Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Night sky festival this weekend at Shenandoah National Park

Night sky festival this weekend at Shenandoah National Park

Most of the state should experience clear to mostly clear skies each night. They say the further you are from artificial lights, the better the view will be.

The annual Perseids meteor shower is the glittery result of Earth's passage through a stream of debris left behind by a comet, so you should expect to see meteor rates as high as 200 per hour - as long as you are away from light pollution and the clouds stay away. The meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they look the brightest against the darkest sky, which is straight up. If that's accurate, it means that if you can see the stars of the Big Dipper, you should be able to see numerous Perseid meteors, astronomer Steven Bellavia from Brookhaven National Laboratory told Gizmodo.

"Sky gazers just need to look to the northeast to observe the Perseid showers", Dr Marzouk suggested. Every meteor we see is actually a tiny piece of the comet burning up as it strikes the Earth's atmosphere.

A stunning, natural spectacle is set to light up night skies across the world this weekend, and those living in Dubois County should have a good seat to the show.

The Perseids fall from 17 July to 24 August, but this is the best weekend to catch them, with experts citing the night of 12 August as being the peak. Those tiny bits of debris, traveling at around 132,000 miles per hour, create vivid streaks of light when they collide with Earth's atmosphere. The moon will be in it's "new moon" phase allowing for even darker and better conditions.

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"That's pretty active", he said when asked if that's a lot for a meteor shower.

One such person is Paul Jacobs, who photographed some stunning images of the Perseid meteors over the beach at Lee-on-the-Solent in Hampshire.

This year, Europe and North America will have the best views.

A number of planets will also be highly visible.

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