Science

Best times to watch the 2019 Perseid meteor shower

Best times to watch the 2019 Perseid meteor shower”

You can see meteors on any night of the year and there are dozens of concentrated meteor showers, but the Perseids can be among the most spectacular.

Peaking in the early hours of Tuesday, August 13, stargazers might be able to see as many as 60 meteors per hour. Count for yourself at the main parking lot at Wildwood State Park.

A almost full moon during this year's annual Perseids could drown some of the meteors from view though there will be less viewing time without the bright moon late Monday into Tuesday, says EarthSky.org. The action will be toward the northeast. Every year, the Earth passes through this debris field, producing shooting stars as numerous as 20 per hour moving up to 25 miles per second at the shower's peak.

The best views of the Perseids will be available for those in the Northern Hemisphere, the only catch being that seeing the meteor show requires people staying up late or getting up very early in the morning.

If weather isn't optimal, you can view a live broadcast of the meteor shower on the NASA Meteor Watch Facebook starting at 8 p.m. EST. From suburbs and the countryside you should be able to see as many as dozen meteors per hour.

The waxing gibbous may leave us whining as it still floods the sky with moonlight and will hide all but the brighter meteors (and stars).

You don't need special equipment or knowledge of the constellations. If you pay close enough attention, all the meteors seem to come from a certain area in the sky, called a "radiant point".

"Normal rates seen from rural locations range from 50-75 shower members per hour at maximum", says the American Meteor Society. Debris particles associated with the comet flare up in Earth's atmosphere, giving the illusion of falling stars.

If you can trace them back to the radiant, it's a Perseid; stray meteors also may happen to cross the sky, from other directions. Literally. The further you are from city lights, the more easily you will be able to see the shooting stars, so take a vehicle and go somewhere in the countryside. However, because of the brightness of the "waxing gibbeous" moon, it might be slightly more hard to see all of the meteors.



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