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One of the most dazzling celestial events of the year will appear across Canadian skies this week.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is set to peak in the early morning hours of August 11, 12, and 13. With just a crescent moon in the sky, this year’s event will be especially spectacular.
The best time to see the Perseids, which appear as quick, small streaks of light, is midnight local time until dawn on the aforementioned peak days.
According to NASA, if you’re far away from light pollution you may be able to spot upwards of 40 Perseids an hour. City-dwellers will still be able to spot a few meteors per hour.
For the best view of the Perseids, NASA advises finding a comfortable spot and avoiding bright lights—even your phone—for half an hour to give your eyes time to adjust to the dark.
As EarthSky notes, all good things come to those who wait. The meteors will appear in bursts, which will be interspersed by lulls. Patience is key to seeing the Perseids
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The Perseids are fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year, Earth passes near the comet’s orbital path, and the debris it leaves behind appears in the sky as meteors.
The meteors are named as such because they appear as if they’re coming from the constellation Perseus.
The 2021 Perseid Meteor Shower might be the best summer sky-watching opportunity for the next few years—the 2022 and 2023 Perseids will be obscured by bright moons.
If you can’t see the Perseids where you live, NASA will be livestreaming the meteor shower on social media from 10 pm to 5 am CDT on peak days.
Now just look up and enjoy the show.