The Belgium French–speaking Amateur Astronomers Federation (FFAAB) will hold the 25th “Star Nights” in Brussels and Wallonia, from Friday until the 16th of August. Amateur astrologers will be able to see a series of shooting stars, nicknamed the Perseids, which appear in August every year. All thirteen clubs that make up the Federation, which are in Brussels and Wallonia, will be taking part. It will let the general public and passionate astronomers see the shooting stars, but also Saturn, the Moon and nebulous galaxies, among other things.
You don’t have to have specific instruments to see the shooting stars, says Frédéric Thienpont, FFAAB secretary. The best way to see them is with the naked eye, and lying down. Light pollution in Belgium means that a large part of the Perseids will not be visible. They generally appear between the end of July and August. The best day to see them this year is the 12th of August. During this period of the year, there can be up to 120 meteors an hour. “Here in Belgium, we generally see about 10 an hour”, says Mr Thienpont. Clouds can also make them hard to see.
The Belgian Royal Observatory is also holding “Shooting Stars night” on the 12th of August, but the event is already fully booked. The Euro Space Centre will let families in for free on the 13th of August from 3pm, for the Astronomers Fete.
The FFAAB club’s program is available on its website: www.ffaab.be.