Monday, 17 December, 2018

Look up for the Perseid meteor shower this weekend

Comet Perseid Meteor Shower GETTY POWERFUL The comet is 30 times stronger than the ones that wiped out dinosaurs
Kristen Harrington | 13 August, 2018, 04:42

This year the most visible days are projected to be August 11-13, and NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the USA can expect to see as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during the shower's peak.

Associate Teaching Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UOIT Dr. Rupinder Brar says the annual Perseid meteor shower will be visible Saturday night, early Sunday morning and Sunday night.

As the particles, ranging in size from a grain of sand to a pea, hit the Earth's atmosphere at 60km (37 miles) per second, they burn up and streak across the sky.

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Greater numbers of meteors are visible when the radiant is high.

The Perseid meteors are bits and pieces of space rock debris broken off from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it barrels around the Sun every 133 years. The meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they look the brightest against the darkest sky, which is straight up. Perseid peaks on a Moonless summer night from 4 p.m. EST on August 12 (today) until 4 a.m. EST on August 13 (Monday).

Lucky observers may see the occasional meteor sailing across the sky for several seconds, leaving behind a trail of glowing smoke.

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Greg Scheiderer of the Seattle Astronomical Society recommends finding the darkest place possible for the best experience, although the show will likely still be visible from your front porch, deck, or city rooftop. The phase of the moon (new moon) will make viewing even better, because the light from the moon will not ruined any visibility of the shooting stars.

"You'll get a decent show as long as you're north of the equator", he said. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography, allowing your shots of the night sky to turn into van Gogh-like paintings of this starry spectacle. NASA will also be streaming a view of the sky from the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook Page.

The most popular shower of the year is here, and we don't mean the familiar drizzle.

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