Stargazers to witness Perseids meteor shower this weekend

Muscat - 

Stargazers in the sultanate will witness one of the dramatic cosmic displays, Perseids meteor shower, lighting up the sky this weekend.

The annual meteor shower began on July 17 and will continue until August 24, offering the best chance to see it on August 12, around 9pm and early morning hours of August 13.

Ali Amur al Shaibani, an Omani astronomer and member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, said enthusiasts must go at a spot with clear sky view without any urban light pollution, and look towards the northeast.

“They will be able to watch it with naked eyes. Perseids occurs normally every year in August with a flare rate of about 80-100 per hour at 60km per second speed. But this year the Perseids rates will be about half of what they would be normally because of the bright moonlight,” Shaibani said.

Astro-enthusiast Issa al Shaikh said that he has arranged a camping trip this weekend at Jebel Shams Resort to watch the shower with his friends. “I will bring my own telescope to observe Jupiter and Saturn on the same night.”

Jebel Shams, Jebel Akhdar and other mountainous areas provide the best place to watch Perseids meteor shower and other astronomical events because of the low rate of light pollution and clear sky view. “There are many people in Oman and abroad who visit these places to enjoy stargazing in pleasant weather especially during the summers,” Shaibani said.

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