UAE sky to light up with meteor shower: Here's where you can watch Perseid spectacle

This celestial display during this time of the year is famous for its incredible speed and brilliance


Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 10 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jul 2023, 10:36 PM

Stargazers in the UAE can now delight in a celestial spectacle as they get an opportunity to witness the splendour of the cosmos once again with the Perseid meteor shower.

The peak of this year's shower is expected to begin around 8:55pm GST time on the night of August 12 night and will continue till the wee hours of August 13.

It is worth noting that 2023 will be an ideal year to observe the Perseids because the moon is only 10 per cent illuminated, and the shower will produce over 100 meteors per hour.


Explaining the phenomenon, Sarath Raj, Project Director – Amity Dubai Satellite Ground Station and AmiSat, said, "Every year, from roughly July 23 to August 22, the Perseid meteor shower occurs, with the peak falling between late night on August 12 and morning on August 13."

He added, "The Perseids are caused by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle debris. It has an orbital period of about 133 years and is expected to return in 2126. The radiant point of the Perseid meteor shower is in the constellation Perseus, which lends the shower its name." Raj emphasised that the Perseid meteor shower produces up to 100-130 meteors every hour at its peak. This celestial display is famous for its incredible speed and brilliance.

"Perseid meteors are mostly made up of tiny particles ranging in size from a grain of sand to pea-sized objects. As they hit the Earth's atmosphere at speeds surpassing 60 kilometres per second, friction with the air causes them to burn up, resulting in the spectacular streaks of light across the night sky."

A blue, green, yellow, or white shower

They frequently leave long-lasting trails and can be blue, green, yellow, or white in hue.

"On August 13 2023, in Dubai, Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle will be visible in the Hydra constellation. It will have a Right Ascension of 09 hours 39 minutes 51.1 seconds and a Declination of -18 degrees 53 minutes 15.2 seconds. The comet will have a magnitude of 36.85 and will be at an altitude of 43 degrees.

He further explains the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle has been extensively investigated, and its trajectory predicts that the Earth is safe for another 2,000 years from a collision with Swift-Tuttle.

Explaining why this year's meteor shower will have minimal disturbance caused by moonlight, Raj said, "The Perseid meteor shower will be visible from Dubai beginning at roughly 8:55pm local time on August 12. At this time, the radiant point, from which meteors appear to emanate, will rise above the eastern horizon. The shower will last until approximately 5:25am the next morning of that is on August 13. Observers in Dubai will get a chance to witness the meteor shower in all of its splendour between 20:55 and 05:25. This is especially ideal because the shower will peak near the new moon, resulting in minimum interruption from moonlight."

June Bootid meteor

In June this year, UAE residents got an opportunity to witness the wonder of the June Bootid meteor, which peaked on June 27.

"The shower was visible in Dubai from sunset until around 5.02am when its radiant point set below the western horizon," Raj had explained in an earlier interview with Khaleej Times.

The June Bootid meteor shower was active from June 22 this year until July 2, 2023.

This meteor shower is named after the constellation Bootes, as the radiant—the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to originate—lies in that constellation.


Nandini Sircar

Published: Mon 10 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jul 2023, 10:36 PM

Recommended for you