100 meteor flashes an hour expected from annual space show

By Ian Holmes
August 10, 2018 - 6:06pm

The persied meteor showers peak Sunday night, but have been visible for several nights, according to VIU astronomy professor Dr. Gregory Arkos.Pixabay

NANAIMO — A VIU astronomy professor described the Persied meteor shower as the most consistent annual show of bright meteors zipping through space.

Dr. Gregory Arkos told NanaimoNewsNOW an impressive light show is created by Earth plowing through a large debris field left by a comet. He said stargazers willing to stay up after midnight could see in the range of 100 meteor flashes an hour.

“You can expect to see maybe a meteor or two over the whole sky every minute and that's a pretty consistent show.”

He said a new Moon means a large reduction in light pollution.

“We're not competing with the moonlight in terms of making the dimmer meteors visible. It makes a big difference.”

Arkos said while the meteors peak overnight Monday, they have been noticeably visible over the past several nights.

Arkos recommended viewing the meteors in a dark place with a full view of the sky.

He said Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars can all be viewed at the same time, adding an extra treat.

“It's fairly unusual to have the bright naked-eye planets visible in the sky,” Arkos said. “That's another motivator to stay up a little later and enjoy the show.”

Arkos said those planets can be seen in the west, southwest and southeast portions of the sky.


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