Monday, 20 August, 2018

Map shows best places to watch weekend meteor shower

Dozens of meteors shot across the sky over the weekend during the annual Perseid meteor shower. See The Perseid Meteor Shower Puts on a Show This Weekend
Sandra Phillips | 13 August, 2018, 04:40

"A live broadcast of the meteor shower from a camera in Huntsville, Alabama, will be available on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook starting around 8pm ET and continuing until the early hours of August 13".

When the "radiant" is highest in the sky, we'll see the most meteors.

One of the most popular meteor showers of the year is expected to peak this weekend. The comet Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun once every 133 years, so every August, the Earth passes through the comet's debris field.

A "New Moon" occurs on Saturday, so it shouldn't wash out the sky with its brilliance as it has done in other years.

NASA scientists advise that although they can be seen any time after 10 p.m., the best time to spot a flurry of meteors will be during the darkest part of the night, in the early hours before dawn, from 11 p.m.to first light. As Earth moves through this cloud, the particles fall into our atmosphere and burn up, creating spectacular streaks of light in the sky, known as meteors or shooting stars.

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Patience is key. It can take up to 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark for optimal viewing. You can expect 50-70 meteors per hour by getting away from cities and look to the sky!

Lucky observers may see the occasional meteor sailing across the sky for several seconds, leaving behind a trail of glowing smoke.

And you don't need to be an astronomer to get a good view.

For 2018 however, Sark is considered as the best place to see the shower with it's lack of light pollution. Or head to the North Cascades, overlooking famously turquoise Diablo Lake near Colonial Creek South Campground. There is also a parade of planets visible!

The NASA live stream will be hosted on the official NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page from 3am United Kingdom time.

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