Best times for you to view this weekend's Perseid meteor shower
Aug 12, 2017, 00:12
Most sky watchers are already looking forward to the upcoming Perseid meteor shower display, which is expected to peak on August 12, especially since reports of it being "the brightest shower in recorded human history" have surfaced, but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration begs to disagree.
On a dark, moonless night you should expect to see 50 or more meteors fly by each hour from extremely northerly latitudes. Let your eyes adjust for 20 minutes, then have patience and observe the sight.
The Perseids were the first meteor shower to be linked to a comet when astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli spotted their association with Swift-Tuttle in 1862.
The name Perseids came about as the meteors seem to come from the constellation Perseus - itself named after the Greek hero who beheaded Medusa.
Even so, the Perseids have some super bright meteors that are sure to put on a spectacular show if you catch a livestream, no matter how desperate the Moon is for attention.
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The Perseids actually never reach storm level, meaning thousands of meteors an hour, says NASA.
One of the biggest meteor showers of the year will be in the night sky this weekend. "And that's just because the moon's going to wash out the fainter ones".
Just look up! The meteors will be seen as streaks across the sky.
However, the nearly full moon may make some of them hard to see. A light jacket or blanket could be ideal since temperatures are expected to cool to the upper 60s from 9 p.m.to midnight, depending on how cozy you want to be when relaxing and enjoying the meteor shower.
The best time of night to take a look at the sky will be from about 1am until dawn breaks. "That's good because they are bright, but bad because if you are not paying close attention, you may miss them".
Visibility should still be very good the following night (12-13) but it is Friday night into Saturday morning at which it will be best.
To see them best, find an area well away from city or street lights and set up where you're shadowed from the moon's glare. It happens every year between the middle of June and the start of September. During that time, up to 150 meteors per hour are possible.
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