Watch a Spectacular Meteor Shower This Week

You’ll still want to find a dark place to watch the meteor shower, as far as possible from city lights.

[Space.com, EarthSky.org]

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Top image: Nick Ares via Wikimedia Commons

Watch a Spectacular Meteor Shower This Week

Watch a Spectacular Meteor Shower This Week

If you’d like to wish on a shooting star, this week is a great opportunity. You won’t need a telescope; just look northeast, and you should be able to see the meteors with your own eyes.

It takes about a month for Earth to pass through the comet’s debris cloud. When those particles burn up in our atmosphere, they create the bright streaks of light we call meteors.

In a happy coincidence, this week’s peak meteor watching nights are also the nights just before the new Moon, so the sky will be at its darkest, making the Perseid meteors easier to see.

The view will be best in the hours right before dawn, but you should have a good chance to catch the show all night from anywhere in the northern hemisphere. This year’s Perseid meteor shower started on July 17, and it won’t end until about August 24 — but this week, we’re passing through the densest section of Swift-Tuttle’s debris, and that means more meteors burning up in our atmosphere. The Perseid meteor shower will peak on Wednesday, August 12 and Thursday, August 13.

Every year, Earth’s orbit around the Sun carries it through a cloud of dusty, rocky debris left in the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle. The show should be pretty intense; predictions range from one meteor every few minutes to 100 meteors an hour streaking across the night sky, so if you’re the wishing type, you may want to make a list in advance.

Advertisement. Swift-Tuttle itself hasn’t graced us with a flyby since 1992

Posted August 9th, 2015 in Uncategorized.

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