Perseid meteor shower to light up Manitoba skies

A meteor shower captured in Manitoba. The Perseid meteor shower will wrap up its annual appearance Sunday evening. Star gazers can expect to see between 30 and 60 meteors per hour. Justin Anderson

Stargazers will have the chance to watch the night sky light up with shooting stars Sunday evening, as the Perseid meteor shower wraps up its annual appearance.

Overnight, the earth will finish passing by the dust trail left in space by a comet to put on the show, which happens every year around this time.

Scott Young, a planetarium astronomer at the Manitoba Museum, said the event is the second-best meteor shower to happen every year.

“It is sort of the old faithful of meteor showers, it always puts on a pretty decent show,” he said.

While peak time to view falling stars was Saturday morning just before dawn, as that’s when the earth passed the thickest part of the “dust bunny” of comet particles, Young said the sky should be nearly as bright Sunday evening, too.

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“We didn’t have great clear skies last night, but we should have good skies Sunday and Monday mornings and that’ll give us a pretty decent chance to at least catch the end of the shower.”

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Depending on how far out of the city and away from light pollution one is, watchers can expect to see between 30 and 60 meteors per hour Sunday night into dawn.

Justin Anderson, a professional photographer, watched the shower from Rocky Lake near The Pas despite the cloudy conditions.

“We just kept looking straight up and you’d see the odd meteor come through the clouds, right through the thin part of the clouds, and even some of them you could see the entire clouds flash almost like it’s lightning and you know then that’s actually a meteor probably lighting up the sky,” he said.

The photographer said while he didn’t capture any photos of the meteor shower, the experience was still well worth it.

“It’s a surreal feeling sitting underneath the stars looking up and, just, you feel so small in such a big world.”

Anderson said he’ll be going out to capture photos of the night sky Sunday in the same place.

– with files from Katherine Dornian

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