The Perseids meteor shower is expected to reach its peak this Saturday and Sunday night. (File photo)

Spectacular meteor show expected

This Saturday and Sunday, more than 100 meteors can be seen per hour.

This weekend will be a great time to head out of town to the great outdoors, especially at night.

This is the weekend of the annual Perseid meteor shower, with the peak nights on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12. On these two nights, more than 100 meteors — shooting stars — can be seen per hour.

The shower is the result of Earth encountering the gritty debris of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle that occurred in 1992. These meteors will strike the atmosphere at around 60 km per second and cause long streaks which then completely vapourize. The average particle size is that of large sand grain but some small pea gravel size meteors can cause bright fireballs that light up the sky and ground.

Backyard astronomer Gary Boyle said that the whole shower is about five weeks long but this weekend, the earth will be hitting the highest concentration of the debris. This occurs every year around this time, but Boyle said that this year is special because it also falls on a new moon, meaning the meteor shower will be more visible than most years.

“A new moon is when the moon is not seen at all. It occurs during a solar eclipse when the moon crosses in front of the sun so there’s no illumination in the sky,” said Boyle. “Next year’s shower, the moon will be 90 per cent lit which means it puts a giant glow in the sky and you may only be able to see 40 or 50 meteors. But this year because of the new moon, there’s no interference at all so people should head out and take a look this weekend.”

Boyle encourages people to grab some bug spray, head away from the city lights and watch nature’s show.

“These really light up the sky,” he added. “You can always see a picture of a meteor or a video but to see it live, it’s not the same.”

Related: Star Gazing: Mars, the wet planet

Related: Astronomer sees UFO in the sky on Tuesday

Related: Keep eyes safe for eclipse

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on

Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP seeking help to identify suspect

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Printmakers association and fair in Cumberland

The Comox Valley Printmakers Association is holding a members’ exhibition and print… Continue reading

Cumberland mayoral debate announced prematurely; Leslie Baird declines invitation

Eduardo Uranga hoped to hold the debate Wednesday evening

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Care-A-Van offers more than just care in a van

Mobile clinic brings medical and social services to the Valley’s most vulnerable

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Federal government tables bill to transform prisoner segregation

Administrative and disciplinary segregation will be eliminated by Ottawa

Courtenay’s Dingwall Road to be temporarily closed for construction

Next week, the intersection of Dingwall Road and McQuillan Road will be… Continue reading

CFL expecting little to no impact from legalization of marijuana in Canada

The league tests only for performance-enhancing substances and not recreational drugs like cannabis

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

Comox Valley RCMP seeking help to identify suspect

The Comox Valley RCMP is looking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Workers at BC Interior mill strike as negotiations resume in Kelowna

Picket lines went up at 4 a.m Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Tolko Lakeview Division in Williams Lake

Fall-ing for unseasonably warm weather on Vancouver Island

Environment Canada forecast calls for sunshine through weekend

Most Read