Meteor shower to light up SA sky

2015-08-12 21:40
A meteor streaks across the sky near an American flag in Springville during the annual Perseid meteor shower . (Mark Almond/AL.com via AP)

A meteor streaks across the sky near an American flag in Springville during the annual Perseid meteor shower . (Mark Almond/AL.com via AP)

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Johannesburg – Local star gazers are in for a treat this week as the annual Perseid meteor shower is set to light up the sky.

Away from the major cities the stars will come out to play, especially late on Wednesday and Thursday night.

The annual Perseid meteor shower has arrived, and while the northern latitudes of the United States, Europe and east Asia will see it most brightly, South Africa will not be left out of the show.

"It is a northern hemisphere constellation but we can see the Perseid from South Africa relatively from the northern horizon," Astronomical Society of Southern Africa Johannesburg Centre chairperson and viewing officer Jerome Jooste told News24.

"What we call the radiant or the point of radiant, where the meteors seem to radiant from, is a little higher than the Perseid constellation itself."

Jooste said the Perseid was quite a good shower to see.

"What you do see, after midnight, you will start to notice there will be more meteors than what you would normally see and also there would be more per an hour," he said.

"A few will be quite bright but the majority will be quite faint."

Meteor showers occur around once a month, and sometimes twice a month. 

- An earlier version incorrectly stated Astrological Society of Southern Africa instead of Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. News24 apologises for this error.

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