This weekend will mark the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Stan Shadick, an astronomy lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan says it’s the perfect opportunity to be introduced to the wonders of the night sky.
“The Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the best ways to introduce people to star-gazing and to the science of astronomy,” said Shadick.
Caused by the passing of Comet Swift-Tuttle the meteor shower is the result of earth passing through debris left behind by the comet’s dust-tail, causing up to 100 meteors an hour.
Chris Beckett, national observing chair of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada said the event is an important one for the star gazing community.
“It something that everybody marks on their calendars to go out and enjoy and certainly it’s one of the highlights of summer,” said Beckett. “It’s like celestial fireworks essentially.”
The Perseid Meteor shower usually runs from the middle of July until the middle of August, with this year’s peak occurring on the weekend of August 10.
Things needed to watch the Perseid Metero Shower:
- Darkness: In order to see the meteor shower, it’s recommended that you travel outside urban centers as light pollution from streetlights and other light sources could affect the view.
- A reclining lawn chair, blanket or sleeping bag: In order to have the best possible view of the shower it’s recommended you get low. If you stand and look up, chances are a good number of meteors will be passing behind your head.
- Patience: Even though up to 100 meteors will be falling every hour, it’s important to be patient. It’s said the brightest meteors are seen between 1 a.m. to 2 a.m..