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How to catch a glimpse of tonight's Perseids Meteor Shower

The annual meteor shower is expected to peak in the Northern hemisphere in the early morning hours of August 13
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perseid meteor shower
(via Jasmine K/Shutterstock)

Those looking for a chance to see shooting stars could get lucky tonight, as the Perseids Meteor Shower moves through the skies above Canada.

The best time to watch it will be in the early morning hours of tomorrow morning, August 13.

"Although you can see them at any time in the evening, waiting until later, sort of early in the morning, just after midnight is around the best time to do it," says Rob Thacker, astronomy and physics professor at Saint Mary's University.

But Thacker says that those who want to see it earlier will still have a chance.

The best bet for prime viewing of the meteor shower is to get away from light pollution.

"If you really want to have a good view, get out of the city lights," Thacker tells NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show.

The Perseids happens once a year, as the Earth passes through the trail left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

"We're going through a stream," Thacker explains. "It's basically the debris field left over every time a comet whips by the sun."

When the comet leaves debris like ice pellets and bits of rock behind, they fall to earth.

"It does get more and more dense as you get into the middle of the stream, so a few days on either side is how long it effectively lasts for," says Thacker.

But the professor does warn people not to get their hopes up by looking at photos from previous meteor showers.

"They're coming from everywhere, it's amazing. But you've got to remember that's not quite what it's going to be like," he says.

Because most photos that get shared around are long exposures, those viewing the shower won't see the hundreds of shooting stars shown in photos.

"In the very best situations you might see one a minute, two a minute if you get a cluster of them together if you're lucky," Thacker adds. "Don't expect this to be like a firework display."

Thacker adds that anyone going out to catch the event should wear bug spray and bundle up to keep warm.

"It's easy to get really cold because you're not moving, even though it's not below freezing," he says.

And of course, keep your fingers crossed that the sky doesn't cloud over.

"It does depend upon the weather, of course, if you have any cloud, you're not going to see anything."




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Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

After graduating from journalism at King's, Victoria Walton now works in the film industry and as HalifaxToday.ca's weekend editor.
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