August 9, 2011

Perseids To Peak Amid Light From Full Moon

The Perseid meteor shower is peaking around August 12 through the 13th, but this year it will have to pierce through the sky against a full Moon.

The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for about 2000 years and is associated with the comet Switf-Tuttle.

The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity being between August 9 and 14, depending on the particular location of the stream.

The rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour during the peak hours, and they can be seen all across the sky.

However, NASA said due to the full moon, there will probably be just 20 to 30 meteors visible per hour. 

The best way to watch a meteor shower is to find a place that is away from light pollution and to position yourself so the moon is out of view.

The International Space Station will be visible Friday morning as well towards the northwest sky at 5:03 a.m. (EDT).  The ISS will also make another appearance Friday evening at 7:57 p.m. (EDT) in the southwest sky.

The Earth passes through a cloud of the Swift-Tuttle's debris each year, and the bits of ice and dust burn up in the Earth's atmosphere creator the "shooting star" effect.


Image Caption: The 2010 Perseids over the VLT. Credit: ESO/S. Guisard


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