Science

The Perseid meteor shower is going to be unbelievable this weekend

The Perseid meteor shower is going to be unbelievable this weekend”

We've rounded up everything you need to know about the Perseids meteor shower, including how and where to watch them. Unfortunately, there's always the chance that bad weather like fog or rain will create unfavorable viewing conditions.

So when is the Perseid meteor shower?

While the Perseid meteor shower will be visible on Saturday night, the real show comes on Sunday, with peak shooting star activity happening the night of August 12 to 13.

As Earth sweeps through the path of Swift-Tuttle's 133-year-orbit of the sun, it collects some of these bits of leftover comet, which incinerate in our atmosphere in a fiery blaze.

When is the best time to see the meteor shower?

The showers are named after the constellation Perseus because the direction from which they come in the sky lies in the same radiant as Perseus.

The moon won't be making an appearance this weekend, instead about 50 meteorites per hour will light up the sky offering star gazers a dazzling show between midnight and dawn.

The fall of the meteors will be at a rate of 80 meteors per hour and a 60 km/second speed. "The Perseids will put on a great show". "You can look anywhere you want to-even directly overhead", explained Jones. Consequently, viewers are in for an especially bright show. If you're south of Brisbane don't worry, you can still view the event on a clear night, try head away from the city lights into a darker area.

Unlike other celestial sightings that require a telescope or binoculars, the best way to watch a meteor shower is with the naked eye. In those cases they can actually predict that when the Earth passes through the orbital path of the comet there will be a higher than average debris field.

According to Jolene Creighton at Quarks to Quasars, the meteors you'll be able to see during the meteor shower's peak each hour will be blasting into Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 209,000 kilometres per hour (130,000 miles per hour). The best time to see the meteor shower's peak locally is late Sunday night / very early Monday morning.

In addition to the Perseids, there will also be four planets visible in the sky on the nights of the shower's peak. Mars and Saturn will also be visible at different points. That means the meteors' fireballs and tails should look spectacular on a practically moonless night.



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