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The Perseid meteor shower is going to be fantastic this weekend

10 August 2018

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.

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. "You should be able to see some meteors from July 17 to August 24, with the rates increasing during the weeks before August 12 and decreasing after the 13th", NASA said in a skywatching video.

The Perseids are made up of pieces of space debris that originate from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. Unfortunately, there's always the chance that bad weather like fog or rain will create unfavorable viewing conditions.

How many meteors will we see?

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Although, stargazers in mid-northern latitudes will be privy to the best views, according to NASA, anyone can see the light show. And if you want to know how to pronounce "Perseid" correctly, it sounds a little like "Purse-y-id", here's a video from NASA to help.

As Earth sweeps through the path of Swift-Tuttle's 133-year-orbit of the sun, it collects some of these bits of leftover comet, which incinerate in our atmosphere in a fiery blaze.

For casual and die-hard astronomers alike, the middle of August means the return of the Perseid meteor shower. Debris from the tail end of this comet hits our atmosphere at around 132,000 miles per hour and burns up before it makes contact with the surface of the Earth. He added that it takes at least 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust, so be patient and that you can expect to be outdoors for a few hours.

You can still see meteors before and after the Perseid showers peak, and you dont need special equipment.

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The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear, known as the radiant, lies in the constellation of Perseus.

And while they take his name, the meteors don't actually come from the stars in the Perseus constellation, which are hundreds of light-years away.

Place: Darkness is required for optimal viewing, which is pretty tough in the city.

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The Perseid meteor shower is going to be fantastic this weekend