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08/08/2015

The Perseids Arive This Week!

How to View the Perseid meteor shower

The best opportunity to see the Perseid meteor shower is during the dark, pre-dawn hours of August 13. The Perseids streak across the sky from many directions. For optimal viewing, find an open skyline, where you can view the horizon without obstructions, such as buildings or trees.  Try to view the Perseids as far away from artificial lights as possible. The darker the sky, the better viewing experience you can have. Lie on the ground and look straight up. Remember, your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so allow plenty of time for your eyes to adjust.

Perseid-meteor-shower

About the Perseids

The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Every August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s debris. This debris field consists of bits of ice and dust — most over 1,000 years old — and burns up in Earth’s atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere. Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors radiate from the direction of the constellation.

Information Courtesy NASA

Although the "peak" occurs Wednesday night, meteors will be possible any time this week and with clearing skies expected later tonight, viewing should be great!   

Also, of note, we have a new moon this week (which helps to reduce light pollution) making the 2015 Perseid Meteor Shower a can't miss event for star gazers.  Have fun!

WDRB Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell

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Comments

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How does the moon pollute? I realize a brighter moon produces light but the moon is part of creation. How in the world does it pollute? I know I'm being a little nitpicky but words mean things.

Leah... "Light Pollution" refers to any light that obscures the view of other celestial bodies. This is often a problem for star gazers trying to observe a meteor shower. On a new moon (with no light pollution) meteor rates go way up. It's because they are much easier to see without moonlight. Hope this helps.

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