The Perseid meteor shower is going to be wonderful this weekend

12 August, 2018, 16:14 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • Getty Image

This weekend (August 12-13th) marks the peak period to view the Perseids across all of North America.

NASA says even though the Perseids are visible as early as 10 p.m., they are best viewed in the predawn hours.

Twarog describes the Perseid meteor shower as "spectacular", however he doesn't get too excited about the event.

The photo comes courtesy of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center Meteoroid Environment Office. According to Accuweather, the forecast for clear viewing of the meteor shower is a bit murky.

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the high points in the celestial calendar, occurs each year as the Earth ploughs through dusty debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

With no moonlight to interfere, it is expected to become one of the best meteor displays of the year. Find a dark spot well after sundown, get comfortable in a place you can lay back to get a wide view of the sky and be patient.

If you're counting meteors, notice there are times when numerous meteors are visible followed by a near absence of activity. The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower.

"Remember, you don't have to look directly at the constellation to see them".

The Perseid meteor shower is here!

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The comet whose tail creates the Perseus shower is called 109P/Swift-Tuttle, and is named after the USA astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, who discovered it in 1862.

In a similar way the Geminid meteor shower in December appears to originate from the constellation Gemini.

The particles that cause the Perseids are travelling at around 60 km per second, which is why the meteors we see are typically very fast and bright.

"Some are sporadic background meteors".

In addition to the Perseids, there will also be four planets visible in the sky on the nights of the shower's peak.

From years of observing, I've seen Perseids streak across the sky as early as the first week of July to as late as the final week of August.

All you'll really need to do is crane your head upwards.

Depending on when you decide to watch, you'll have a chance to see something different.

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