Look up this weekend for annual meteor shower

Federico Mansilla
Agosto 11, 2018

- The peak of the Perseid meteor shower is this weekend and it's expected to be the best of the year. So, inspired by a friend's tweet, I wondered - will city dwellers see the meteor shower? They say the further you are from artificial lights, the better the view will be.

On a normal year the planet usually just grazes the actual debris trail of Swift-Tuttle, causing a few meteors to be visible per hour.

The Perseids got their name because they appear to come out of the constellation Perseus to Earth. The shower is known for its large quantity of meteors, including the possibility of bright fireballs.

Look north to see more meteors. If that's accurate, it means that if you can see the stars of the Big Dipper, you should be able to see numerous Perseid meteors, astronomer Steven Bellavia from Brookhaven National Laboratory told Gizmodo. Just lie on a blanket and look straight up.

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Allow about 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

It's perhaps the easiest meteor shower for casual sky-watchers to see, given the bearable temperatures of August evenings, Henderson said.

Even if you find ideal urban viewing conditions, there are a lot of other factors that can affect whether you see meteors, including whether the sky is clear and the properties of meteors themselves. With the moon in a new phase, the sky will remain exceptionally dark when between 70 and 150 meteors per hour may be seen, depending on one's viewing location. Good luck out there, and if you get any good shots of the meteors, feel free to post them in the comments!

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