Perseid meteor shower dazzles stargazers across Canada
Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 9:11AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:51PM EDT
Many stargazers were fortunate enough to cap the end of their summer with a remarkable celestial light show on Monday night.
The Perseid meteor shower dazzled many from across Canada and the Northern Hemisphere with dozens of people sharing their snapshots of the light show on social media.
NASA astronomers widely consider this one of the best meteor showers to see during the year. And on its blog, the space agency pointed out the sight is caused by debris from the ancient Comet Swift-Tuttle streaking across our skies.
The classic illusion of falling stars can be seen every year as the Earth passes through debris left behind by the 26-kilometre wide comet as it orbits the sun. The showers have actually been visible since late July but peaked on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
When astronomers trace meteors, they track them from a point of origin in a specific area in the sky and this most recent meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus.
In another blog post from earlier this month, NASA wrote that visible meteor rates would be down from 60 “shooting stars” per hour to only about 15 to 20 per hour because of the brightness of the full moon.
But the space agency stressed that people didn’t need a telescope or binoculars to see the Perseids which are “rich in bright meteors and fireballs.”
So while the moon and cloud coverage absconded the views of swaths of people across North America, many managed to capture the celestial views.
The Virtual Telescope Project in Europe even livestreamed the event and left their footage on its site.
In other words, if you missed seeing the showers last night, skywatchers’ pictures, videos and GIFs online will give you a decent second-hand view.
Dozens shared their footage using the hashtag PerseidMeteorShower but if those aren’t enough, the Perseid meteor shower will still continue to be seen until later this month.