by Hazarry Haji Ali Ahmad | The Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
One of the brighter meteor showers will light up Brunei skies – the Perseids are coming soon this week.
They occur every year and visible between July 17 and August 24. Perseids tend to peak around August 12-13, between midnight till dawn. And this year 2021, the new moon phase will keep the night sky naturally dark, which is a prime time to observe the meteor.
Perseid meteors are made of tiny space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle that briskly burnt in our atmosphere upon entry producing spectacular light shows or “shooting stars”. The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus because the direction, or radiant, lies in the same direction as the constellation.
As our country is back under strict movement restrictions due to recent COVID-19 outbreak, it is still the best time to enjoy the celestial display from your home.
How to Watch Spectacular Meteor Showers from Home
Weather permitting and depending on your location, Perseid meteor observer can see 60 to 100 meteors in an hour from a dark place.
While meteor showers are best seen in the darkest places, those living from the urban areas may still see the bright ones from your back gardens, balconies or rooftops.
For those living in rural areas in Brunei will have the advantageous spots to observe the spectacular displays from their backyards or gardens. These observers will see more stars and meteors thanks to the lower level of light pollution.
There is no special equipment to view a meteor shower. From your home, ensure to minimise the light in your vicinity, and follow these simple steps:
▪ Find a viewing spot with an unobstructed view of the night sky outside your home.
▪ To maximise your shooting star experience, you may need to turn off most of you house lights or look away from any bright lights.
▪ Lie down on the ground and look up towards the Northeast direction.
▪ Share your astronomy at home and observation on your preferred social media by tagging us #bruneiastronomy
Stay at home, stay safe. Clear skies!