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Perseid Meteor Shower 2021: Experience Nature's Spectacle - Turn Off Your Phone & Gaze Upwards

Turn off your phone, look up, and enjoy the Perseid meteor shower this weekend for a mesmerizing experience.

This weekend, astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers will have the opportunity to witness the Perseid meteor shower, a spectacular celestial event that occurs annually from mid-July to late August. Trevor Kjorlien, a renowned space educator and founder of Plateau Astro, a company dedicated to astronomy education, is excited to share his knowledge and passion for space gazing with everyone.

The Perseid meteor shower is caused by the remnants of a comet that orbits the sun. Over hundreds of years, this comet leaves a trail of dust, rocks, and ice behind it. As the Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through this trail, resulting in the meteor shower. The flashes of light that we see are caused by the dust particles entering the Earth's atmosphere.

For those in Montreal, the visibility of the meteor shower depends on the weather conditions. Clear skies are essential for optimal viewing. Fortunately, Friday, August 11, is expected to have clear skies, providing a great opportunity to witness the Perseids. Even in the city, stargazers will likely be able to see numerous meteors. To enhance the viewing experience, Kjorlien recommends starting to look around 10:30 PM and lying flat on your back to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. It is crucial to avoid using your phone during this time, as it can disrupt the eye adjustment process. Looking towards the north or northeast part of the sky is ideal, as the meteor shower appears to originate from the constellation Perseus. The peak time for viewing is around midnight to 1 AM.

This year is particularly favorable for observing the Perseids due to the moon phase. A full moon can hinder visibility, acting as a bright spotlight in the sky. However, this year, the moon will rise late at night, around 3 AM, creating a perfect dark sky for meteor watching. It is an excellent opportunity to witness this magnificent event.

For those interested in joining a Perseid meteor shower event, Kjorlien is hosting an outing on Friday, August 11. The location is a spot above the streetlights, facing away from downtown Montreal, providing a better view of the sky. The event will begin at 10 PM or 10:30 PM when it is dark enough to start seeing meteors. While the number of meteors may not be as abundant as in a dark sky area, it still promises to be a remarkable show without having to leave the city. Unfortunately, all spots for Friday's outing are already filled, but in case of unfavorable weather conditions, Kjorlien may reschedule the event for Sunday, potentially opening up new spots.

For more information about outings, events, activities, and workshops related to astronomy in Montreal, visit Plateau Astro's website. Prepare to turn off your phone, look up at the sky, and immerse yourself in the mesmerizing Perseid meteor shower this weekend.

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