Star gazing

By Victoria Khroundina | August 12, 2015


Tonight the Istanbul Modern will hold a special event to watch the annual August Perseid meteor shower. Every year, from around July 17 to August 24, Earth crosses the orbital path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle (rediscovered in 1992), the parent of the Perseid meteor shower. The debris will slam into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at around 210,000 kilometres per hour, lighting up the night-time sky with fast-moving meteors, which will be visible with the naked eye or a telescope.

Fortunately, this year, the waning crescent moon comes up shortly before sunrise so a dark, moonless sky is almost certainly guaranteed. This means you should be able to see 50 or more meteors per hour from northerly latitudes during tonight’s meteor shower.

The museum is hosting various activities in its fabulous open-air site-specific installation ‘All That is Solid’ (read more here), including a telescope observation workshop led by astronomers; educational, art and play workshops; discussions on astronomy and art history; a yoga session; and acoustic concerts. The programme is as follows:

18.00 – 18.30 Playlist: ‘Star! Star!’ with Can Von Kant
18.00 – 20.00 Art workshop
18.00 – 20.00 Notebook workshop with Hoşaf Atölye (Şeyda Ünal & Timuçin Önçül)
18.30 – 19.30 Yoga with Hüsne Çiğdem
19.00 – 20.00 Talk: ‘Skies through the lens of myths’ with Serap Yüzgüller (in Turkish)
20.00 – 20.30 Presentation: ‘Where exactly are we in the universe?’ with Yeliz Aksoylu Nuranoğlu (in Turkish)
20.30 – 21.30 Telescope observation with the Nuranoğlu team
21.00 – 22.00 Concert: Barış Diri (vocals)
22.00 – 23.00 Concert: Çağıl Kaya (vocals)

Main image shows the 2009 meteor shower (courtesy of Nick Ares, WikiMedia Commons).

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