One Of Nature's Most Spectacular Light Shows Peaks This Weekend, The Perseid Meteor Shower!

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2017 05:01 AM

Mother Nature is putting on one of her more spectacular light shows this weekend with the Perseid meteor shower.

The Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle says the shooting stars happen as Earth ploughs through a cloud of dust and grit left from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it rounds the Sun.

"With the Perseids being one of the best showers of the year, we could see up to 100 meteors per hour," says Boyle. "But there's a caveat to that, we're gonna have a pesky three quarter lit moon rising about 11 o'clock so that will drown out a lot of the fainter meteors."

Boyle says these meteors are pretty well the size of a grain of sand, but they produce an amazing sight as they vaporize 80 kilometres high in the atmosphere at speeds of 59 kilometres per second.

Boyle says special equipment is unnecessary, and you'll still be able to see plenty of bright meteors as they streak through the sky.

He recommends waiting until after midnight for the early hours of the morning for your best chances of spotting shooting stars, as well, with a group of friends you're more likely to spot one.

Photo Credit: European Southern Observatory Photo Ambassador Stéphane Guisard. A photo of the 2010 Perseids over the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.