Sci-tech

Here's how you can see the Perseid Meteor Shower Saturday night

Here's how you can see the Perseid Meteor Shower Saturday night

This comet orbits the sun in a much more oblong path than Earth's orbit.

Every year in the period from 17 to 28 August the Earth passes through the debris stream of comet swift-Tuttle.

Because the meteors are coming approximately from the direction of the Perseus constellation (thus the name Perseid), look between the northeastern horizon and the point right above you.

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Because the density of the dust cloud varies, the meteors will not be evenly spaced out. The particles, many no bigger than a grain of sand or a pea, blast across the sky at 132,000 miles per hour and disintegrate high up in our atmosphere after making a brilliant streak of light.

The Perseid Meteor Shower, which will see meteors streak through the night sky, will be active this weekend and present a dazzling sight for intrepid stargazers.

According to Space.com, "Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016), the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour", NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said. The moonlight will make a lot of the dimmer meteors invisible, which will lower the overall count. The best time to look up will be after midnight - aka early in the morning of August 13 - when the sky will be darkest. But don't let that stop you from checking out the show as there still should be plenty of brighter meteors to see.

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Hundreds of the meteors are expected to be visible from across the world, weather depending.

Light pollution from the cities will also make it hard to see the meteors tonight. You will also want to be patient. "You might be lucky or unlucky; that's the way with meteors".

Even if your attempts to view the Perseid showers are stymied, do not be too disappointed.

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McGillivray will be part of a group who will be watching at Aldergrove Lake Park in Langley on Saturday night. This meteor shower has been known to produce 10 times as many of meteors as the Perseids. After the moon is up, that number drops to about 20 to 30 meteors an hour.


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