Perseid meteor shower captivates citizens across Türkiye

Perseid meteor shower, a spectacular natural phenomenon that lights up skies over the Northern Hemisphere every year between July and August, mesmerized stargazers across Türkiye, offering unique sights of glittering celestial lights on Aug. 12-13.

Meteors entering the atmosphere at a speed of 55 kilometers per second illuminated the night sky across the nation. While the preparation for the events and announcements for the common observations took place days in advance, thousands of individuals set up camps in numerous provinces from east to west to behold this extraordinary phenomenon.

The skies over Van’s Gevaş district shine bright during meteor shower, eastern Türkiye, Aug. 13, 2023. (AA Photo)

The meteor shower, which peaks in the second week of August every year, garnered great attention with the events being held in the capital Ankara, in the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya, southwestern Muğla, eastern Erzurum, western Izmir, Aydın, Kütahya and several other provinces.

Highly anticipated, perseid meteor shower was observed in the ancient city of Stratonikeia in the Yatağan district of Muğla, Türkiye, Aug. 13, 2023. (IHA Photo)

The “Sky Observation Event” held at the TÜBITAK National Observatory (TUG) in Antalya Saklıkent was observed starting late Friday. The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBITAK) National Observatory (TUG), established at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) on Bakırlıtepe mountain in Antalya has been providing opportunities for sky observations for 25 years.

A mesmerizing shower was also observed in the Nallihan district in the capital Ankara early Saturday, as per Anadolu Agency (AA) reports. Similarly, the captivating meteor observation event was organized via social media platforms and was visited by approximately 7,000 individuals and nature lovers in northwestern Bursa’s Karacabey wetland.

Nature photographer and organizer of the program, Alper Tüydeş, told AA that the participation was very high this year.

Stating that the promotion of the region was a good meeting for local people and sky lovers, Tüydeş said: “UEDAŞ teams also dimmed the lights in the region. It was the first time that an electricity company dimmed the lights because of the scenery, not because of a malfunction. It was a good organization, with valuable participants.”

“The visitors are satisfied. There is a huge participation from all over Türkiye. In my opinion, this is a record. I don’t think there is an example of such an observing event anywhere else,” Tüydeş said.

In the central Kayseri province, the central observation event was held in the Mount Erciyes Ski Center Hacılar Kapı at an altitude of 2,650 meters (8,684 feet). The event on one of the most popular peaks in Türkiye garnered high interest, similarly as in the other parts of the country, while the organizers in their interview with AA noted it was feasible to observe 60-100 meteors per hour.

A meteor shower is a celestial occurrence in which many meteors are seen to radiate from one point in the night sky. These meteors are caused by streams of cosmic debris called meteoroids entering Earth’s atmosphere at extremely high speeds on parallel trajectories.

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