Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Science | By Hubert Green

Nugget of Knowledge: Perseid Meteor Shower

Nugget of Knowledge: Perseid Meteor Shower

Each year the Perseid meteor shower peaks annually in mid-August, and the best viewing this year is set to be the night of Saturday, August 12.

Normally, Northern Hemisphere viewers are treated to a spectacle of about 100-120 visible shooting stars per hour when the phenomenon peaks around mid-August - depending on the Moon and the weather.

But that hasn't kept it from becoming yet another casualty of fake news.

Several sources include the added imperative that, regardless of your age, it's probably the last chance to see anything that even comes close, meteor-wise, that is.

Space.com says that all you need to catch the meteor shower is some darkness and "a bit of patience".

Perseids are are pieces of debris from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Your own worldly view will be enough as it is preferable to be able to see all of the sky at the same time so you can see more streaking fireballs that may be shooting across.

"This year, we are expecting enhanced rates of about 150 (meteors) per hour or so, but the increased number will be cancelled out by the bright Moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids", states a NASA blog. When they reach the Earth's atmosphere, they're called "meteors", and if they fall to the Earth's surface, they're called "meteorites".

However, the nearly full moon may make some of them hard to see.

"[No] such thing is going to happen", Cooke says. Known as the "shower radiant", this is where they are expected to burst.

During a good Perseid shower under ideal conditions, the rate of meteors visible is about one meteor per minute. "I like a reclining lawn chair, a warm coat, and camera at my side just waiting for that jaw-dropping javelin of light".

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