Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Science | By Tyler Owen

Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Will Fill The Skies This Weekend

Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Will Fill The Skies This Weekend

Becoming partly cloudy Saturday night (the models disagree on this).

The Perseids actually never reach storm level, meaning thousands of meteors an hour, says NASA.

Most of the meteors are specs of dust and sand particles as they come off the comet and heat up in the Earth's atmosphere as they turn from frozen materials to gaseous, he added. "The very basic technique is to take the camera out on a steady tripod, and start by setting your shutter speed around 20 seconds, which should be sufficient with the bright moon", explained Mosby.

You won't see many meteors at this time, but you may be lucky enough to catch an Earthgrazer.

Saturday the 12 might be better for observation, Sky and Telescope said, since the moon will rise a little later and be a tad dimmer. However, since meteor showers are unlikely to be seen during the day, they will be visible during the pre-dawn hours of the 11th, 12th, and 13th.

If sky watching has become a new pastime for residents, the Perseids meteor shower peaks Saturday night.

Cooke said the show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of August 12, but that there'd be a decent show both nights.

The Perseid meteor shower as seen over the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank in 2015.

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Lay on a reclining chair or lounger, or just put a blanket on the floor. "You may see one every couple minutes on average, depending on the brightness and clarity of your sky". "At best, they outburst from a normal rate of 80 to 100 meteors per hour to a few hundred per hour", not all of which can be seen.

The best place to go to view the meteor shower will be away from cities or light pollution and go somewhere dark to better see the smaller meteors. This is the Milky Way, our home galaxy and we are looking at it edge on from within.

The Perseid meteor shower originates from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. This orbital laboratory is the size of a football pitch, travels at 1,7500 mph and is around 200 miles up!

It last passed nearby Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992, and the next time will be in 2126. Then look for clear sky, low on the horizon.

Cooke also said that the record for the brightest meteor shower in recorded human history also belongs to the Leonids, which lit up the sky in 1833 to a point where people thought it was the end of the world.

"It is the most reliable and watchable of all the showers".

Although the peak is expected this weekend, the Perseid shower is already under way and will continue through August 24.

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