While we have been talking for many weeks about the coming solar eclipse that is now less than two weeks away, there is another major celestial event happening right now.
This biggest meteor shower of the year is going on this weekend, and Saturday night is the most optimal time to see it.
The Perseid meteors, shed by comet Swift-Tuttle, stage their show every August and are among the brightest of all shooting stars. After the moon is up, that number drops to about 20 to 30 meteors an hour. In 1833, another Leonid storm reportedly had a rate of at least tens of thousands meteors per hour. Light pollution can make it more hard to see the shower.
McGillivray will be part of a group who will be watching at Aldergrove Lake Park in Langley on Saturday night.
The Perseid Meteor Shower peaked at dawn Saturday morning, but with better atmospheric conditions, the best chance for us to see the show is tonight.
However, “The Perseids will be a little more hard to see due to the presence of the moon, which will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak”, Space.com quoted Cooke.
A meteor shower is in fact small chunk of a single, large comet falling into Earth’s atmosphere.
The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year as Earth passes through the trail of dust and debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle.
Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say the Perseids typically will produce around 50 to 80 meteors per hour.
Interested viewers should find a dark, flat area where they can have a good view of the sky and be prepared to wait.
In Monroe County, the Florida Keys Astronomy Club is heading to Long Key State Park, mile marker 67.4 oceanside, to view the Perseids. Astronomers expect these annual showers to take place during a new moon next year, meaning that the view will be much better as viewers will likely be able to see twice as many meteors as they will this year.