"The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it", NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to flawless this year.
The Perseids appear at about this time every year when Earth ventures through pieces of debris left behind by the ancient comet Swift-Tuttle.
When is the best time to see them?
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The showers are named after the constellation Perseus because the direction from which they come in the sky lies in the same radiant as Perseus.
The fall of the meteors will be at a rate of 80 meteors per hour and a 60 km/second speed. Three years later, an Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaperelli identified the comet as the origin of the Perseid meteor shower.
"A meteor shower is a collision between the Earth and the trail of a comet or an asteroid", Dr. Faherty says. The Perseids are best seen after 11 PM, away from city lights, and while looking at the northeastern sky.
There's a unique opportunity to watch what may look like shooting stars putting on a show this weekend.
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While stars and star clusters are Twarog's specialty, he said he appreciates how the meteor showers light up the summer sky and anyone can appreciate the celestial wonder.
"What we're seeing when we see meteors are little dust particles lighting up the atmosphere". The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night, peaking just before sunrise.
You might be able to catch a handful or maybe even a dozen meteors per hour in the weeknights leading up to the main event that will coincide roughly with the new moon (meaning the moon is absent from the night sky) on Saturday evening.
Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016. That means the meteors' fireballs and tails should look spectacular on a practically moonless night.
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