Meteor shower lights up skies over Bosnia

Christopher Davidson
August 12, 2018

The Swift-Tuttle comet approaches every 133 years, leaving behind a trail of debris.

Every year the Earth gets close enough to the comet Swift-Tuttle's orbit to draw its debris into our atmosphere, and this year the new moon will leave a dark sky for us to enjoy the meteor shower during the weekend, its peak.

While this handsome phenomenon occurs every year, this year is particularly special because it falls on the same weekend as the new moon! That happened for the last time in 1992 and won't happen again until 2126. This year the most visible days are projected to be August 11-13, and NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the US can expect to see as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during the shower's peak. Entering the atmosphere at high speed, the friction they create as they pass through causes the air around the meteor to heat up dramatically, resulting in a characteristic brief bright streak of light.

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"I think that everybody should see this", said Miralem Mehic, a Bosnian from an global group of star gazers who watched the light show at the Sand Pyramids - an area of naturally occurring sand columns - near the southern town of Foca. Stargazers will want to position their chairs with this point in the middle in order to cast a wide view of the night sky and catch the meteors move away from the centre point.

One of 2018's best astronomical events, it is expected to dazzle the night sky on Saturday and Sunday night, with as many as 100 shooting stars an hour at its peak. Wherever you are this weekend, do not forget to look up. Conditions have been helped by a new Moon which will make the sky even darker, just give yourself 10-20 minutes for your eyes to adjust.

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