We’ll be counting stars of the shooting variety this weekend as the sky above our heads provides the backdrop to one of nature’s most spectacular gun shows.
As if specially commissioned for the start of 2020 (although definitely not) the Quadrantids meteors will be putting on a special synchronised show above our heads this weekend.
The shower sprinkles visible displays between December 28th and January 12th, but this Friday and Saturday represent peak Quadrantids viewing time.
You’ll be able to catch the display in almost any area with minimal light and air pollution, so our expansive deserts are a popular spectating spot. Keep your fingers crossed for minimal cloud cover too – as that, pretty obviously, provides optimum viewing conditions.
Dubai Astronomy Group is inviting seasoned celestial rock spotters and the cosmically curious to an as-yet-undisclosed Al Qudra desert location where you’ll be able to get a closer view of up-to 120 meteors per hour, streaking past a telescope lens. You’ll also be able to pose your astronomical questions to experts and take part in a star decoding session.
AED 120 adults, AED 70 kids, AED 50 DAG members. 10pm-3am. Al Qudra, exact location to be disclosed upon booking. www.q-tickets.com
What actually is a meteor?
Meteors, or ‘shooting stars,’ are streaks of light across the night sky caused by small bits of rock or debris called meteoroids igniting from the searing friction with the Earth’s atmosphere.
Once inside the exosphere these tiny hunks of space rock travel at speeds in excess of 20 kilometres per second. Almost 60 times the speed of sound. The streak of light or ‘tail’ comes from the trail of glowing particles it leaves behind it.