This biggest meteor shower of the year is going on this weekend, and Saturday night is the most optimal time to see it. Some meteor showers are slow, but we are moving into the Perseid stream so they are coming at us quite swiftly.
The annual shower takes placed every July and August as the Earth passes debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet. It last passed near Earth during its orbit around the sun in 1992, and the next time will be in 2126.
Because the density of the dust cloud varies, the meteors will not be evenly spaced out.
You're in luck if you live in the northern hemisphere or above mid-southern latitudes, because you'll have the clearest view of the shower on Saturday night and Sunday morning. The moonlight will make a lot of the dimmer meteors invisible, which will lower the overall count.
But you don't have to me a club member to watch the meteors at the park.
The Perseids are called so because the point from which they appear to hail (called the radiant) lies in the constellation Perseus. However, the meteors will streak across the sky in all directions, so it doesn't really matter. You will also want to be patient. So the viewing rate will be more like 30 to 40 meteors an hour.
At its peak, the Perseid meteor shower will see about 50-60 meteors from the Swift-Tuttle comet cruise across the sky every hour.
The Perseids meteor shower was to start Friday and continue through Sunday but the peak night for viewing is tonight, says Jay Elliott from the Florida Keys Astronomy Club.
The greatest meteor shower in US history occurred with the Leonids on November 12, 1833, with 20 to 30 meteors reported per second.
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