Perseid Meteor Shower: Top 5 Things To Know

Cristina Cross
August 9, 2018

In preparation for this cosmic event, planetarium specialist Monica Marshall of Lake Erie Nature & Science Center is here to explain what a meteor shower is and provide tips for seeing shooting stars this August.

Every August there is an opportunity to see meteor showers and this weekend is your chance for 2018. When the Earth crosses paths with this debris, specks of small particles hit the earth's atmosphere and disintegrate in flashes of light. Bear in mind that between 10pm and 11pm, the meteor shower can be seen by looking slightly more to the north, even though the direction of the meteor shower is still towards the northeast. The best viewing time: between midnight and dawn, when more than 50 meteors per hour will streak across the night sky. It has a nucleus of about 16 miles wide and last passed by Earth in 1992, however, Earth passes through the dust and debris it leaves behind every year, which is what creates the Perseid meteor shower.

How can I view the meteor shower?

An estimated 60 to 70 meteors will soar through the sky per hour on the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13.

During the Perseid meteor showers, most visible across the US on Sunday, Aug. 12 and Monday, people may witness 50 to 100 meteors per hour in clear, summer night skies.

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"People often ask when we can see it in the city, and to be honest you may not see it at all", Nichols said.

The Perseid meteor shower is visible to the naked eye, so no equipment is necessary.

For the best viewing, get yourself to a dark area.

It will take about 15 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the darkness, the best night to see them will be both Saturday night and Sunday night.

The Perseid meteor shower may be an annual event, but it's such an exciting celestial show that it's always worth another look.

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