The Perseid meteor shower is one you won’t want to miss
The Perseids meteor shower is one of the main celestial events of the summer and its predicted to be even better than usual this year when the shooting stars appear in the night sky later this week.
Known for it’s fast and bright meteors, the annual Perseid meteor shower is anticipated to be one of the best potential meteor viewing opportunities this year.
“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of Aug. 11-12,” said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama. “Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”
An outburst is a meteor shower with more meteors than usual. The last Perseid outburst occurred in 2009.
Produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, the meteors are tiny dust and other particles blasting into our atmosphere at 132,000 mph, making a brilliant flash of light.
The comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years, swings through the inner solar system leaving trillions of small particles in its wake. When Earth crosses paths with Swift-Tuttle’s debris, specks of comet-stuff hit Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate in flashes of light.
The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13.