The Perseid meteor shower is going to be unbelievable this weekend

Cesar Mills
August 11, 2018

According to Jolene Creighton at Quarks to Quasars, the meteors you'll be able to see during the meteor shower's peak each hour will be blasting into Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 209,000 kilometres per hour (130,000 miles per hour).

Eight months ago, we delighted in the beauty of the Orionid meteor shower show.

Cooke says if you plan on watching the show, just relax, look up and enjoy the meteor show.

The annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the most famous meteor showers of the year. And human habitation in the area can be dated as far back as 10,000 years ago, making this dark sky park the most ancient site in America to view the Perseids. But don't go longer than that, otherwise you'll pick up the rotation of the stars, which could block out streaks from shooting stars, Cooke said.

The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus because that's where the point from which they appear to originate, called the radiant, is located. According to Accuweather, the forecast for clear viewing of the meteor shower is a bit murky. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to ideal this year.

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What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?

Anyone who was disappointed by the brightness of the almost full moon obscuring the Perseid meteor shower previous year will have a chance to turn their stargazing luck around this month.

The comet whose tail creates the Perseus shower is called 109P/Swift-Tuttle, and is named after the USA astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, who discovered it in 1862. "You really have to get out in the country", he said. If stargazers miss the show on Saturday, they also can look for it again beginning at about 11 p.m. on Sunday night. Perseid meteors, caused by debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, began streaking across the skies in late July and will peak on August 12. He added that it takes at least 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust, so be patient and that you can expect to be outdoors for a few hours.

Every summer, Earth ploughs through this thick trail (this year, it entered the trail on July 17, and it will exit on August 24), allowing some of the comet's ancient debris to enter and burn up in our planet's atmosphere.

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