Monday, 21 August, 2017

Peak-viewing for Perseid meteor shower this weekend

Perseids A meteor from the Perseids is seen falling over the Very Large Telescope array in Chile
Jeanne Townsend | 12 August, 2017, 00:22

While skywatchers have been focused on the solar eclipse coming Aug. 21, it's not the only astronomical show in August: Friday and Saturday nights, the Perseid meteor shower will peak. A bright moon will make the Perseids appear dimmer and obscure visibility for some of them altogether.

There is a presentation about the meteor shower for about 20 minutes starting at 9 p.m. highlighting what causes the event.

"This year, however, there is a bright waning gibbous moon in the sky all three mornings", said Earthsky.org. He added that the rate of the meteor shower in areas free of light pollution is expected to be 100 [meteors] per hour.

The Perseid occurs because the Earth just grazes the edge of the Swift-Tuttle debris stream in space.

Just look up! The meteors will be seen as streaks across the sky.

Every year, the best time to watch the shower of particles is August 12 or 13.

The meteors can be seen as early as late July, but they often peak in the middle of August. But it's not out of the question - a trip away from the most powerful light sources will increase the odds you'll be seeing more of the shower.

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Even though the rates will be about half of what they normally are sky conditions look to cooperate for viewing, especially Saturday night.

"It's hard to predict for sure, but they are thinking about 150 meteors an hour". It takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust.

THE skies above Gwent wil be alive with an annual meteor shower tonight and tomorrow. "This bright moon will obliterate all but the brightest Perseid meteors". There are plenty of dark sky maps across the internet that can help you out, like this one.

According to NASA the actual peak of the meteor shower will be around 1 PM tomorrow, Aug 12, but since that's the middle of the day here in MI the night before and the night after will be our best chance at catching sight of the show.

"We hit that meteor debris trail every year about the same time", Stunder said.

Once you've found your spot, look to the north to see the meteors seemingly radiating out of the constellation Perseus, which is where the meteors get their name.

The meteors are all tiny pieces of this comet which disintegrate on entering Earth's atmosphere, creating the spectacular show for us.

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