Pull up your garden chairs this weekend: Alberta skies will be streaked with shiny capturing stars — against an unusually darkish sky.
The Perseid meteor shower usually seems in August, however this weekend the shower will be approaching its peak at a time when the skies will present an particularly darkish backdrop.
“What’s particular this 12 months is that we’re close to a brand new moon,” mentioned College of Calgary astronomy professor Jeroen Stil.
“So the moonlight won’t disturb us. So for those who can go to a darkish place, the Perseid meteor shower can be actually spectacular.”
The smoke clogging the air in Alberta proper now may very well assist, he mentioned.
Smoke, like cloud cowl, dims planets and stars usually seen at evening, he mentioned, however the shiny meteors are possible to shine by — and so they’ll distinction much more against the sky.
“The stray mild from the town or a shiny celestial object just like the moon reflecting on that’s usually worse than slightly little bit of dimming by the smoke itself,” Stil mentioned in an interview Friday with the Calgary Eyeopener.
Calgary and different components of Alberta are at present underneath air high quality warnings due to smoke drifting in from wildfires elsewhere.
August 12 and 13 are usually thought of the height viewing days, though Stil advisable heading out as early as Saturday evening to make the most of the darkish sky.
‘Very good mild present’
Between 11 p.m. and the early morning hours are usually the perfect instances, he mentioned, with a median of 1 meteor per minute. However meteors ought to be seen any time stars usually are, he mentioned.
This shower is created when Earth cuts by the mud cloud left by comet Swift-Tuttle.
“We’re scooping up the particles,” Stil mentioned. “They create a really good mild present.”
Glimpses of meteors can be considered by to the tip of August.
With recordsdata from Tahirih Foroozan and the Calgary Eyeopener.