Image: Fort Photo/Flickr
Get ready stargazers. The Perseid Meteor Shower will light up the sky this weekend. And, though the Perseids come around every summer, this year we’re going to get a really good show with the help of the moon. Dark skies will make this the best opportunity for shooting star-viewing in 2018. This, according to space.com.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is set to peak during the day on August 12th this year. So the nights of August 11 and 12 have been marked as the nights that are best for viewing. Just our luck, the new moon is on August 11. So with no visible moon on Saturday and just a sliver to contend with on Sunday… with some clear skies we should be able to see a lot of action in the air.
The Perseids show up in the night sky (seemingly from the Perseus constellation) every summer when Earth crosses through the dust and debris left behind in the orbit of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle is a very large comet and passes near Earth every 133 years. Meteors flash through the sky as pieces of the debris left behind burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. And, not much is needed. Debris as small as a grain of sand can spark up a light shooting through the sky.
This year, the expected rate of meteors in the shower is about one per minute. The best way to observe them is with your naked eye in a place where you can see as much of the sky as possible. The best viewing will be around 2am local time on August 11 and 12. Happy gawking!
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