Perseid meteor shower treat possible for Singapore stargazers this weekend

Aug 12, 2017, 00:22
Perseid meteor shower treat possible for Singapore stargazers this weekend

The upcoming Total Solar Eclipse and the Perseid meteor shower are set to occur this month.

As for the Perseid meteor shower per se, they pose no direct threats to people back on Earth.

The moon was full on August 7 and will have waned to approximately 80 percent illumination by Saturday.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke expects visible rate in a clear sky to be cut by about half to 40-50 per hour as the bright moon washes out the fainter meteors.

Every year as Earth orbits around the sun and through the wake of the Swift-Tuttle Comet, bits of debris from the 17-mile-wide icy space ball enter the Earth's atmosphere at 133,000 miles per hour, reaching temperatures of 3,000 to 10,000 degrees and creating the meteors stargazers see in the sky.

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"The Perseids can be seen from the end of July with one meteor an hour crossing the skies".

While the night of August 12-13 is the annual meteor shower's peak, higher than normal meteor sightings will continue until the shower ends on August 24.

The best time to observe the meteor shower is late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

To get the best view of the Perseids, make sure you are observing the sky on a cloud-free night.

If you're keen to catch the show, find a nice dark spot, preferably out of town to avoid light pollution.

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The Perseid Meteor Shower takes place annually from July 17 to August 24, when the Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle and debris from the comet pierce the Earth's atmosphere at 130,000 miles per hour. The longer you give your eyes to adjust to the darkness (30 minutes is ideal), the better your viewing experience will be. "This bright moon will obliterate all but the brightest Perseid meteors".

Once you've found your spot, look to the north to see the meteors seemingly radiating out of the constellation Perseus, which is where the meteors get their name.

While usual rates for the Perseid meteor shower are roughly 80 shooting stars per hour, in outburst years like that of last year, the rate jumped to 150 to 200 meteors each hour during the peak.

"Every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years".

"Open patch of sky, a place that is away from the immediate glare of streetlights and a good supply of coffee".

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The Perseid meteor shower as seen over the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank in 2015.

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