Another Night of an Intense Meteor Shower with a Chance for Good Weather

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There is still hope for all those who have missed the chance to observe the annual Perseid meteor shower, as Monday night marks the end of the peak of the shooting stars’ visibility. According to the weather forecast presented on Sunday by Environment Canada, the sky on Monday night will be partly cloudy, with the possibility of showers at the start of the night estimated at 30 per cent, while thunderstorms can also appear locally.

More than 100 shooting stars per hour

According to Gary Boyle, an astronomer from Ottawa, over 100 meteors can be observed per hour during the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13, which constitute the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. The best way to view the shooting stars is to go outside the city, where they can be seen after midnight in complete darkness.

What is the Perseid meteor shower

This annual event in the night sky is caused by the trail of debris that was left behind a comet known as 109P/Swift-Tuttle, through which Earth passes every year.

Once our planet encounters the material left by the comet, the little meteors heat the atmosphere of Earth with a speed of 60 kilometers per second. These impacts burn up the little pieces, which create long streaks that totally vaporize soon after.

As Boyle said, these meteors are extremely small, with an average size of big sand grains. However, there are some pea-gravel-size small rocks amongst them, which have the potential to light up the night sky. These particles, even though they are so tiny, can create a show that can be observed from far below, on the surface of Earth. Let’s not forget about it while looking at the sky today at night.


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