Prospective stargazers are in for a treat as two spectacular events can be enjoyed next week.
One of them is Mars, came closer to Earth than it was in the last decade. And it is estimated that it will take more than 100 years for the Red Planet to come this close again. The event happened on July 27, along with the Blood Moon, a night perfect for stargazers. Sadly in Ottawa, the sky was mostly clouded and many people were disappointed.
There is still hope, as Mars is moving at a snail’s pace along the sky. You can now see it without staying up late as it appears as soon as the sky is dark and remains visible all night. It is easy to spot as it is the brightest star on the sky, with a yellow or orange shade.
For fans of meteor showers, the annual Perseids are on the way. The event happens every year as Earth passes through the debris left behind by a huge comet. The small meteors enter our atmosphere and start to burn. Hundreds of meteors will light up the sky offering a unique show for everyone which is willing to see it. The best nights to see the Perseids are between August 11 and August 13, when meteor activity will be at peak levels.
Both events can be admired with the naked eye but if an observatory close to you offers the chance to visit it at night it is highly recommended to participate. You will see the spectacle in higher detail, along with other people with whom you may discuss the event and even make some new friends at the same time. Remember to dress well as the weather may be chilly outside and nobody wants to catch a cold in the summer.
Wherever you watch the show, enjoy!