If you are fascinated by the special effects in large-scale productions, come experience nature’s version, presented under the big top of the starry sky! During the nights of August 11 to 12 and 12 to 13, Québec skies will be lit up by the spellbinding magic of the Perseids, an annual tour of shooting stars to which all are invited. Good news: this year, the crescent moon will set early enough to be of no significant concern. We can expect a wonderful meteor shower—up to sixty shooting stars per hour, with a dark sky as backdrop to their dazzling arcs!
The Perseids in 2013
2013 looks very favourable for the Perseids, providing that the weather cooperates, of course! The popular meteor shower will occur just days after the new moon, which will provide us with a completely dark sky. The only drawback is that peak activity is expected around 2 p.m. (Eastern Time) on August 12, 2013. This means that, in Québec, the greatest intensity of the Perseid shower will happen in broad daylight. Still, the night of August 11 to 12—nearest to that maximum and so the more favourable—and the night of August 12 to 13 both promise an eyeful! The crescent moon will set around 10 p.m. on the 11th, and around 10:30 p.m. on the 12th, just in time to observe the meteors, since the radiant of the Perseids—the point in the Perseus constellation from which the meteors seem to emanate—will be well up in the northeast by 11 p.m. The number of meteors will increase as the night progresses, reaching its peak just before dawn. The Perseids will still be visible in the nights preceding and following the most auspicious period—from August 10 to 14—but the number of meteors will be more limited.
How to take full advantage
It’s simple—no reservations, no tickets, no traffic jams! For a striking panorama, stay away from sources of light pollution, leave the city and find an open area where you can set up chairs and blankets and relax. Bring a few warm clothes to counter the coolness and humidity of the night, a snack or a hot chocolate, and voilà—you’re ready for a celestial fantasy that equals all human creation!
So let’s hope for clear weather for the Perseids, and don’t forget your wish list!
For the full story on the Perseids: http://espacepourlavie.ca/en/perseids- 30 -