How to watch the 2018 Perseid meteor shower

09 August, 2018, 04:34 | Author: Darnell Taylor

This year's show is predicted to be an "average" show by Perseid standards, with as many as 50-60 meteors per hour at peak.

The comet that left the Perseid meteor stream is a piece of dirty ice about 26km in diameter called 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

According to Space, this August during the peak, there should be about 60 to 70 meteors per hour, although a year ago saw about 80 an hour.

Travelling at a speedy 37 miles a second, they come from the direction of the constellation Perseus.

The Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak the night of August 12, into the wee hours of the morning on August 13.

Even if you aren't an avid astronomer, you'll still have a great view.

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The best time to see those meteors is at around 11 p.m. ET until dawn the next morning. Best of all, constellations and the Milky Way should be highly visible due to a New Moon on August 11, meaning there will not be as much light to drown out the stars.

However, you can also catch the odd meteor before and after these dates. And if you're intrepid enough to travel to a dark sky park, here are some of the absolute best in the United States.

They should start whizzing across the sky before midnight, but the best displays will be in the hours before dawn. "As long as you have clear skies and you're away from the city, you should have a good show". NASA recommends about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.

Even better news still, the moon won't be spoiling the view. Dr. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells CBS News that this year, spectators will be in store for a better watching experience due to diminished moonlight -- or in his words: "We won't have any moon messing it up".

While you'll get the best meteor rates in a rural area, far from light pollution, you still might be able to see some meteors from a city or suburb.

Being in the northern hemisphere, the United Kingdom is in a prime spot to witness the lunar show.


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