Brightest meteor shower will be visible in Ontario next month

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Published July 1, 2024 at 1:15 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

One of the most prolific showers of the year, producing abundant, bright streaks with rates reaching up to hundreds per hour, is set to dazzle observers next month in Ontario.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, active from mid-July to late August, will peak on Monday, August 12,  continuing into the early hours of Tuesday, August 13.

The Perseids derive their name from how it seemingly appears to streak toward our planet from Perseus’s constellation.

According to Space.com, the phenomenon occurs as the Earth passes through the orbit of the comet 109P or Swift-Tuttle. 

When’s the perfect time to catch this stunning view?

With the moon in its waning phase, the meteors will be highly visible against the dark contrast of the night sky. Astronomers suggest tuning in between 12:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. for the best experience.

If the skies are clear, an anticipated rate of 60 to 100 meteors per hour is expected as Earth journeys through the comet’s most heavily populated debris zones.

If you are a first-time stargazer or an astronomy aficionado, here are some items to be prepared with as recommended by Space.com: 

Red flashlight — Fainter meteors require eyes to adjust to the dark, especially when using a night-sky map. The red light will help preserve your night vision.

Warm clothing—It can get pretty chilly as you wait for the meteor showers. If you’re staying outdoors for a long period of time, grab a warm hat, coat, scarf, and sleeping bag.

Hot drink—A hot beverage will help keep you warm. Tea and coffee are often the go-to choices, as they also help you stay awake.

Deck chair—Looking up for hours at a time could strain your neck. For maximum comfort, it’s advised to use a deck chair that keeps you in an inclined position.

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