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

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

First Night Market at Predator Ridge a success

An estimated 1,000 people showed up last Wednesday to browse about 70 local vendors and artisan’s booths at Predator Ridge’s first Night Market last Wednesday.

Okanagan artists featured at Odin Art Exhibit at Predator Ridge

The event runs Monday and Tuesday from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. in the Commonage Ballroom.

The show must go on

After a devastating storm on Lawrence Lane in June, community rallies and braves smoke celebrate the 8th annual Cabin Jam.

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

UPDATE Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire now classified as under control

Firefighters are working alongside the military to extinguish the wildfire near West Kelowna

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Most Read