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

Coombs farm auction returns April 28

CFI hosts 41st annual auction

Ballenas grad to perform opera and art songs in Parksville to fund Prague trip

UBC music student Juliana Cook was asked to study and sing in the Czech Republic

Qualicum Beach versus Parksville – who wins?

Councils could take part in first-ever lawn bowling challenge

Ravensong Waterdancers to get you in sync

Teams will perform 12 routines at watershow on April 28

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discoevery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

BC Ferries faced with heavy traffic on Easter Monday

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 staws each year

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Campbell River RCMP say alcohol and speed may be factors in collision

Woman injured after driver ran into her car on Highway 19A, says fire captain

Most Read