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Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Will Fill The Skies This Weekend

Look Up! Perseid Meteor Shower Will Fill The Skies This Weekend

"Reports are circulating that this year's Perseids will be the 'brightest shower in recorded human history, ' lighting up the night sky and even having some meteors visible during the day", Cooke said in a NASA statement. "The very basic technique is to take the camera out on a steady tripod, and start by setting your shutter speed around 20 seconds, which should be sufficient with the bright moon", explained Mosby.

The Perseid meteor shower originates from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

"This year, however, there is a bright waning gibbous moon in the sky all three mornings", said Earthsky.org. Though the meteors will appear to fall at about half the rate as prior years, viewers can still expect to see around 40 to 50 meteors per hour.

Meteor showers happen when Earth's orbit passes through a trail of rocky debris left behind by a comet.

Saturday the 12 might be better for observation, Sky and Telescope said, since the moon will rise a little later and be a tad dimmer.

While the night of August 12-13 is the annual meteor shower's peak, higher than normal meteor sightings will continue until the shower ends on August 24.

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The best time to see them is between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. overnight Saturday into early Sunday morning.

To see them best, find an area well away from city or street lights and set up where you're shadowed from the moon's glare. A light jacket or blanket could be ideal since temperatures are expected to cool to the upper 60s from 9 p.m.to midnight, depending on how cozy you want to be when relaxing and enjoying the meteor shower.

The Perseid Meteor Shower takes place annually from July 17 to August 24, when the Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle and debris from the comet pierce the Earth's atmosphere at 130,000 miles per hour.

Once you've found your spot, look to the north to see the meteors seemingly radiating out of the constellation Perseus, which is where the meteors get their name. During these peaks, you can usually see 60 to 120 meteors per hour.

"At best, they outburst from a normal rate between 80-100 meteors per hour to a few hundred per hour", he said.

The meteors are all tiny pieces of this comet which disintegrate on entering Earth's atmosphere, creating the spectacular show for us. The comets travel at extreme speeds of around 132,000 miles per hour (59 kilometers per second), which is around 500 times faster than the world's fastest vehicle is capable of travelling.

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