NARIT invites skygazing tonight for bright meteor shower 

The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) invited Thai people to watch the sky tonight  (Aug 12) as “Perseid” meteor shower will be visible to naked eyes at 100 meteors an hour at maximum.

People around the world will be able to see pieces of a comet streaking across the sky, as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak tonight.

It said the Perseid meteor shower will peak on the night of Aug 12 and early morning hours of Aug 13.

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the brighter meteor showers of the year and it occurs every year between July 17 and Aug 24.

According to NARIT’s academic service centre chief Suparerk Karuehanon the meteor shower is visible to naked eyes in the northeast sky at a maximum of  100 meteors an hour in darkest areas.

But as the moon will be close to the Perseids tonight, the bright moon light may hinder a good view of the meteor shower.

Besides, he said as Thailand is now in the rainy season, the weather condition might obstruct the good viewing.

However he said the people in the South will be able to view the phenomenon better than other parts of the country  because of light rain there.

The Perseids are bits and pieces of cosmic dust and debris left in the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Earth passes through this trail every year with the debris slamming into the upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 130,000 miles an hour (210,000km).

Swift-Tuttle itself is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 133 years. It is next expected to fly past Earth on Aug 5, 2126.

It has an impressive 16 mile (26km) wide nucleus and is the largest object in the solar system to repeatedly pass close to Earth.

NARIT will hold sky gazing activities today at its observatory in Songkhla from 5pm- midnight.