x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Clear skies for tonight's meteor shower

As many as 60 meteors are expected to fall every hour during the Perseids shower, which will peak this evening.

Members of the Punjabi family watch the Perseids meteor shower from atop a sand dune near Lehbab, midway between Dubai and Hatta, last year. They gathered with other stargazers at an observation gathering sponsored by the Dubai Astronomy Group.
Members of the Punjabi family watch the Perseids meteor shower from atop a sand dune near Lehbab, midway between Dubai and Hatta, last year. They gathered with other stargazers at an observation gathering sponsored by the Dubai Astronomy Group.

DUBAI // Stargazers will be treated to a spectacular meteor shower this weekend. As many as 60 meteors are expected to fall every hour during the Perseids shower, which will peak tonight. The view of the shower in 2009 was obstructed by a sandstorm and full Moon, but astronomers are promising that tonight's sky show will be "beautiful". "This year, because the Moon is almost like new, we have a good dark sky to see even the small meteors," said Hasan al Hariri, the head of Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG).

"Last year, it was very hazy and windy and it was spoilt by clouds, and then the Moon came up." The Perseids, which has been running discreetly since August 1 and growing in size, is one of the biggest events on the astronomy calendar. "The meteors do fall usually, but far less frequently," explained Mr al Hariri. "They will peak on the night of the 12th, with almost 60 an hour - around one every minute."

Mr al Hariri is encouraging would-be astronomers to head to Bab Al Shams resort tonight from 8pm, where DAG has set up telescopes, beanbags and binoculars on the lawns. He and his team of experts will give a brief presentation to the hundreds they expect to attend, and assist them in their viewing. "We like to educate people about astronomy; it is such a beautiful thing," he said. For more information call +971 4 809 6194 or email JBASrestaurants@jumeirah.com

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