Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

The first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years that will cover parts of the nation from the Pacific to Atlantic is on August 21, but for space buffs, tonight brings a different kind of awe.

The Perseid meteor shower is poised to reach its peak this weekend (12/13 August), giving stargazers a chance to get a rare glimpse of a spectacular night-time display.

The greatest meteor shower in US history occurred with the Leonids on November 12, 1833, with 20 to 30 meteors reported per second. In 1833, another Leonid storm reportedly had a rate of at least tens of thousands meteors per hour. His advice for best possible viewing?

However, "The Perseids will be a little more hard to see due to the presence of the moon, which will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak", Space.com quoted Cooke. An astronomer with the Royal Astronomical Society reported that viewers may only see 20 meteors per hours if they are lucky. Light pollution can make it more hard to see the shower. And as this event is happening right before the aforementioned solar eclipse, it serves as a reminder of other interesting astronomical phenomenon.

The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly pass by the earth and has a nucleus width of about 26 km.

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The comet orbits the sun every 135 years.

Bill Wojcik, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Boise, said Treasure Valley residents should have a good view of the meteor shower, though clouds could interfere.

The greatest numbers of meteors will be between midnight and just before dawn on the mornings of August 11-13. At its peak, the Perseid meteor shower will see about 50-60 meteors from the Swift-Tuttle comet cruise across the sky every hour.

If you do miss the Perseids this year, the next big meteor show will be the Leonids in November. This means it will be nearly impossible to see any meteors after the moon rises.

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