The Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Next Week—Here's How to Boost Your Chance of Seeing a Shooting Star
11 August, 2019, 23:38
"This year's shower. has [the] unfortunate circumstance of having a full moon right at the shower peak, reducing the meteor rates from over 60 per hour down to 15 to 20 per hour", NASA's blog says. That means the ideal night to catch the Perseids may be just before the peak on August 11.
Meteor showers occur when the Earth, during its annual orbit around the sun, passes through a stream of debris left in the wake of a comet or asteroid during its closest approach to the sun. You'll need to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, or get up before dawn to spot the most meteors. While the bright moon is a bummer, remember, it only takes one fireball to make your night. This means the moon will seriously hamper viewing of this year's Perseid display; bright moonlight will flood the sky for nearly the entire night, playing havoc with any serious attempts to see meteors.
The meteor shower typically produces up to 80 meteors an hour but with a bright Moon, the numbers can drop drastically.
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The Perseids come to an end this year on August 24. On the night of the peak, our home planet will run across the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. They typically burn up about 50 miles away from the earth.
The International Space Station got an excellent Perseid show back in 2011.
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