The Perseid, the most prolific meteor shower, is set to reach its peak in the coming days. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the shower is famous for its dazzling, long-lived light streaks and spectacular „fireballs,” or bursts of light that last longer than meteors.
The Perseid meteor shower is active from July 14 to September 1, although it peaks on August 11, 12 and 13. On each of those evenings, the best views are from midnight to noon. According to NASA, the moon will be above the horizon during optimal viewing times this year, making it difficult to get a good view.
Astronomer Bill Cook, head of NASA’s Meteor Environment Office, told Insider:
„If you’re going to see any meteor shower this year — it’s going to be really nice and there’s going to be a lot of fireballs — that’s the one to watch.”
A meteorite is a rock that falls from space into Earth’s atmosphere, according to NASA. As it falls, air rubs against it, making it much hotter. The warm air around the rock makes it appear brighter, not the rock itself. When a lot of space rocks hit Earth’s atmosphere at the same time, it’s called a „meteor shower.”
The Perseid meteor shower is caused by the Swift-Tuttle comet
As mentioned above, anyone looking to view the Perseid meteor shower can do so anywhere from July 14 to September 1. However, the rains are expected to peak on Friday, Saturday and Sunday on August 11, 12 and 13.
Although the best views are from midnight to sunrise, people can watch after 10 pm. According to NASA, the average range of meteors seen each hour is between 50 and 100.
The federal agency says rain will be best in the Northern Hemisphere. Residents of all 50 states will have a chance to see them this weekend, as the Northern Hemisphere is considered the most likely place to see rain.
Moving away from areas with a lot of light pollution can help one see meteors better. According to Earthsky, stargazers often see about 90 meteors every hour without the influence of the moon and unusually black skies.
This year, the meteor shower is predicted to fade more and more as it approaches its peak each day, so the moon won’t block the view. Also, as the Moon nears the end of its crescent phase, it may provide favorable viewing conditions.
Speaking to Insider, Bill Cook said:
Compared to last year, this year will be better than the full moon.
The astronomer also said that compared to the Perseids, the Geminid meteor shower that occurs in December is only a shower.
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