Associate Teaching Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UOIT Dr. Rupinder Brar says the annual Perseid meteor shower will be visible Saturday night, early Sunday morning and Sunday night. This year the most visible days are projected to be August 11-13, and NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the USA can expect to see as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during the shower's peak.
The cosmic light show happens once a year in August, and stargazers can expect to see about 60 to 80 meteors per hour, according to astronomers.
The Perseids were called the "Tears of St. Lawrence" in medieval Europe because they occur around the anniversary of the death of Laurentius, a Christian deacon who was martyred by Valerian, a Roman emperor, in the year 258 A.D.
The Perseids take their name from the constellation Perseus, the constellation from which they are thought to have originated.
And experts have advised the best place to watch the stunning show will be at open areas, away from street lights.
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This year there is this added advantage that it is going to be new moon phase on August 11. When Earth moves around the Sun, the orbit will, at some point, intersect head-on with a small cloud of material ejected from this comet.
Here are some facts about the Perseid meteor shower.
The good thing is that you do not need any expensive equipment like powerful telescopes or advanced binoculars to enjoy the meteor show.
The particles reach high speeds when entering Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate on their way to the ground, leaving a trace of light. Most vaporise as they descend, but some explode. However, the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky.
The author, Dr Aswin Sekhar, is an Indian astrophysicist working for University of Oslo, Norway.