Photo: Wally Pacholka,

The peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower will be happening on August 12 and 13 this year and what a great time to view the skies. These streaks of light in the night sky do not require any special equipment to see (a lounge chair might come in handy, though) and so it is the ideal event for young and old to go out to observe.

This year is an especially good year to see the Perseids since the moon will be well out of the way on peak days, so if you are viewing from outside a city centre, you should be able to see as much as 60 to 100 meteors per hour! Ranging from light, short streaks to long, and sometimes noisy, fireballs, this show is always a crowd pleaser usually turning into a festival filled with many smiling faces.

These "shooting stars" occur when Earth plows into a stream of fragments—ranging in size from sand grains to boulders—left behind by a comet, in this case, Swift-Tuttle. As particles slam into the atmosphere at speeds of 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) per hour ,  the meteors quickly burn up in the upper atmosphere,  producing a momentary streak across the overhead skies.

So go out and observe this wonderful show and send us your photos, art-work, or poetry in our membership blog. Here are some great submissions we had in the past!

Astropoetry: "Meteor Showers in August" by Kate Gleason, New Hampshire, U.S.A. who won an honourable mention in our 2013 Astropoetry contest.
AstroArt/Sketch: Composite drawing and poem of "Perseids over Ireland" by Deirdre Kelleghan
Astrophotography: (Photo above) Wally Pacholka's beautiful composite of the "Perseids Meteor Shower (composite)"

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