Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower this weekend

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 11, 2019

But do not worry if you can not find the shower's namesake radiant - the Perseids will fly in all directions.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will light up the night skies with up to 80 meteors an hour next week.

August is regarded as "meteor month", boasting one of the best displays of the year: the 2019 Perseids, the most famous of all showers. During this window of activity, individual Perseid meteors can be spotted dashing across the night skies. It also marks another occasion: the Perseid meteor shower.

You can make plans to stay up late or wake up early Sunday, Monday and/or Tuesday, but NASA experts say the best time to see the shower is around 2 a.m. and dawn.

As the comet travels on its 133-year orbit, debris crashes into our atmosphere at 212,000 kilometres per hour and reaches temperatures of 3,000 to 10,000 degrees. Every year, the Earth passes through this debris field, producing shooting stars as numerous as 20 per hour moving up to 25 miles per second at the shower's peak. They can be seen radiating like spokes of a wheel from a central point in the constellation Perseus.

But the good news is locating a shower's radiant is not required to enjoy the spectacle. "Jupiter will be the brightest thing in the eastern sky", says Reynolds.

Catch a live broadcast of the meteor shower on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page.

NASA said telescopes and binoculars are not recommended.

The weekend leading up to the peak may provide better viewing opportunities this year, though, as the waxing gibbous moon will be setting earlier in the morning. 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.

Also, avoid trying to take a photo or using your cellphone; the bright light from the screen will hamper your night vision and may cause you to miss seeing the shooting stars.

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