Perseid meteor shower dazzles stargazers across Canada


Perseid meteor shower dazzles stargazers across Canada

The days-long fireball fiesta is expected to peak this evening with an estimated 80 shooting stars per hour at its height.

For the best viewing experience, one should head far from the light pollution of a city, lie down and watch the sky.

Because the moon is almost full and so bright in the sky during most of the night, astronomers recommend getting up at least an hour before dawn for the best chance to view the spectacle. The moon will frustrate proceedings somewhat as a full moon is due on Thursday, meaning the sky will likely be washed out for the majority of viewers, but fear not, as the Perseids have an ace up their sleeve.

Perseid meteors, caused by debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, normally fly by at a rate of over 60 per hour. As Earth passes through the celestial debris every year, some of those tiny bits of sand, metal and rock burn up as they come into contact with Earth's atmosphere, creating the flashing trails across the night sky. Still, "the Perseids are rich in bright meteors and fireballs", NASA says, making it a cosmic show stargazers won't want to miss. NASA reports the Perseids are best seen between about 2 a.m. and dawn.

Latest News