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Perseid, The Most Popular Summer Meteor Shower, Peaks This Weekend

08 August 2018

And even though it doesn't peak until the nights of August 11-12 or 12-13, it is already producing the fireball meteors that the Perseids are famous for. "The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower for 2018 for people who want to go out and view it". In 2016, it was an outburst year, which means the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. The moon will be at a crescent, which means more darkness to see more meteors.

But don't worry. The Comet Swift-Tuttle isn't going to crash into the Earth any time soon, if at all, NASA says. The 16-mile-wide comet is the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth. Little blazes of light, streaking across the sky, are the result of dust, dirt, and other stuff out there in space smacking into our atmosphere so fast that they burn up as bright flashes of light. The meteors travel at 37 miles per second and most are the size of a grain of sand. The Perseids radiate from the constellation Perseus in the eastern horizon and is associated with the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle which last passed by Earth in 1992. The Northern Hemisphere down to the mid-southern latitudes are the best locations for viewing.

So for the best look, lie back and watch the night sky, looking toward the north, and watch one of nature's greatest shows pass overhead.

Fun Fact: It will actually take your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust, meaning the longer you wait outside, the more meteors you will see!

Perseid, The Most Popular Summer Meteor Shower, Peaks This Weekend