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Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Watch the Perseid meteor shower this weekend

Watch the Perseid meteor shower this weekend

NASA astronomers have estimated that this year's Perseid meteor shower will generate almost 40 to 50 shooting stars streaking across the night sky each hour during its peak. On average, the meteor shower should supply roughly 50 meteors per hour; however, sometimes you can get outbursts of 100-200 meteors per hour, while other hours or nights will provide much less.

"The Perseid meteor shower is the most famous of all the meteor showers, providing an opportunity for non-enthusiasts to see a meteor".

The meteor shower, which looks like a fireball show, will be clearer and more lovely if viewed from dark places. They're very small, about the size of a grain of sand, according to Space.com.

The meteor shower arises out of the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle which last made a pass by Earth in 1992. "These meteors are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus", Nasa said in a statement. Hopefully, enough clearing will take place to see the Perseid Meteor Shower (details later in the article). Just face northeast and look halfway up.

"This year, we are expecting enhanced rates of about 150 per hour or so, but the increased number will be cancelled out by the bright Moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids", Cooke said. Dr Meghan Gray, a researcher at University of Nottingham, said, "These meteor showers happen every year in August".

Unfortunately for spectators, the moon will be in its waning gibbous stage, when it is three-quarters full.

Californians and those in the West will likely have the best view of the show, according to the Weather Channel, with clear skies predicted during the shower's peak. "Upwards of 100 lay prostrate on the ground [.] with their hands raised, imploring God to save the world and them", Cooke quoted from an 1833 account of seeing the Leonids meteor show in SC.

The best viewing areas are away from bright sources of light, so a trip into the countryside is best.

Friday and Saturday night are both peak times for these showers.

The Perseids are leftover debris from Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which takes about 133 years to orbit the Sun. However, he said, observers must be patient as activity will appear randomly in the sky, lighting up for a mere second or so.

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