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Look Up, Sky Watchers: The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Coming

Look Up, Sky Watchers: The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Coming

He said the best meteor show of all time was the Leonids in 1833, when there were up to 100,000 meteors per hour.

Whenever any meteor shower is lighting up the sky, astronomers recommend that star gazers find the darkest place to watch, as far away as possible from city lights.

"The moon will be several days past full, so it will definitely be up in the sky during the prime hours of the meteor shower", midnight to just before sunrise, said Amie Gallagher, director of the planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.

A Perseid meteor crosses the sky over the medieval Saint Kazimir Catholic church at night in the village of Vselyub, Belarus, Aug. 13, 2016. These meteors are actually specks of rock that have broken off Comet Swift-Tuttle and continued to orbit the Sun until they vaporize in Earth's atmosphere.

The Perseid meteor shower is usually one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, but that won't be the case this time around, astronomy experts say. The stones through which Earth passes throw at this moment belonged to a comet named Swift-Tuttle. Rising at around 11 p.m. on Friday night, and around midnight on Saturday night, the Moon will present a source of light pollution in the sky, that will washed out numerous fainter meteors.

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The news may not be all bad, though. But we'll see some meteors nonetheless. It can be seen every year when Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris.

Its name comes from the point at which the meteors appear to come from - its radiant - in the constellation of Perseus. The best thing to do is to go outside on the evenings before or after the peak on August 12, give your eyes about 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness, lie down, and look straight up into the sky.

Bear in mind that areas without urban light pollution, such as the countryside, are the most optimal for clear dark skies.

Regardless of where you live, many provincial parks offer a great place to view these events, even if you have to stick to the parking lot at night.

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