Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

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


The annual Perseids meteor shower is the glittery result of Earth's passage through a stream of debris left behind by a comet, so you should expect to see meteor rates as high as 200 per hour - as long as you are away from light pollution and the clouds stay away.

Bill Cooke, NASA meteor expert, told Space.com: "The moon is very favourable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower for 2018 for people who want to go out and view it".

The good news is you will be able to see the meteor shower with the naked eye.

You might be able to catch a handful or maybe even a dozen meteors per hour in the weeknights leading up to the main event that will coincide roughly with the new moon (meaning the moon is absent from the night sky) on Saturday evening.

When is the shower peak? Astronomy Magazine recommends getting up early to try viewing the shower in the last dark hour before dawn, but it's worth looking up at any hour after dusk. And human habitation in the area can be dated as far back as 10,000 years ago, making this dark sky park the most ancient site in America to view the Perseids. Your meteor rates will be lower, but it's possible to see at least a few of the brightest meteors over the course of a few hours. The best Perseid performance we know of occurred in 1993, when the peak rate topped 300 meteors per hour, Cooke said.

The best time to look for meteors will be from a few hours after twilight until dawn, NASA says.

Sky gazers will be able to view them on the night August 13-14.

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What better way to spend the night than out under the stars.

Even better news still, the moon won't be spoiling the view. It's a rich meteor shower, and it's steady.

The best time to view the Perseid meteor shower in the United Kingdom is around midnight and during the very earliest hours of the morning.

"The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year".

Instead, just look up.

And, stray shooting stars will likely be visible until the end of the month.

The comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest object that repeatedly passes earth.

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