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Perseids 2020: The meteor shower, also known as the Tears of St Lawrence, will soon be at its peak

Perseids 2020: The meteor shower, also known as the Tears of St Lawrence, will soon be at its peak
/ AFP
  • The phenomenon is named after Lawrence, a Christian saint who died on 10 August, but this year it will be most visible on the night of 12th-13th

It is one of the greatest shows of the summer, and it’s completely free to watch. It’s also out in the open air and can be enjoyed alone, with family or a partner whilst avoiding crowds, something the authorities always recommend because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Perseids meteor shower, otherwise known as the Tears of St Lawrence, is an astronomical phenomenon which appeals to thousands of people, who watch the night sky in August each year in the hope of seeing it. The Perseids are minute particles of ice and dust from comets, and they create this spectacular shooting star effect as they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere.

This year the Perseids have been active since mid-July, but it is in August that they are most visible. Although the name ‘Tears of St Lawrence’ refers to the 10th of the month, the date on which the Christian saint died, on this occasion the best night to see the meteor shower will be 12th. Not necessarily in the early hours of the morning, either: they should be visible earlier in the evening, just after sunset.

Another advantage of the Perseid shower is that all you need is patience and darkness. They can be seen with the naked eye anywhere away from light contamination and with no obstructions, so it is a good idea to go somewhere outside town centres and other areas where there is a lot of light.

In Malaga province, places such as the mountains of La Axarquía, El Torcal in Antequera, the Serranía de Ronda and even Los Montes de Malaga are the best for watching the Perseid meteor shower, always looking away from where towns are located.