Israel - Meteor shower to draw hundreds to Mitzpe Ramon
Hundreds of astronomy fans will gather in Mitzpe Ramon on Sunday evening to watch a meteor shower in the Negev skies.
Mitzpe Ramon's unique desert location and high altitude make it a perfect observation spot.
As part of the event, which was organized by The Israeli Astronomical Association (IAA), the Tel Aviv University's Astronomy Club, Reshit Mada Foundation, the Mitzpe Ramon Regional Council and Sde Har HaNegev field school, all of the lights in Mitzpe Ramon will be dimmed as well as several of the military bases in the area.
"We are going to see between 30 and 50 shooting stars per hour," said Dr. Diana Laufer, of the Geophysics and Planetary Sciences Department of Tel Aviv University, who will lecture at the event about the recent landing on Mars.
Tel Aviv resident Yael Ilmar, said that this year they are expecting to see a more intense meteoroid stream than previous years. "This is a unique event, like from a fairytale. It's hard to see this from the center (of Israel) because of the air pollution. Mitzpe Ramon and the Arava are perfect for this reason," she noted.
Several fans who were eager to witness the spectacular event, gathered in the area on Saturday night for a smaller meteor shower.
Gershon Berkovitz said he came all the way from Petach Tikva to watch the meteor shower. "I am an astronomy fan. It is very hard to see this in central Israel. Also, the weather here is great, and the kids are having a blast. This is better than any summer camp," he said.
Mitzpe Ramon hotels and inns have reported expecting full occupancy, with thousands expected to join the event.