Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Back

Perseids 2018 Perseid meteor shower at night Perseids 2018 The Perseid meteor shower will be among the greatest spectacles of the year
Frank Williams | 10 August, 2018, 15:26

It's nearly time for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, and NASA expects it'll be the most dazzling meteor shower of the year.

The Perseid Meteor Shower takes place when the Earth travels through the cloud of debris left by the Swift-Tuttle Comet.

But what if you're unable to get to that dark site, or - worse yet - what if your weather is poor?

The meteor shower is made up of particles that crumbled away from the 26 kilometre (16 mile) wide comet as it zooms in and out of the inner Solar System. Video will be provided by David Brewer in Denver, Colorado.

The storm peaks in the early morning hours (just after midnight) of August 12 and 13 - this Sunday and Monday. Astronomers say up to 60 meteors per hour will be visible during this time.

If you'd like a reminder, log in to your YouTube account and click "set reminder" on the feed ahead of time to receive an email 30 minutes prior to the broadcast start. The days around the peak, especially August 11 and 13, also tend to have good viewing.

The meteor shower will be visible without any special equipment, all you need to bring is a bit of patience. That should only increase as the shower reaches its peak.

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What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?

"If you have seen a few of them you have seen them all", he said. The meteor shower is expected to peak this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 11 and 12). But even if you can't step outside a couple hours before the sun comes up, it's worth checking the sky in the late evening and early morning.

Meanwhile, the best place to view the Perseids meteor shower is in the Northern Hemisphere, so viewers in the United Kingdom and USA should be golden.

The Perseid shower is named after the constellation of Perseus.

Cooke recommends steering clear of bright city lights in order to get the best view.

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12.

Heading out to a dark spot is the best plan of action, but stargazers should allow around 20 minutes for their eyes to become accustomed to the dark.

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