Coming this weekend: The most spectacular meteor shower of the year

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The peak nights for this year's shower will be from August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13, with more than 100 meteors visible per hour, according to Gary Boyle, an Ottawa-based astronomer.

A tent stands out against the starlit sky during the Perseid meteor shower on August 14, 2016 in Terlingua, Texas. So you can definitely catch them in advance.

The Perseids are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere in the pre-dawn hours.

NASA says even though the Perseids are visible as early as 10 p.m., they are best viewed in the predawn hours.

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Time: Watch the spectacle between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 12. and between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 13.

This year, the Perseid meteor shower will be particularly spectacular because the moon will be a thin crescent and will set early leaving a dark canvas for the meteors' bright streaks. It's a rich meteor shower, and it's steady.

Some 60 to 100 meteors — better known as shooting stars — can be seen per hour as the Earth encounters the gritty debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the icy parent of the Perseid meteor shower.

You can tell if a meteor is a Perseid by following its direction backwards and, if it's coming from the direction of Perseus, it's a Perseid. It's recommended you find a dark sky in a rural area away from artificial lighting.

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"Relax, be patient, and let your eyes adapt to the darkness", Kelly Beatty, Sky & Telescope senior editor said in a statement.

What's great about the Perseids is they can be enjoyed during summer's warmth, unlike the often nippy nights during the Leonids of November or Geminids of December.

If you are in a city, try to get somewhere at least somewhat sheltered from lights, maybe a park or backyard.

The Perseids happen each year as Earth passes through the trail of dust left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which makes a full orbit of the sun every 133 years.

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Keen stargazers may have already spotted one or two streaking meteors since around mid-July when the Perseids started to appear.

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