Published: Sun, August 11, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Meteor Shower To Take Center Stage At Long Island Beaches

Meteor Shower To Take Center Stage At Long Island Beaches

"Better activity will be seen in the darker sky".

You may have already noticed a meteor or two streaking across the night sky if you've gone outdoors and looked up at night in the past two or three weeks. The Perseids and Alpha Capricornids are now active, and early this week, a fireball meteor was visible streaking across the night sky over New England.

THE handsome Perseid meteor shower will light up the night skies next week when Earth crashes into the orbital debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Catch a live broadcast of the meteor shower on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook page. But a lot of bright meteors will still be visible to the naked eye.

When is the Perseid meteor shower in Canada?

This year, the Perseid meteor shower started on the 17July and will end around the 24August. This year, the peak is on the night between August 12 and 13.

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Experts say that viewing the shower in the days leading up to the peak may provide better viewing due to the slightly dimmer moon.

Note that the "window of dark sky" shortens as you head north, primarily because the morning twilight period lengthens at higher latitudes. A rate of 150 meteors per hour, for instance, means two to three meteors per minute, including faint streaks along with bright, fireball-generating ones.

Perseids are typically fast and bright, and they occasionally leave persistent trains. Comet Swift-Tuttle has left a cloud of debris that follows it around the sun. When these pieces collide with our atmosphere at speeds of 37 miles (60 km) per second, friction with the atmosphere cooks them to white hot, so they produce an incandescent trail of ionized gas in their wake, creating the effect of a shooting star.

The International Space Station got an excellent Perseid show back in 2011.

Swift-Tuttle last passed through the inner solar system in December 1992. When this happens, the number and intensity of shooting stars zipping across the night skies will skyrocket. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh also hosts regular stargazing events.

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