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

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Northwestern BC Hydro transmission line to be refurbished

Replacing poles between Kitimat and Terrace far cheaper than complete new line

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Canada Post strikes leaves small shops in the lurch as holidays approach: CFIB

Rotating strikes began in Victoria, Edmonton, Halifax and Windsor

Voter turnout at 36% in B.C.’s municipal election

Vancouver saw 39% turnout, Surrey saw 33%

Harry and Meghan travel in different style on Australia tour

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day seven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

The online auction features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, with the sale scheduled for 31 October and 8 November.

In Khashoggi case: Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal’s entourage.

Alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur waives right to preliminary hearing

Bruce McArthur, a 67-year-old self-employed landscaper, has been ordered to stand trial on eight counts of first-degree murder.

N.B. village faces backlash after council raises ‘straight flag’

Chipman Mayor Carson Atkinson says the flag met the village council’s criteria because it “recognizes, accepts and respects the rights of individuals under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Most Read