Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Perseids Meteor Shower Will Be One Of Year’s Best Sky Shows

Perseids 2018 Perseid meteor shower at night Perseids 2018 The Perseid meteor shower will be among the greatest spectacles of the year
Theresa Hayes | 10 August, 2018, 23:10

"The Perseid meteor shower is the best of the year", said Jane Houston Jones from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Be sure to check your local weather forecast.

So when is the Perseid meteor shower?

The peak nights for this year's shower will be from August 11 to 12 and August 12 to 13, with more than 100 meteors visible per hour, according to Gary Boyle, an Ottawa-based astronomer.

While stars and star clusters are Twarog's specialty, he said he appreciates how the meteor showers light up the summer sky and anyone can appreciate the celestial wonder.

The Perseids meteor shower occurs around mid-August. The radiant point of the shower, which is the spot where the meteors tend to originate, is in the constellation Perseus. Astronomers say up to 60 meteors per hour will be visible during this time. And if you're intrepid enough to travel to a dark sky park, here are some of the absolute best in the United States. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long-exposure photography, allowing your shots of the night sky to turn into van Gogh-like paintings of this starry spectacle.

And while they take his name, the meteors don't actually come from the stars in the Perseus constellation, which are hundreds of light-years away. Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun once every 133 years, but Earth still passes through the debris field it has left behind - its last visit to the inner solar system we all call home was in 1992. The Earth will pass through the densest part of the comet's trail on August 12th, meaning more meteors will be present during this event.

The particles - which can be as small as a grain of sand - meet a fiery end after roughly a thousand years as part of the comet's dust cloud.

What else should I look out for in the sky?

In addition to the Perseids, there will also be four planets visible in the sky on the nights of the shower's peak.

Place: Darkness is required for optimal viewing, which is pretty tough in the city. That's when the earth will have turned into the meteor stream, which means the show will be just above the horizon line.