Perseids Meteor Shower Will Be One Of Year’s Best Sky Shows

Perseid meteor shower

Perseid meteor shower

If you happen to be in a light-pollution-free area with nice weather, you'll probably be able to see about 60 or 70 meteors streaking through the moonless sky, according to NASA estimates.

This makes the summertime display one of only three annual showers that produce this many.

The shower is expected to peak on the night of Sunday August 12, though Saturday and Monday will also offer excellent views.

As meteors enter the earth's atmosphere they leave streaks of light in the sky, which some people call shooting stars.

The Perseid meteors are actually pieces of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth.

If you're planning on watching the Perseid meteor shower, bear in mind that it will take at least 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

In August 2016, the shower produced about 150 meteors an hour and in 2009, the estimated peak was about 173 but some of the fainter meteors could have been washed out by Moonlight. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on planet Earth.

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016.

The dust and debris are traveling quickly, at around 37 miles per second.

However, you can also catch the odd meteor before and after these dates.

Timeanddate.com provides tables indicating when the showers are active and even gives some nice tips on how to best watch the performance.

Individual Perseid meteors have already been spotted as early as July 16 but the best is yet to come this weekend.

"Even in towns or cities observed rates may still be around 10 to 20 an hour in the early morning hours when the radiant is high".

During these nights the moon will be in its crescent-shape, or "new moon" phase.

To make the best of the meteors, observers should avoid built-up areas and try to find an unobstructed view to the east.

If you head out to a big open space with little light pollution you will have a better chance of seeing them.

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