The Perseid meteor shower, from Madeira and Roque de los Muchachos, will be broadcast live

It can be seen on the night of August 12 to 13 on the channel, in protest against light pollution

CANARY ISLANDS7 The palm trees of Gran Canaria

Whoever wants to can take advantage of the
Perseid meteor shower from Pico do Arieiro (Madeira, Portugal) and from the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma), without the need to travel to these places. And does the channel will broadcast this magical phenomenon live on the night of Friday August 12 to Saturday August 13, with the aim of raising awareness of the problem of
light contamination.

Dissemination is possible thanks to the collaboration of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) with the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), within the framework of the Interreg EELabs and LIFE Natura@night projects.

What is certain is that
this type of pollution affects 10% of the continental surface, a percentage that rises to 23%, if we take into account the SkyGlow (sky luminosity) produced by the emission of artificial light into the atmosphere. This one has different
consequences on biodiversity, human health and astronomy.

Faced with this scenario, different regions have armed themselves to reverse this situation. One of them is Macaronesia, in which institutions from different fields have come together in various projects to combat this type of air pollution, quantifying the levels of light pollution in areas where it would not have had to reach and taking steps to stop its progress. .

Why can the Perseids be observed on these dates?

The Earth goes through, every year at this time, the cloud of dust and rocks that
Comet Swift–Tuttle it left in each of its orbits around the Sun, which is why at night, from mid-July to the end of August, one can observe the activity of the Perseids, called “Tears of the Saint Lawrence”.

File image of the Perseid meteor shower. /


This year, its maximum is expected at 01:00 on August 13. According to the calculations of the standard models, the activity of the Perseids is about 100 meteors/hour (ZHR or zenith hourly rates) even if, this year, the full Moon will make it difficult to observe all night.

“This year, the full moon will make it difficult to detect the faintest meteors. For this reason, the frequency of the Perseids will be lower – about one every 15 minutes – and we will only observe the brighter ones, which will continue to be impressive.As in previous years, it is necessary to find a place far from urban centers,
fix your eyes on a point in the sky and wait patiently to see some of the Perseid light trails,” comments Serra-Ricart, IAC astronomer and EELabs project coordinator.

What are “shooting stars”?

So-called “shooting stars” are actually tiny dust particles, some smaller than grains of sand, that shoot off comets or asteroids as they orbit the Sun.

The resulting cloud of particles (meteoroids), given the melting produced by solar heat, is dispersed by the comet’s orbit and
is crossed by the Earth in its annual journey around the Sun. During this encounter, the dust particles disintegrate as they speed through the Earth’s atmosphere, creating the well-known light trails that receive the scientific name of meteors.

Perseid phenomena at Viazynka (Belarus). /


The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus, where their radiant is located (the point in the sky from which they appear to have originated), but they originated in the
Comet Swift–Tuttlewhich was discovered in 1862, and which, with an approximate size of
26 km in diameterIt is the largest object that periodically approaches the Earth.


The EELabs project ( is funded by the INTERREG VA MAC Program 2014-2020, co-funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) of the European Union. Five centers in Macaronesia (IAC, ITER, UPGC, SPEA-Azores, SPEA-Madeira) work at EELabs. Its mission is to develop laboratories to measure the energy efficiency of the artificial pilot light in the protected natural areas of Macaronesia (Canary Islands, Madeira and Azores).

Mientras, LIFE Natura@night is co-financed by the LIFE program of the European Union, coordinated by SPEA, and has as partners the Câmara de Câmara de Lobos, the Câmara Municipal do Funchal, the Câmara Municipal de Santa Cruz, the Câmara Municipal de Machico, City Hall of Santana, City Hall of Santa Cruz da Graciosa, Regional Directorate of Maritime Affairs, Institute of Forestry and Nature Conservation, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias, Fluxo de Luz y la Sociedad Española de Ornitología .

Three Spanish supercomputing centers: the Extremeño Center for Advanced Technologies (CETA-CIEMAT), the Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya (CSUC) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) will collaborate in the distribution of the retransmission of the web portal (

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