The Mleiha Archaeological and Eco-tourism Project in Sharjah has geared up its preparation for the Perseid Meteor Shower, scheduled to light the UAE skies on Sunday from 8pm to 1am.
The Perseid meteor shower begins in late July and runs through mid-August, but this year the peak rates are expected to occur late on the night of Sunday, Aug. 12, and into the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 13, though both nights on either side of that date should also offer good opportunities.
The Perseid meteors are leftover debris from the "Swift-Tuttle" comet. Records of the meteor shower date back nearly 2,000 years. However, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke recommends August 12 for a slightly better show. But the best time to watch the shower is in the pre-dawn hours of 3-5 a.m. when the moon has set and Perseus is high in the sky.
If you want a better view by getting away from light pollution, there will be a Night Walk 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell, where its $3 per vehicle.
The Perseids appear at about this time every year when Earth ventures through pieces of debris left behind by the ancient comet Swift-Tuttle.
"What we're seeing when we see meteors are little dust particles lighting up the atmosphere". Along with the showers, there's also a chance stargazers will catch a view of the Milky Way stretching from the south, along with Saturn and Mars. However, this year with a dark clear sky, it's possible to see an fantastic light show. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on planet Earth. Half of watching a meteor shower is waiting around for them to appear. As with other meteor showers like the Leonids and the Orionids, the annual phenomenon takes its name from its constellation of apparent origin.
Ali bin Amer Al Shibani, Head of the Omani Astronomical Society said that the date of the meteors can be forecasted and that meteors may last for hours, days or weeks. This almost two-month spread suggests that comet debris has spread widely since Swift-Tuttle first passed though the inner solar system thousands of years ago.