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Weather poised to present ideal Perseid meteor shower for viewers in Greater Victoria – Victoria News

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Every summer Earth plows through the trail of a comet creating the Perseid meteor shower.

The comet and its tail are so spread out, residents of this planet get to see the comet itself once every 130 years or so, but the shooting stars are on display each August. Last seen in 1992, the comet Swift-Tuttle creates the meteor shower as bits of dirty ice and other detritus trailing the comet burn up, explains the president of the Victoria arm of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

The particles hit about 100 km above the earth and the atmosphere slows them, heats them and that’s when we get the glow of ‘shooting stars’ streaking across the sky. Some are even as small as a ballpoint pen tip, said Randy Enkin.

“We’re not going to see those really tiny ones here,” the Victoria resident added.

The show is already underway, but peaks the night of Aug. 11. Enkin suggests finding dark sky the next day around 4 a.m.

READ ALSO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

“It just keeps getting better and better as you go into the morning.”

While Cattle Point in Oak Bay is a designated dark skies park – Enkin is a frequent visitor – the lights of the city and nearby neighbourhoods still affect viewing.

Enkin has previously had good viewing from Victoria Golf Club as well, but most recommended in Greater Victoria are the dark skies of the Saanich Peninsula, he said.

“We don’t have the moon as a source of light pollution this year, we just have to deal with human made (light).”

The meteors move north to south. Look toward the constellation Cassiopeia – forming a W shape in the sky – to see more plentiful, shorter meteors, look away and there will be fewer, but nice and long, the astronomer suggested. Early in the evening, he noted, they’ll look like they’re all coming from a single point.

While residents can spot the bits of dust and ice glowing hot as they zip through the atmosphere, it’s unlikely any chunks will fall to Earth.

READ ALSO: Cattle Point a shield from city, a window to universe

“We’re not expecting any meteorites from this sort of meteor shower,” Enkin said.

Pleasant weather for watching the skies is likely the lead cause of popularity of the Perseid meteor shower. By contrast, Geminid meteor showers feature colourful, brighter and longer shooting stars in December when cloud cover is commonly present, but it’s colder out, Enkin noted.

The weather forecast for Aug. 11 and 12 for the bulk of Vancouver Island does include small amounts of cloud, and warm overnight lows in the 14 C to 16 C range.

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c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Crew Shares Photos of Earth from Space – Beebom

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If you are a space enthusiast like myself, I’m sure you love the mesmerizing views of the Earth from space shared by astronauts. Having said that, chances are you will love the breathtaking pictures recently shared by the astronauts in SpaceX’s Inspiration4 spacecraft, which took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on September 15. It safely returned to Earth today.

The seven-seater SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft was recently launched from the Kennedy space center. Following the launch, astronauts from the Inspiration4 spacecraft shared four orbital photos of the Earth. You can check out the tweet right below.

The photos were taken from the cupola of the spacecraft, which is a dome-shaped, transparent viewing area that allows astronauts to get a unique glimpse of our planet from space. Not just that, SpaceX Inspiration4’s astronauts also shared a short video showing the sunset. You can check it out right here:

The astronauts include the Shift4 Payments CEO and founder Jared Isaacman, who financed the space mission and is currently the acting commander of the spacecraft, Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, physician assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor.

Now, it is worth mentioning that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft can carry seven people onboard. However, the Inspiration4 mission only includes four astronauts aboard the spacecraft. As per reports, following the launch, the Inspiration4 spacecraft has now completed 15 orbits around Earth and is expected to complete a full orbit of the Earth every 90 minutes. If you want to monitor the progress of the flight, you can go to SpaceX’s official tracking website.

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More space tourism to come after Inspiration4 crew returns from successful mission | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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The first all-amateur crew to orbit the Earth without an astronaut aboard has safely returned. SpaceX founder Elon Musk picked them as his first rocket-riding tourists. As Jennifer Johnson reports, four more flights with paying customers are coming soon.

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World's first space tourists splash down in their SpaceX capsule after three days in orbit – Yahoo Eurosport UK

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Four space tourists safely splashed down in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday, ending their trailblazing trip into orbit.

Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the ocean just before sunset, not far from where their chartered flight began three days earlier.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk took them on as the company’s first rocket-riding tourists.

The fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of miles 585km after Wednesday night’s liftoff, that’s 160km above the International Space Station.

The passengers were able to take in views of Earth through a big bubble-shaped window added to the top of the capsule.

For more on this story, watch the full report in the media player above.

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