How to watch the Perseid meteor shower in Ontario

Ontario residents in several parts of the province may get the chance to see the spectacular Perseid meteor shower next week.

Experts say the meteor shower will peak on the evening of August 12 around midnight, making the early morning hours on August 13 the ideal time to watch the skies.

“The Perseid meteor shower occurs annually in August and is caused by the earth passing through the debris trail left behind by the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle,” said Dr. Rachel Ward-Maxwell, a researcher and programmer of astronomy and space sciences at the Ontario Science Center.

“Although the meteors will be visible all across the sky, they will appear to all come from the same point called the radiant located in the constellation of Perseus in the north-eastern sky.”

She added that the shower would occur “under less-than-ideal conditions this year” because they will coincide with a full moon making the sky very bright and the meteors more difficult to see.

“Warm summer nights make the Perseids one of the most popular meteor showers to watch and you can typically spot 50 to 80 meteors per hour at most under dark skies,” she said. “The moonlight this year will make this hourly rate more unlikely.”

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