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How to catch the summit of the dazzling Perseid meteor shower 2018



  persid-nasa-still.png

The Perseids seen from the International Space Station


NASA

There is a possibility for anyone to observe the spectacular Perseids on Saturday and Sunday, while the annual meteor shower reaches its height.

One of the best shooting star shows of the year (at least in the northern hemisphere) is probably best seen in North America from the northern Great Plains and the Great Lakes region, where the sky should be clear.

Few clouds will obscure the view in much of the western half of the continent. However, the smoke and haze of California forest fires could provide less than ideal conditions in the western US. In Europe, Eastern European countries may offer the clearest sky.

Even though the sky is not clear where you are, you can watch a live webcast of the meteor shower anywhere through the Slooh Observatory.

The Perseids will peak on Sunday, August 1

2, until the early morning of August 13, but the spectacle is already beginning to warm in the dark, mostly moonless evenings.

The peak will roughly coincide with the new moon on Saturday night (meaning that the moon is missing in the night sky) as the Earth drifts through the densest part of a cloud of cosmic debris left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle Planets and the sun once every 133 years.

  perseid-path-aug-12-13

Every year, in mid-August, the Earth passes collide with particles that propagate along the orbit of comet Swift-Tuttle ,


Sky and Telescope

The Perseids appear to arise between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them you really do not need to worry about which direction to look. Find a comfortable place with the widest possible view of the night sky, if possible away from light pollution, and relax, sit back and look up. Do not forget to give your eyes some time to adjust to the darkness.

During the peak or peak, Sunday evening and early Monday morning, it could be possible to catch up to 110 meteors in an hour, or almost two per minute on average. Astronomy Magazine recommends getting up early to see the shower in the last dark hour before dawn, but it's worth looking up every hour after sunset.

One reason why the Perseids are actually sizzling in the summer sky in the northern hemisphere is not the seasonal heat, but their speed, which can be nearly 60 kilometers per second (134,000 miles per hour).

There's no need to worry about meteors raining down on you, because Sky and Telescope say that the bright streaks of Burning Perseids are actually 128 miles (128,748 meters) above your head and through space splinters the size of a small pebble

First published on August 8, 14:26 PT.
Update, August 11 at 1:35 pm: Adds new weather information and more to the Weekend Show.

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