The Perseid Meteor Shower, one of the most dazzling celestial displays of the year, will be approaching American skies this week.
According to NASA, the Perseids typically peak in mid-August and “are considered the best meteor shower of the year.”
“With very vast and bright meteors, Perseids frequently leave long ‘wakes’ of light and colour behind them as they streak through earth’s atmosphere,” says the space agency.
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At the peak of the celestial event, there are between 50 to 100 meteors that can be seen per hour. The meteors typically coincide with optimal summer conditions as well, meaning that they can often be viewed by many.
NASA adds that this particular meteor shower is “known for their fireballs” — which are described as bigger explosions of light and colour that last longer than an average meteor streak.
Space says that the Perseids are expected to peak on Tuesday, August 11, and Wednesday, August 12.
Bill Cooke, lead of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, told Space that it’s an early morning shower and that “the best view will happen a couple of hours before dawn.”
It is, however, possible to see the meteors as early as 10 pm. Unfortunately, the moon isn’t expected to work in favour of stargazers. Being in the last quarter phase, Space says that it’s expected to cut down the rate of visible Perseid meteors.
Time: According to Nasa, the Perseids will be active from now until August 24. They’ll be most active, however, on August 11 and 12 and can be best viewed before dawn.
Place: Darkness is required for optimal viewing, which is pretty tough in the city. But try one of the local parks. Your rooftop may not be the best solution, especially if you’re in downtown (you need to get as far away from light pollution as possible).