Qatar Centre for Space Sciences and Astronomy has said that Qatar’s skies will witness a “stunning astronomical event” as bPerseid meteor shower ecomes visible on Friday with more than 100 meteors possibly seen per hour.
The centre’s president, Sheikh Salman bin Jabor al-Thani, said the meteors can be seen until the early hours of Sunday.
The peak will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the phenomenon can be viewed from 11pm until dawn the following day towards the northeast. The meteor shower can be seen with the naked eye and doesn’t need telescope or other equipment, he said, adding that the viewing experience is better and the meteor shower, which looks like a fireball show, is clearer and more beautiful in places far from lighting.
Meteors start to burn at an altitude of 120km from the Earth surface before turning into ashes at 60km. Hence, they rarely reach the Earth and when they do, it is only small parts that no one realises, Sheikh Salman said.
He noted that Comet SwiftTuttle is the source of Perseid as astronomers discovered that it leaves a river of dust around the sun as it approaches it every 130 years.
The Earth crosses this river between August 11 and 13 every year, so the meteors appear intensively during that period. The showers are named after the part of the constellation that the meteors appear from their side in the sky.