In a dark sky the shower may produce as many as 150 visible meteors per hour, but this time moonlight will wash out the fainter ones, says Hal Kibbey is a retired science writer for Indiana University and an amateur astronomer. The greatest show not on earth, the Perseid meteor shower, peaks Saturday.
The best meteor shower ever?
The highlight of the Perseids meteor shower will be visible over the night sky in the country at about 12.30am on Saturday, according to the National Space Agency.
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That's enough flying rocks for you to get your rocks off to, but it's not what some bogus sites are claiming. A fireball is a very bright flaring meteor during a shower.
"We wish this were true. but no such thing is going to happen, "said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center". I like a reclining lawn chair, a warm coat, and camera at my side just waiting for that jaw-dropping javelin of light.
Unfortunately, the moon being three-quarters full will make it a lot tougher to actually SEE the shower this year.
When it comes to astronomical events, this year's annual Perseid meteor shower is in serious danger of being, shall we say, eclipsed. Cooke said he'd give that award to the 1833 Leonids, which had a rate of tens of thousands, perhaps even 100,000 meteors per hour.
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But that hasn't kept it from becoming yet another casualty of fake news.
The meteors - traveling at a rate of about 37 miles per second - are caused by the earth passing through debris in the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle, seemingly radiating out of the constellation Perseus.
The shower, which runs from July 17 to August 27, reaches it's peak this weekend, August 12, although you'll still get excellent visibility on August 11 and 13. You don't have to wait until you're on your deathbed for the next one.
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