For stargazers this weekend will be special as the annual Perseid Meteor shower becomes most visible over Moose Jaw and the Canadian prairies.
Every year in August, Earth passes through the tail of the Swift Tuttle comet. When this happens thousands of tiny particles, some no larger than a grain of sand, blaze through our atmosphere. However tiny, these particles can produce bright shards of light that streak across the night sky. In some cases the meteors will come in small clusters, and on occasion will break up on entry, creating a bright red centre, with a green trail remaining after the meteor disapears.
Vance Petruiew is the president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Regina Centre. He told us that this weekend's show, although normal by Perseid standards, still has the potential to be very entertaining.
"The Persied meteor shower comes from the constellation Perseus, which in August is rising in the northeastern part of the sky, so the shower radiates out from that direction," Petruiew explained "And the particles are travelling really fast, as high as 100 kilometres per second. They have a lot of energy when they impact the atmosphere where they burn up and create a spectacular show for us."
And when should we turn our eyes to the skies?
"This weekend the best night to go out would be Friday night or Saturday morning" said Petruiew. "The early hours of Saturday morning are probably the best time. Unfortunately this year we also have a very large moon, which will make the sky brighter so you won't see as many of the dim meteors. The predictions for this year are around 100 to 110 meteors per hour, however with the moon up in the sky, if we are really lucky we'll see about half of that"
Petruiew told us the best way to watch the show is with the naked eye looking straight up into the night sky. And where you watch matters.
"Anywhere five to ten miles out of the city is probably fine (to reduce the interference of other lights), you don't have to go too far".
If you would like more information on the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Regina Centre visit their website, www.regina.rasc.ca/.