The most spectacular and highly anticipated meteor shower of 2013 is here!
Event: Perseid Meteor Shower
Duration: 17 July - 24 August 2013
Peak period: Tuesday 13, August 2013 00:15 until 04:45 Singapore Time
Q1: What's so special about his particular meteor shower?
Moon sets very early during this period. A moonless night is darker and allows more meteors to be seen. Especially the dimmer ones. Perseid Meteor Shower statistically has the highest chance of seeing fireballs - very bright meteors that can be even brighter than Jupiter or Venus! And it is happening on a super long weekend when people can stay up late overnight!
Q2: When is the best time to observe it?
During the predicted peak period on early Tuesday morning from 00:15am till 00:45am. BUT you do not have to wait until then. Meteors can be seen a few days before and after the peak period at a slightly lower rate per hour. And due to unpredictable skies, it may not be clear on the actual peak night! So start hunting every night from now whenever the sky is clear enough.
Q3: Where to look for meteors in the sky?
Take in as big patch of the open sky as possible with your eyes to increase your chances of catching them. Try to lie down on a comfortable mat or reclining chair and look straight up into the sky. Else, try to look towards the North East portion of the sky. The meteors will apparently seems to radiate from the constellation Perseus (thus the name of the meteor Perseids)
Q4: Where to observe in Singapore?
Dark areas away from most city lights with big patch of unobstructed sky overhead. For example, near the beach, parks or high up in the roof-top sky gardens in tall buildings. For example:
- Changi Beach
- Punggol Park
- Lower Peirce Reservoir Park
- Marina Barrage
Do take note of personal safety. Observe with at least a family member or friend if you are going to a dark area. Do wear long protective clothing and deploy insect-repelling measures if you are observing in mosquito-prone areas.
Q5: How frequent will Persied meteors appear in the sky?
On *average* about 1 meteor per minute. Since this is just an average, it is possible not to see any for a few minutes and then a few meteors within a minute! So be patient and keep looking up!
Q6: How meteors look like?
Watch this excellent compilation video by Mr Y. K. Chia captured right here in the heartland of Singapore!
Weather permitting, from tonight 7 Aug till 11 Aug, my friends and I will bringing our telescopes and cameras to do stargazing as well as hunting/photographing meteors at Bishan Park. Either at the big lawn directly opposite McDonald's or at open grounds just outside McDonald's or both. If you happen to go to this park, feel free to drop by and say hello and observe through our telescopes at stars and planets (Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars)!
For the latest updates, please check this twitter page or follow me:
The hashtag for this event is #MeteorSG. Feel free to tweet your meteor hunting experience in Singapore with this hashtag so we all can share your excitement!
Due to time contraint (leaving for Bishan Park soon!), I do not have time to add more graphics and info about this event. In the next few days, I will try to update this blog. So do check it regularly! You may also search for "Perseid Meteor Shower" online (google/youtube/twitter) for more info.
Wishing all of you clear skies and good luck spotting big big fireballs!