Local spots to watch the Perseid's meteor shower this weekend

A long exposure captured this Perseid meteor in 2015
A long exposure captured this Perseid meteor in 2015
Author

12 August, 2017

Most sky watchers are already looking forward to the upcoming Perseid meteor shower display, which is expected to peak on August 12, especially since reports of it being "the brightest shower in recorded human history" have surfaced, but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration begs to disagree.

SHOOTING stars are not just something to make wish upon - they are an opportunity to witness nature at its most unbelievable. "Upwards of 100 lay prostrate on the ground [.] with their hands raised, imploring God to save the world and them", Cooke quoted from an 1833 account of seeing the Leonids meteor show in SC.

This is because the waning moon will still be at around 80 percent of its full brightness so it will hinder our view of the celestial display.

The moon, which will be three-quarters full at the time of the peak, will rise around 11 p.m.

Visibility should still be very good the following night (12-13) but it is Friday night into Saturday morning at which it will be best.

A Perseid meteor shower will send thousands of fireballs hurtling towards Earth, with the peak of activity likely to be on Saturday and Sunday between 3am and 4am. That's right, a planet more than 600 million miles away at it's furthest orbit has an effect on a meteor shower we see on Earth!

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They can be seen anywhere in the world, but are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Milky Way - if your skies are dark enough and you can get away from light pollution you may be able to make out a faint milky band stretching across the sky. The peak of the meteor shower will happen, when we pass through the most crowded, dustiest section of the tail. "Remember, your eyes can take as long as 20 minutes to truly adapt to the darkness of night", McClure said.

At Babcock State Park, naturalist Abby Rice will provide meteor-spotting guidance during a Perseid Party that starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Boley Lake. "Past year also saw an outburst of just over 200 meteors per hour".

"At best, they outburst from a normal rate between 80 and 100 meteors per hour to a few hundred per hour", Bill Cooke, an astronomer at NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Ala., said in a blog post.

"When the comet gets close to the sun - not that close, but in the inner solar system - it melts a little and leaves a lot of debris behind", explained Cathy Cox, Ph.D., a physics professor at Lake Tahoe Community College. "These meteors are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus", Nasa said in a statement.

The only problem is that the maritime weather system that can reverse the outflow winds that brought the wildfire smoke from the B.C. Interior in the first place might bring rain and overcast skies itself.


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