Get ready for a flawless Perseid meteor show

  • Get ready for a flawless Perseid meteor show

Get ready for a flawless Perseid meteor show

The Perseid meteor shower will be visible around the world this weekend, and experts say stargazers can expect the show to be a spectacular one. The meteors will appear to streak away from and out of the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia.

"The average particle size is that of large sand grain but some small pea gravel-size meteors can cause bright fireballs that light up the sky and ground", he continued. Shooting stars could happen every minute.

In August 2016, the shower produced about 150 meteors an hour and in 2009, the estimated peak was about 173 but some of the fainter meteors could have been washed out by Moonlight.

The Perseids reach their peak in the early hours of August 13 when up to 70 per hour should be visible.

The Perseids appear at about this time every year when Earth ventures through pieces of debris left behind by the ancient comet Swift-Tuttle. The meteor shower occurs every year when Earth moves through the trail of its orbit. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

Timeanddate.com provides tables indicating when the showers are active and even gives some nice tips on how to best watch the performance.

On the odd occasion, however, the shower has been known to exceed all expectations during the peak.

Those who plan to catch a glimpse of the shower also will be able to see Mars until about 4 a.m.

Where do the Perseids come from?

They should start whizzing across the sky before midnight, but the best displays will be in the hours before dawn.

"Even in towns or cities observed rates may still be around 10 to 20 an hour in the early morning hours when the radiant is high". Nope! Although the peaks are the best times (as long as there's no moonlight), annual meteor showers typically last weeks, not days... building up gradually and then falling off rapidly.

During these nights the moon will be in its crescent-shape, or "new moon" phase.

If you head out to a big open space with little light pollution you will have a better chance of seeing them.