The Perseids meteor shower, also called the Perseids, occurs annually from mid-July to late August. This year, it is anticipated to reach its peak on August 12 and 13, illuminating the skies not only in the UAE but worldwide.
The cosmic event will feature about 100 meteors an hour shooting across the night sky. Whether or not you’ll be able to see it depends on the weather, but the forecast suggests clear skies and not much moonlight, so you should have a good view.
About the Perseids meteor shower
The Perseid meteor shower is widely regarded as the most spectacular of all the meteor showers that take place throughout the year.
And guess what? 2023 will be a good year for the Perseids as the moon will only be 10% illuminated. This year’s event occurs just before a new moon, resulting in an especially dark sky, which is ideal for observing the meteor shower.
The Perseids are caused by Earth passing through debris — bits of ice and rock — left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle which last passed close to Earth in 1992.
The Perseids reach their peak as Earth ventures through the most densely packed and dusty region. Therefore, they are set to peak during the late hours of Saturday, August 12, and the early hours of August 13, as stated by the Dubai Astronomy Group.
As Perseids race through Earth’s atmosphere, they paint the sky with light and color.
“Perseids are renowned for their fireballs,” the NASA space agency explained. “Fireballs are more significant bursts of light and color that can linger longer than a typical meteor streak. This is because fireballs stem from larger particles of comet material.”
When you sit back to watch a meteor shower, you’re actually seeing the pieces of comet debris heat up as they enter the atmosphere and burn up in a bright burst of light, streaking a vivid path across the sky as they travel at 37 miles (59 kilometers) per second, according to NASA.
How can I witness these shooting stars?
The Perseids meteor shower is visible to the naked eye, but telescopes will make it even better.
The Dubai Astronomy Group is hosting an event at Al Awir desert on Saturday night, and tickets range from Dh200 to Dh300, including telescopes.
Commencing at 10pm, the exclusive event will offer participants the chance to observe Jupiter, Saturn, and various deep sky phenomena through telescopes. Attendees can also engage in astrophotography sessions, sky mapping, meteor observation, and numerous additional activities.
For those in Abu Dhabi, the opportunity to witness the breathtaking meteor shower spectacle is worth the journey to Dubai.
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