Our annual “Broadway-show-in-the-sky” comes this weekend with the Perseid meteor shower.
Although it will be visible from tonight into Sunday night, we should be able to see one meteor per minute early Sunday morning, before dawn.
Florida’s east coast has a front-row seat as it takes place in the northeastern sky. For the best view, we recommend moving away from city lights if you can.
Ditch the binoculars or binoculars and use your eyes to see shooting stars, experts say.
Dust and debris from each Perseid hit the top of Earth’s atmosphere at thirty-seven miles per second.
It’s visible anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere and will be extra special this year because the moon is so low in the sky, only about ten percent brighter.
This will give us a great view throughout the weekend but especially on Saturday night.
The Perseids—one of the largest meteor showers we can see—occur in late summer each year. Meteor showers occur when Earth moves through fields of debris floating in space. The Perseids come from Comet Swift-Tuttle, a large chunk of ice and rock that spews dusty debris as it orbits the Sun. As Earth passes by, those bits get trapped in our atmosphere and burn up, creating streaking lights. The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus, because the paths of meteors start from this point in the sky.
During this weekend’s culmination, the moon will be a waning crescent — a tiny sliver in the sky. That’s good news, because a bright moon can make meteors harder to spot. Last year, the moon was full at the top. As long as the sky is clear without light pollution and clouds, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere will have good visibility this year. You don’t need any equipment to see them, but you do need to give your eyes half an hour to adjust to the dark. Avoid looking at your cell phone as it can ruin your night vision.
Perseids can appear anywhere in the sky. So “lie on your back, look at the moon, and take in as much of the sky as you can,” Cook said.
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