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Friday, 11 August 2017

Only brightest bits of Perseid visible to naked eye

Shower of sparkles: Last year, between 150 and 200 meteors were sighted in an hour over Kudat, Sabah. - Pic by Christianto Mogolid

Shower of sparkles: Last year, between 150 and 200 meteors were sighted in an hour over Kudat, Sabah. - Pic by Christianto Mogolid

PETALING JAYA: The annual Perseid meteor shower is popular among local amateur stargazers as it is visible to the naked eye from anywhere in the country.

Professional astronomer Shahrin Ahmad said to see the meteor shower, one has to go to a place with minimal light pollution.

“The eyes will take at least 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness before they are able to spot the meteors.”

He said Perseids, which originate from the north east, would be visible in every direction of the sky.

“Therefore, it does not take one to be a stargazer to spot it.”

He said that at the peak of the meteor shower at 1.30am on Sunday, one would be able to see between 80 and 100 meteors an hour.

Last year, between 150 and 200 meteors were sighted in an hour.

However, he said, this year the Perseids’ display will be a little more difficult to see due to the presence of the almost full moon.

“The moon will rise shortly before midnight when the shower is about to hit its peak. The light from the moon will drown the visibility of the fireballs from these meteors.

“However, enthusiasts still have the chance to see these showers – only the very bright ones – but the visibility rate is half of what has been forecast.”

Shahrin said the meteor shower was actually pieces of meteoroids burning up, giving the bright bursts of light, as they enter the atmosphere.

The meteoroids travel at a speed of about 60km per second.

 
 

 

Tags / Keywords: perseid meteor showers , astronomy

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