Keep an eye on the night skies over the weekend and you might be in for a treat.
According to the Malaysian National Space Agency, the Perseids meteor shower will be visible at about 1.30am on Sunday (Aug 13), and Malaysians would be able to see between 60 and 150 meteors an hour in areas without light.
But you might not want to get your hopes up just yet.
This year’s phenomenon will coincide with a waning gibbous moon that’s expected to rise at 10.16pm on Friday, making it “a challenge to see the meteor shower clearly,” the agency said.
An annual occurrence between Jul 17 and Aug 24, the Perseids is the result of comet dust entering the earth’s atmosphere.
Across the border, Singaporeans too, might want to keep expectations low. The Science Centre Singapore reported that the republic’s brightly lit, urban environment will reduce visibility of the shower.
Nonetheless, if you’re out and about at night, you might still want to chance a look at the night sky.
That’s because an effect on the most massive planet, Jupiter, will supposedly make the Perseids twice as good.
The comet responsible for producing the shower is Swift-Tuttle, a 25-km-wide hunk of space rock that takes 133 years to orbit around the sun. This year, Jupiter’s enormous gravitational pull will nudge particles from Swift-Tuttle closer to earth, resulting in brighter and stronger meteors shooting across the sky.
In a press release earlier this month, Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office said: “Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates.”
“Under perfect conditions, rates could soar up to 200 meteors per hour,” he added.
In comparison, the normal rate is 60 to 90 meteors per hour.
So astronomy-enthusiasts, keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled.