Persieds This Weekend

Ken AshfordScience & TechnologyLeave a Comment

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower will occur Saturday night and Sunday morning. If you're in the right spot, away from light pollution, you can see up to 100 meteors an hour!

The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Each year in August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris. These bits of ice and dust — most over 1,000 years old — burn up in the Earth's atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere. Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus.

NASA will be up all night, with a live chat led by astronomer Bill Cooke and his team from the Meteoroid Environment Office discussing the Perseids. And if you have to work inside or have too much cloud cover to see the meteor shower, they will have a live stream online.

The meteors can be seen in any part of the sky, but if you can find the border between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, that's where they will emanate from.  Best viewing hours are pre-dawn on Sunday, but that doesn't mean that you won't see some tonight or tomorrow night anytime, if you happen to look up and get lucky!