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Perseid meteor shower to light up W. MI sky this weekend

11 Août 2017

From lunar eclipse in India on August 7 and 8, to a total solar eclipse in the U.S. on August 21, this is an astronomer's month.

The best summertime meteor shower - the Perseids - will be coming to a sky near you, weather permitting.

Qatar Centre for Space Sciences and Astronomy has said that Qatar's skies will witness a "stunning astronomical event" as Perseid meteor shower becomes visible on Friday with more than 100 meteors possibly seen per hour. Typical rates of Perseids are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. In general, NASA advises meteor watchers to give their eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to their dark to give themselves the best viewing chances.

To see the meteor shower next week, you don't need special equipment, just some patience. The brightness of the moon will make it harder to see some meteors produced by the shower.

In space, pieces of debris are called "meteoroids". Those in northern Australia are most likely to see a meteor or two.

Although the Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend, meteors will be visible through the end of August.

Most of the meteors are specs of dust and sand particles as they come off the comet and heat up in the Earth's atmosphere as they turn from frozen materials to gaseous, he added. Unlike many other meteor showers, they also take place in the warmth of summer, and over an extended period of time, allowing people the opportunity to relax and watch them without worrying about hypothermia. He said that these meteors are the dusty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle that approaches the Sun once every 120 years, and when it travels away, it leaves debris and gases behind.

Catching a sight of this meteor shower is an absolutely phenomenal experience as Johann Nishant, an astrophotographer who captured the meteor shower past year, describes it.

Perseid meteor shower to light up W. MI sky this weekend