Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

The best and most highly anticipated meteor shower of the year will peak this weekend! The Perseid meteor shower is expected to dazzle with 60-70 meteors per hour according to space experts.  The meteor shower will peak this Saturday and Sunday nights.  

Under the waning crescent moon, planets Mars and Saturn will also be visible along with Venus and Jupiter just for a couple hours after sunset.  The Perseid meteor shower will be best after midnight, in dark skies free of city lights.  It is best advised to allow 20 to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness for optimal viewing. 

The Perseids are known for being spectacular in producing “Fireballs” or brilliant streaking meteors with visible streaking tails.  This meteor shower is caused by the earth passing through the dust trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.  The earth will pass through the densest portion of the comet dust on August 12th resulting in the peak of the meteor shower. 

The visible streak of light is the comet dust, likely the size of a grain of sand, burning up as it enters the earth’s atmosphere at 132,000 miles per hour!  Look quick as occasional brilliant streaking meteors are possible leaving a vibrant “Fireball” streak across the sky. 

Meteorologist Chris Vickers