The annual Perseid meteor shower happens this weekend. The Perseid meteor shower is generally the best of the year. This year, the viewing opportunities are about as good as they can get. The Perseids will peak this weekend between the 12th and 13th, when moonless nights will make for an especially dark sky. The Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle anticipates we will see as many as 100 “shooting stars” per hour. Boyle says, “It is best to head out of town to enjoy the dark skies with the beautiful Milky Way stretching from the south and continuing overhead. The planet Saturn is immersed in the band of star above the constellation Sagittarius. Find a wide open area and bring a lawn chair, snacks and bug spray but respect trespassing on private property and fields. The planet Mars will keep you company all night long as it low in the south east as the sky darkens. New Moon occurs on the 11th so it will not wash out the sky with its brilliance like other years”.
The Perseid meteor shower comes as Earth passes through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, causing bright streaks that appear as though they’re radiating from the constellation Perseus.
Photo Credit: NASA / MSFC / MEO