You’d think the Barbie movie is August’s star-studded highlight but there’s another magical phenomenon that will truly leave you starstruck. The Perseids meteor showers are going to light up Dubai skies on August 12 and 13; it’s quite literally a stellar sight to behold.
This one’s better than even a supermoon, guys – bursts of 60 to 100 meteors per hour will rain down from the heavens. If you’ve got some wishes to make, now is the time. Since the meteor activity is peaking right before a new moon, clear inky black skies make the meteor showers visible to the naked eye. No binoculars or telescopes required.
Where can I watch the Perseids in Dubai and wish upon a shooting star?
You’ll just have to make sure you pick a dark sky site – places with zero to little light pollution. Luckily, the UAE is blessed with vast swathes of deserts ideal for star gazing such as the Al Awir desert – also the location of the Dubai Astronomy Group (DAG) Perseids viewing event today, from 10:30pm to 3am.
It includes a sky mapping session, Q&As, naked-eye and telescope observations and photography of celestial objects. Participants can also use the telescope to sight other deep-sky objects such as Saturn and Jupiter. Tickets of AED 300 also include a dinner buffet, refreshments and transportation from the meeting point to the desert camp.
What is the Perseids Meteor Shower?
The Perseids are space debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle – the largest object to pass through Earth’s orbit. Every year, when the Earth zooms through its 133-year orbit, leftover dust particles and broken asteroid bits fall through our atmosphere and burn into fireballs and glowing streaks. In fact, the Perseid meteor showers are famous for fireballs – explosions larger than the average meteor shower.
Because of how plentiful they are, NASA actually calls the Perseids ‘the best meteor showers’. Although this spectacular cosmic event is active every year from July to September, it only reaches maximum activity in mid-August. As these meteors appear to burst from the same point in the sky as the constellation Perseus (Greek hero who defeated Medusa), it’s named Perseids.
Other unmissable astronomical events
2023 has been a great year for UAE’s stargazers and astronomers. In February, a 50,000-year-old green comet passed by the Earth. March saw the awe-inspiring sight of four planets, and the moon align. August 1 gifted us a blinding beautiful supermoon and a second one – a bluemoon – is scheduled for August 30.