Stargazing: Perseid meteor shower

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Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower comes every year, beginning in late July and stretching into August. Stargazers outdoors at the right time can see colorful fireballs, occasional outbursts, and almost always long hours of gracefully streaking meteors.

Among the many nights of the shower, one night always is the best for viewing. This year, peak activity will occur from about 10 p.m. Friday through dawn on Sunday. Maximum activity with exceptional skies during the Perseids is normally about 50 or 60 meteors per hour. The thin waning crescent moon rises around 1:30 a.m., so it should be only a minor nuisance.

The best way to view the Perseids is to lie down on a lawn chair and look toward the northeast. Keep in mind that the best place to observe the Perseid meteor shower (or any meteor shower for that matter) is somewhere dark, away from the bright lights of the city. The less light visible, the more brilliant the meteor shower will be.

science


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