Perseid meteor shower this weekend offers Wiregrass viewers prelude to eclipse

The Greatest Meteor Show of All Time | Watch the Skies - NASA Blogs

August warmth continues through the end of the week

The annual comes along between July 17 and August 24, but we are now at its absolute peak with the best and brightest views coming between August 11-13.

The spectacle of meteor showers is caused by the entry of comets' remnants from outer space into Earth's atmosphere. Earth passes through the Comet Swift-Tuttle's path between July 17 and August 24 and our planet passes through the dustiest, most dense area on Saturday, which allows viewers to see the most meteors in the shortest time, Stunder explained.

The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers with between 50 and 100 each hour, increased to about 150 per hour this year.

Unfortunately, the moon being three-quarters full will make it a lot tougher to actually SEE the shower this year. He further added, "The best Perseid performance of which we are aware occurred back in 1993 when the peak Perseid rate topped 300 meteors per hour".

This means it would make little difference if you sought out a rural area with little artificial light pollution - conditions usually recommended for meteor watching.

Prepare to sit for a few hours, as the longer you stay, the better you'll see as it can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the dark. This prevents us from having a clear view of the shower. During these peaks, you can usually see 60 to 120 meteors per hour.

The Greatest Meteor Show of All Time | Watch the Skies - NASA Blogs

One other factor that may put a damper on the meteoric action is the fact that the almost three-quarters-full moon, rising shortly before midnight, will outshine some of the smaller, thereby fainter, meteors.

Henderson said he would have liked if the moon were less bright this weekend.

NASA already burst sky watchers' bubbles but at least the Perseid meteor shower will still be fantastic, right?

Last year, there was an unusual "outburst" with more than double the usual fireball activity as Earth passed through especially dense "ribbons" of debris within the comet's dust belt.

NASA says the Perseids could feature more meteors this year, but they might not be visible from Earth. The meteors appear to come from the constellation Perseus, hence the name.

It orbits the sun ever 133 years and each time it passes through the inner solar system, it warms up releasing fresh comet material into its orbital stream.

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