Perseid meteor shower peaks August 12th

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 9, 2019

The Perseid meteor shower is on its way for this year, right on schedule, and it will peak between August 11 - 13, prime time being Monday night and Tuesday morning. However, clouds may interfere with some stargazers' plans to watch the celestial light show. The best time to see a meteor shower is generally between midnight and sunrise, as the radiant is higher in the sky then.

"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.

"Up to 100 meteors per hour will occur during the peak night", AccuWeather astronomy blogger Dave Samuhel said. The resulting luminous trails of glowing ions are called meteors, their colors depending on the chemicals in the debris particles and the atmospheric gases. "They are multicolored and many are bright". As the full moon is on August 15, moonlight from the waxing gibbous moon close to the nights around the peak will obscure all but the brightest meteors. Cloudy conditions may also be an issue for some spectators. This includes most of the western United States, the southern Plains and a swath of the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and New England. Get away from artificial lights and try to get as much of the sky in your view as possible; that way, you have the best chance at seeing them.

Scope nights provides detailed weather forecasts for stargazing around the world, using a combination of national and global data to help you find clear skies. Just don't expect to see as many as the early a.m. viewers. Catch you in the wee hours in a few days. According to NASA, that night the moon will set after 3 am, allowing the sky to depict more meteors. The Perseid meteor shower is attributed to the particulates shed by periodic Comet 109P/Swift-Turtle. If you trace back all of the meteors during the upcoming shower, they will all originate from a part of the sky near the constellation Perseus.

NASA said not all the meteors you'll see belong to the Persoid meteor shower, with other background meteors and weaker showers also present.

Meteors, colloquially known as "shooting stars", are the streaks of light that we see when small pieces of debris from comets or asteroids enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up at high speed.

The Draconid meteor shower is the next meteor shower, which falls on October 8, followed by the Orionid meteor shower, which will take place on October 21.

After the Perseids, stargazers will need to wait until October for the next opportunity to watch a meteor shower.

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