Friday, 06 December, 2019


This Weekend To Offer Ideal Conditions For The Perseid Meteor Shower

Jupiter Saturn and the moon to line up in night sky this week	 	 	 			Getty Images Jupiter Saturn and the moon to line up in night sky this week Getty Images
Kristine Garrett | 10 August, 2019, 08:22

This trail is the Perseid Meteor Shower, a near-endless stream of astral wreckage - in some spots smaller than a grain of rice - burning up in Earth's atmosphere. The moon will be close to full right at the shower's peak, and its brightness will put a damper on meteor spotting. Over the few years centered on that one, the Perseids produced intense (albeit brief) meteor displays of up to a few hundred meteors per hour.

"If it's not cloudy, pick an observing spot away from bright lights, lay on your back, and look up", explained NASA.

Researchers have unveiled a light pollution map of the US, revealing the locations of some of the few places in the country where you can still find "pristine" skies. While this works best in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.

The Perseids are one of the most prolific meteor showers of the year, caused by the rubble of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

However, this year the moon is likely to play a role in the number of shooting stars able to be seen on the peak night.

Lou Coban manages the University of Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory, and says the meteor shower will peak around 9 p.m. Monday.

This year, the Perseid meteor shower started on the 17July and will end around the 24August.

And you don't need a telescope to enjoy the show, Coban said. "Normal rates seen from rural locations range from 50-75 shower members per hour at maximum", says the American Meteor Society.

"They are called Perseids since the radiant-the area of the sky where the meteors seem to originate-is located near the prominent constellation of Perseus the hero when at maximum activity", a statement from the AMS read.

Due to the moon, spectators this year should try to keep the moon out of their sight and look to the darkest part of the sky.

The Draconid meteor shower is the next meteor shower, which falls on October 8, followed by the Orionid meteor shower, which will take place on October 21. The Perseid meteor shower is attributed to the particulates shed by periodic Comet 109P/Swift-Turtle.

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