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Shooting star shower on Saturday

 Staff Reporter

MUSCAT

Stargazers in the Sultanate will have a great time this weekend when they can witness one of the dramatic cosmic displays of ‘Perseids shower’ lighting up the summer sky.

The prolific meteor shower began on July 17 and is to continue till August 24. But August 12 between 9 pm and the wee hours of next day should be when stargazers will have the best sight, says astronomer and member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences Ali Amur Al Shaibani.

He says that to spot the showers, enthusiasts have to locate themselves at a spot with clear sky-view without any urban light pollution and look towards the northeast. “We will be able to watch it with the naked eye, without even needing a telescope,” he adds.

“Perseids occur normally each year in the month of August with a flare rate of about 80-100 per hour at 60 km per second speed. But this year the rates will be about half what they would be normally, because of the bright moonlight,” he said.

Astro-enthusiast Issa Al Shaikh says he has fixed a camping trip this weekend at Jebel Shams resort to watch the shower with his friends, and he will bring his own telescope to observe Jupiter and Saturn that night.

“Jebel Shams, Jebel Akdhar and other mountains are the best to watch the meteor shower and other astronomical events. A lot of enthusiasts from outside the Sultanate are expected at these sites, Al Shaibani said.

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