Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

The Perseid Meteor Shower Puts on a Show This Weekend

The Perseid Meteor Shower Puts on a Show This Weekend

"As long as you have clear skies and you're away from the city, you should have a good show".

When the "radiant" is highest in the sky, we'll see the most meteors. This year is an excellent one for the Perseids, because they will reach their maximum on a new moon weekend; without any bright moonlight, skywatchers will be able to see many fainter streaks.

The meteors can be traced to the Perseus constellation, from which they get their name, which will climb in the northeastern sky as the evening passes. The display of meteors will light up the sky between August 11 and 13.

Every year in the month of August the skies are graced with what is known as the Perseid Meteor Shower.

According to NASA, just because this weekend is the peak of the meteor shower doesn't mean they can't be seen afterward.

The Perseid shower occurs each year as the Earth barrels through dusty debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

This is classified as an outburst rather than a meteor shower. Though smoke is forecasted to linger into Saturday night, the sky cou;ld remain moderately clear into the early morning hours and temperatures shouldn't drop below 16C.

Part of the reason the Perseids really sizzle in the summer sky in the northern hemisphere isn't the seasonal heat, but rather their speed, which can be almost 60 kilometers per second (134,000 miles per hour). In rural areas, the showers should be visible within a few minutes. "The best instrument to use for any meteor shower is the unaided human eye, because you have the widest possible field of view".

Perseid meteor travel at 132,000 mph, or over 36 miles per second.

A number of planets will also be highly visible.

Mr Masi said: "Perseids never disappoint the observer - they are one of the best astronomical shows off the year and we just need our own eyes to see them".

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