Posted on August 10, 2017

Qatar's skies will witness a beautiful astronomical event as Perseid meteor shower will be visible to naked eyes on Friday with more than 100 meteors possibly seen per hour.

“The meteors can be seen from Friday until the early hours of Sunday. The peak will be on August 11, 12 and 13 and the phenomenon can be viewed from 11pm until the dawn of next day towards northeast,” Qatar Center for Space Sciences and Astronomy President Sheikh Salman bin Jabor Al-Thani told QNA. Meteors start to burn at an altitude of 120 kilometers from the Earth surface before turning into ashes at 60 kilometers. Hence, they rarely reach the Earth and when they do, it is only small parts that no one realizes, Sheikh Salman said.

You don’t require a telescope or any special instrument as Perseid meteor shower will be visible to naked eye. The meteor shower, which looks like a fireball show, will be clearer and more beautiful if viewed from dark places. “One has to look at Northeast horizon of Qatar sky to see Perseid meteor shower. Enthusiasts will be able to take nice photos of the shower using digital cameras. Increase the exposure time of camera to get a good picture,” Dr Beshir Marzouk, Astronomer expert at Qatar Calendar House said.  “The best time for viewing Perseid meteor is after midnight and the best location is from a dark place, away from light sources,” Marzouk added.

Comet Swift-Tuttle is the source of Perseid as astronomers discovered that it leaves a river of dust around the sun as it approaches it every 130 years. The earth crosses this river between August 11 and 13 every year, so the meteors appear intensively during that period. The showers are named after the part of the constellation that the meteors appear from its side in the sky. Swift-Tuttle last passed nearby Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992, and the next time will be in 2126.

source: QNA / The Peninsula

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