How to catch the Perseid meteor shower at its peak on Tuesday
TORONTO -- Considered one of the most stunning celestial events of the year, the Perseid meteor shower will briefly illuminate the sky with its fast and colourful streaks of light on Tuesday and Wednesday during its crowning hours.
While this meteor shower can be seen nightly from late July to mid-August, the spectacle can be viewed most prominently in early hours of August 12. It’s one of the most “plentiful” showers with as many as 50 to 100 meteors visible every hour depending on the brightness of the moon, according to NASA.
Fireballs can also be seen during the spectacle, as Perseids often contain these larger explosions of light and colour that last longer than most meteor streaks. In addition to being colourful, the meteors are also exceptionally fast, reaching speeds of about 59 kilometres per second.
For its shining moment this month, the meteor shower can be viewed in the North Hemisphere typically after midnight on Tuesday and before dawn on Wednesday, according to the Canadian Space Agency.
Star gazers are recommended to find a spot away from city lights and set up a viewpoint on either a reclining chair or right on the ground to look up to the sky.
Though the current summer weather won’t be too cold for many Canadians, it’s recommended to dress warmly when staying outside in early morning hours and to pack a warm beverage for comfort if the temperature dips in the early morning hours.
Above all, patience is an important aspect to this activity and allotting at least one hour of observation time can potentially grant a quick view of a shooting star.
The Perseids appear to fall from the constellation Perseus, from which the meteor shower gets its name. But the origin of the Perseids is a collision between the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle and pieces of space debris that create this light show.