Star-gazers held a watch in the early hours of Monday at Israel’s one of the darkest spots, hoping to catch sight of a “shooting star” during the annual Perseid meteor shower. Which later proved a major disappointment for them.
Locals on Monday night directed traffic as the sky was moonless in Mitzpe Ramon in the heart of the Negev Desert, a spot surrounded by terrain described as similar to a lunar or Martian landscape.
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The Feinberg family from the Tel Aviv region drove for two-and-a-half hours for the display but the number of meteors failed to truly light up the Ramon Crater’s dark night sky as in previous years.
The children are very impatient, waiting for stars to fall.
The Perseid meteors, which reach their peak every August, are produced by debris from the 109P/Swift-Tuttle comet that passes by the Earth every 133 years. It last passed in 1992.
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“This year’s shower was not intense because the Earth had passed through a sparser part of the comet’s debris than previously and a smaller number of particles had entered the atmosphere” said Professor Rennan Barkana, head of the astrophysics department at Tel Aviv University.