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Annual Perseid Meteor Shower Coming This Weekend

Annual Perseid Meteor Shower Coming This Weekend

During the Perseids' peak on the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13, skywatchers should see about 60 to 70 meteors per hour, Space.com said. Cooke said he believes the second night will bring the better show of the two. During the shower, you can expect to see around 70 meteors per hour, breaking it down to about one meter per minute. In 2016, it was an outburst year, which means the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

According to Cook, the moon will be near a new moon, and will be crescent, setting before the Perseid show, underway after midnight. The last time Swift-Tuttle passed near Earth was in 1992, which was so large that earth spends weeks inside the debris zone it left behind. Little blazes of light, streaking across the sky, are the result of dust, dirt, and other stuff out there in space smacking into our atmosphere so fast that they burn up as bright flashes of light.

The particles, many no bigger than a grain of sand or a pea, blast across the sky at some 132,000 miles per hour and disintegrate high up in our atmosphere after making a brilliant flash of light.

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The Perseids' appear every year as the Earth passes through the debris cloud of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Northern Hemisphere down to the mid-southern latitudes are the best locations for viewing.

Cooke said the best way to view a meteor shower is to "take in as much sky as possible". NASA recommends viewing the meteor shower from dark areas, such as the countryside of suburb area, so stay away from those city lights! The darker the sky the more meteors you will see.