Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Perseids Meteor Shower Will Be One Of Year’s Best Sky Shows

Perseids Meteor Shower Will Be One Of Year’s Best Sky Shows

The Perseid meteor shower is almost here, meaning that it's nearly time to head outside and lift your eyes toward the heavens, where you can gaze upon hundreds of shooting stars lighting up the night sky. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to ideal this year.

Twarog describes the Perseid meteor shower as "spectacular", however he doesn't get too excited about the event.

The peak nights for this year's shower will be from August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13, with more than 100 meteors visible per hour, according to Gary Boyle, an Ottawa-based astronomer.

When is the best time to see them?

-The best time to see the Perseids is after 2 a.m. local time, when the Perseus constellation is high in the sky, Space.com reported. Stargazers can expect to see 150-200 meteors an hour, complete with streaks and fireballs.

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The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

Cooke recommends steering clear of bright city lights in order to get the best view. And if you want to know how to pronounce "Perseid" correctly, it sounds a little like "Purse-y-id", here's a video from NASA to help. However, this year with a dark clear sky, it's possible to see an wonderful light show. The Slooh observatory will host a livestream of the shower starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Every year, in mid-August, Earth passes collides with particles spread along the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun". This creates the meteor shower, or the appearance of "shooting stars". The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night, peaking just before sunrise.

Meteor showers are typically visible with the naked eye, and so no special equipment is needed (Photo: Shutterstock)How regular will the meteors be? The best time for viewing will fall on the nights between 11 August and 13 August, although the evening of 12 August will optimal, with experts suggesting that up to 100 meteors per hour will be visible.

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