Perseid meteor shower coming soon to a sky near you

Perseid meteor shower coming soon to a sky near you

We're closing in on that historic solar eclipse, just 10 days away, but another spectacular show in the cosmos will light up the night sky this weekend, providing a flashy opening act. But for this year, the event will coincide with a particularly bright moon that could illuminate the sky.

Avoiding light pollution is key to watching an astronomical event like a meteor shower.

However, according to Tadros, the moon's gibbous phase - the last before a full moon - did not prevent the public from witnessing the phenomenon, as the Perseids are rich in fireballs. On average at its peak, we could see 30-40 meteors per hour.

On this night, the moon will be around three-quarters full, making it trickier to spot the shower in the sky.

While the night of August 12-13 is the annual meteor shower's peak, higher than normal meteor sightings will continue until the shower ends on August 24. You'll likely see three times as many meteors in rural areas.

When you're away from the lights of a big city, it's easier to spot the shooting stars against the dark sky. Unlike many other meteor showers, they also take place in the warmth of summer, and over an extended period of time, allowing people the opportunity to relax and watch them without worrying about hypothermia.

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The eagerly-awaited annual Perseid meteor shower is all set to reach its peak late Friday night and early Saturday morning, NASA has reiterated.

Be patient and give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness. Did you know that each Perseid meteor travels at 132,000 miles per hour?!

Meteors can be visible at a rate of 80 to 100 per hour during this particular shower, which is about one to two meteors every minute. During these peaks, you can usually see 60 to 120 meteors per hour.

"Every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years".

The Perseids are so named because the meteors appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, the Medusa-killing hero of Greek mythology. The comets travel at extreme speeds of around 132,000 miles per hour (59 kilometers per second), which is around 500 times faster than the world's fastest vehicle is capable of travelling. Once these bits of comet debris hit Earth's atmosphere, the meteors are heated to almost 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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