Don’t put your mats and telescopes away just yet ’cause the skies are getting ready to show you a banging light show of their own.
Words by Aroma Kumar
UAE stargazers are once again in for a thrilling summer with the arrival of another celestial happenstance – the Perseid meteor shower, which will be on its peak on the nights of 12th_13thAugust.
According to astronomical experts, Dubai skies are going to light up with probably the best shower of 2018, due to its occurrence on a new moon night and sheer amount of meteors set to fall.
This is not the only cosmic event this summer; earlier this July we were graced by the presence of the longest lunar eclipse of the century, featuring the blood moon.
That sounds cool. Where’s the best spot to watch the meteor show?
With hundreds looking skywards to witness this significant event, the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG) has organised a ‘Perseid Meteor Shower Party’ in the dark side of the Al Qudra desert – an ideal spot to witness a meteor show.
The roster of the night’s program includes naked eye and pre-calibrated telescopic observations of celestial bodies such as Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Nebula and other deep space objects. The event will also feature a presentation, a Q&A session and video shows about the celestial occurrence, for those who want to brush up on their knowledge of the solar system and beyond.
Ticket prices for the event are AED 150 for adults, AED 70 for kids below the age of 13 and a special discount for DAG members (valid ID must be shown) at AED 50.
You must carry your own necessities (water, mats, snacks, seats etc) and arrange transport to the exact location of the event, which will be given to you after registration. Bring a valid copy of your Emirates ID or passport, along with a copy of the registration confirmation, to make sure you’re allowed in.
Alright, but how does the meteor shower occur?
Meteors, more commonly called shooting stars or falling stars, are streaks of light across the night sky caused by small bits of rock or debris called meteroids igniting from the searing friction with the Earth’s atmosphere.
The annual Perseids shower, which produces the greatest number of meteors (approx. 60-70 meteors per hour) occurs when the Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area in the path of comet Swift – Tuttle.
Don’t worry! The chances of Perseid meteors landing on our heads are very small since most are smaller than a grain of sand, so all of them disintegrate and almost never hit the Earth’s surface.
Al Qudra, 10pm-4am. AED 150 for adults, AED 70 for kids below the age of 13 and a special discount for DAG members (valid ID must be shown) at AED 50. Buy tickets at q-tickets.com/uae