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

Fire burning near Olalla still out of control

BC Wildfire crews are responding to a 144 hectare blaze near Keremeos

Sparks set to fly in new Okanagan College welding facility

Welding students based in Penticton will now have access to the new, $2.2 million facility

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

New grandma wants a place on town council to improve Princeton for families

A Princeton woman has stepped forward and declared her intention to run… Continue reading

More smoggy air for the Okanagan

Breathing conditions are improving, though still not ideal

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Documentary filmed in B.C. nominated in ‘Wildlife Oscars’’

Toad People is the only Canadian film to be nominated in this year’s Panda Wilderness Awards

B.C. man builds 10-foot sign thanking fire responders

Ken Rawson built his “thank u” sign on Saturday as helicopters responded to fires around the province.

Crews continue mop up at Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire

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

PHOTOS: Olympian Patrick Chan helps B.C.’s ‘SuperChefs’ celebrate 10th anniversary

Former figure skater among those at event Friday in Surrey

North Okanagan parks receiving upgrades

Swan Lake Nature Reserve, Mutrie Dog Park and BX Ranch Dog Park to benefit from work

Wildfires grow near Lumby, Cherryville

Canadian Armed Troops in Okanagan, Mabel Creek blaze creeps towards lake

Smaller B.C. bus service prepares to replace Greyhound

Kootenay-to-Okanagan run would require online reservations

Most Read