to see the city of Seville.
Linares de la Sierra Astronomical Viewpoint
Nestled in a deep valley facing south, it has built a belvedere in the highest part of the town for stargazing. The vantage point, with excellent views of the Earth’s ecliptic or the path of the zodiac, is a paved platform or balcony surrounded by a fence, ideal for activities in small groups of up to 20 people.
Hermitage of San Bartolomé (Alájar)
At this place there is an astronomical observation platform prepared for three simultaneous telescopes with the possibility of access to electricity. The observation point has privileged views of the entire celestial vault, a sky free of light pollution and easy access for vehicles.
Sultana Mines (Cala)
Just 2 km from Cala, next to the recreational area of Las Tres Encinas, is the hermitage of San Roque and the nearby ruins of the Mina de la Sultana. The recreation area is equipped with parking, tables, benches and other recreational equipment. This environment has been a reference for the study of the candidacy of Sierra Morena as a Starlight Reserve, since it is one of the darkest places in the north of the province.
It is managed by the Juan Pérez Mercader Association. It is the only one in the province and it has a deep sky astrophotography telescope. The objective of this structure and that of the association is the scientific dissemination of astronomy by organizing events throughout the year. It is located in the International Center for Ecological and Environmental Studies (CIECEMA) and can be visited after consulting the association.
Astronomy Interpretation Center (Villanueva de los Castillejos)
As part of the Bajo Guadiana Sustainable Tourism Project, in the middle of La Dehesilla we find the Astronomical Interpretation Center of Villanueva de los Castillejos.
It introduces visitors to the fundamental aspects of astronomy, makes them aware of light pollution and teaches them about astrophotography. The surroundings of the center, being surrounded by nature and located on a hill, are ideal for the use of telescopes.
It is one of the largest and best preserved funerary megalithic structures in Huelva. In this type of burial, the door always faces east, towards the rising sun, and the burial chamber to the west, towards sunset.
Twice a year, during the spring and autumn equinoxes, the first rays of the sun travel down the hall and reflect inside the bedroom, turning into a beautiful solar calendar. This show is a tourist attraction.
Dolmens of El Pozuelo (Zalamea la Real)
The group of dolmens of El Pozuelo is the most numerous of the province and is located in the municipality of Zalamea la Real. The entrance to the complex is established on the N-435 road, and more precisely at the detour of the village of El Pozuelo (regional road Hu-5103).
This area has a total of 49 dolmens divided into two sectors: El Villar and El Pozuelo. Next to the village of El Pozuelo we find eleven tombs declared Assets of Cultural Interest that are part of a thematic circular route of low difficulty and about 12 kilometers in length.
It is an ideal place to observe the night sky.
San Cristobal Hill (Almonaster la Real)
As one of the highest peaks in the province, during the period of Arab splendor in the region, the hill of San Cristóbal became the watchtower of Almonaster la Real. At its top we will find two ideal points for astronomical observation, a viewpoint to the south and another to the north. During the day, it offers magnificent panoramic views from where you can see the mosque of the municipality and dozens of kilometers around it.
Hermitage of the Virgen de la Peña (Puebla de Guzmán)
The Hermitage of the Virgen de la Peña is located on Cerro del Águila. This place is the highest vantage point to enjoy the best panoramic views in the area. At its top, next to the Hermitage, there is a large esplanade ideal for accessing it by car and observing the sky with very good quality skies and large horizons.
San Marcos Castle (Sanlucar de Guadiana)
A privileged place to see the deep landscapes of Huelva and Portugal, which gives it a special charm. Around the fortified enclosure, all the cardinal points are dominated from where to take advantage of the dark sky of the region.
Rock of Arias Montano
One of the most important enclaves of the Sierra de Aracena and the Picos de Aroche. These panoramic views allow the observation of a good part of the southern celestial vault.
Cliff of Asperillo (Doñana)
In the Doñana Natural Park, between Mazagón and Matalascañas, is the natural monument of the Asperillo Cliff.
With about 28 km of virgin beach, it is one of the few cliffs formed by fossil sand deposits and the highest in Europe with these characteristics. It is one of the few coastal places from which to enjoy a quality night sky.
Rio Tinto Protected Landscape. “Martian Landscape”
A protected and unique landscape in the world. A sign of identity for the entire province of Huelva, the Tinto River forms a Martian landscape on earth. Colors and landscapes so extraterrestrial that even NASA decided to explore it for its similarities with the planet Mars. The high iron content adds a red color to the water and an orange color to the shores.
For each section of the river there is a better location. One of the most beautiful sections of the route, among other things, is the crossing of the Tinto River with the HU-5104 route.
Past Abad Cromlech (Rosal de la Frontera)
A megalithic structure formed by six large orthostats arranged in a circular shape. Recent research suggests that it must have been a solar calendar in the form of a cromlech. Witnessing its connection to astronomy, one of the large stones in the complex is engraved with the seven main stars of the constellation Ursa Major.
The viewpoint of the Sierra de El Viso (Santa Olalla del Cala)
Santa Olalla del Cala has the privilege of having the Starlight certificate, which guarantees the cleanliness of the sky without light pollution,
guarantee the possibility of enjoying starlight and the development of activities based on this resource. Starlight Certification brings science and tourism together for the first time and is backed by the world tourism organization and the International Astronomical Union.