Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak this weekend

Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak this weekend

On top of this month's eagerly awaited solar eclipse, astronomy aficionados will have another good reason to look up with the return of Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the most popular shooting star displays of the year, will be at its peak Saturday night. In fact, you might see more if you view the shower earlier in the evening before the moon rises around midnight local time.

No. Give your eyes around 20 minutes to adjust to the night sky then look up and wait. "However, these meteors tend to be very long and long-lasting so it is definitely worth trying to see some of them".

The Perseids were the first meteor shower to be linked to a comet when astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli spotted their association with Swift-Tuttle in 1862.

Named after the Perseus constellation, the Perseid meteor shower comprises celestial debris falling from space through the Earth's atmosphere.

The Perseid meteor shower originates from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.




You do not need to look in any particular direction as meteors appear randomly anywhere in the sky. The average rate for the Perseids is about 80 meteors an hour. It is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because the Perseid shower happens every single year from July through Sept, reaching its peak in August, so if you miss it this year, there's always next year. "Instead of 80 to 100, (there will be) 40 to 50 per hour".

Last year's Preseids meteor shower event brought 250 spectators out to the observatory and the society expects the same number in attendance this year.

The moon will be more than half-full, in a so-called gibbous phase, which means its light will spoil stargazers' view in a similar way to that of urban light pollution. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, the brightness of the sky overhead at full moon away from an urban center can be the same as an urban center on a moonless night. The meteors are actually tiny dust and particles from the tail of the comet as it orbits around the sun.

Good weather and clear skies will increase your chances of catching a good glimpse.

To see them best, find an area well away from city or street lights and set up where you're shadowed from the moon's glare. That's hot enough to vaporize the meteor, which results in the flash of light that we see as a shooting star.

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