By Beatrice Karnes
The Perseid meteor shower is already underway and will continue thru Aug. 24. The peak viewing will be Aug. 11-12. Stargazers could see upward of 60 meteorites flash before them per hour.
According to Astronomy.com, the Perseid Meteor shower has some added bonuses this year: It will occur on a night when the moon is in its waning crescent phase, which means the moonlight will interfere only slightly with your view of the meteors.
You don't even need a telescope. Just spread out a blanket, perhaps a late-night picnic, lay back and enjoy!
Perseid Meteor Trivia:
- Mankind has looked up at the Perseids for nearly 2,000 years.
- The Perseids are remnants of the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years.
- These bits of comet "ice and dust" are more than 1,000 years old.
- These meteors travel 37 miles per second.
- 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 Perseus, which forms an inverted "Y" shape and is in the northeast.
- Some of the meteorites are as small as a grain of sand, but they have the kinetic energy of a nuclear bomb.
- If you see a very slow, bright object sailing across the sky, it's either a satellite or a Space Station.
Where and how to view:
- The best time to view will be Aug. 11 and 12.
- Avoid city lights. The further you get from town, the better your view will be.