Sarah Garden10 Aug 2017 AT 10:43 AM

How to see the Perseid Meteor Shower in the UAE

Time for some shooting stars!
Sarah Garden10 Aug 2017 AT 10:43 AM
How to see the Perseid Meteor Shower in the UAE
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Stargazers, space-lovers and sky-watchers, listen up – this is your chance to see the Perseid Meteor Shower!

The annual event is a favourite on every astronomer’s calendar, when a showers of meteors that appear to come from the constellation Perseus shoot through the sky. Peak viewing will be shortly after midnight in the early hours of Friday morning (August 11), however you should also be able to see the show in the early hours of Saturday.

There are some internet rumours doing the rounds that this will be the brightest show in human history, and we hate to burst your starry bubble, but according to NASA that’s fake news. Sad!

 "We wish this were true… but no such thing is going to happen. For one thing, the Perseids never reach storm levels (thousands of meteors per hour). At best, they outburst from a normal rate [of] between 80-100 meteors per hour to a few hundred per hour," Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

He added: “This year, we are expecting enhanced rates of about 150 per hour or so, but the increased number will be cancelled out by the bright Moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids.”

But just in case you were thinking of going to bed and not bothering, he still reckons it’s going to be worth it. Apparently even a meteor every couple of minutes is good.

Here are some tips to make sure you wiitness the action.

Get away from the city lights
It’s pretty hot out in the desert, but if you’re well prepared for the conditions and bring plenty of water, this is the best place to see the meteor shower. Anywhere away from city lights always makes viewing easier.

Look in the direction of Perseus
The Perseid meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus, which the meteors appear from. For an idea of how to spot Perseus, try downloading the Sky Map app (iOSAndroid), or similar. 

Your best time to view
It’s likely to be at its best between 1am until 4am on August 11, but try to get to your chosen location by 12.30 to give your eyes time to adjust to the dark.

Ditch the camera phone
Capturing the meteor shower on a camera phone will be extremely tricky, so unless you’ve got a proper digital camera with a wide angle lens, it’s best to just sit back and enjoy the show. The same goes for a telescope, which is likely to make it difficult to follow any shooting stars. When it comes to the Perseid meteor shower, you don’t need anything but the naked eye.

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