Where/When to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower this Weekend

Where/When to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower this Weekend

Where/When to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower this Weekend

Here in Dubois County, stargazing conditions will be good during most of the weekend. "Under a very dark sky, you might see up to one Perseid per minute late on Sunday night or after midnight on Monday morning". According to Sky and Telescope, comet peepers can expect to see around 60 meteors an hour during the peak, with no bright moon mucking up the view. The Perseid meteor shower is generally the best of the year.

The August lunar cycle is now entering the darkened New Moon phase which should keep the starlit skies dark.

This year's meteor viewing arrived with a good forecast.

Part of the reason the Perseids really sizzle in the summer sky in the northern hemisphere isn't the seasonal heat, but rather their speed, which can be almost 60 kilometers per second (134,000 miles per hour). The debris, made up mostly of ice and dust that has accumulated over thousands of years, creates a meteor shower when it burns through Earth's atmosphere.

The Perseids appear to emanate from between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them there's really no need to worry about which direction you're looking.

The comet itself will come extremely close to Earth in a "near-miss" in 2126.

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What exactly is a meteor shower?

Every year our skies are lit up by returning meteor showers, from Perseids to Lyrids, Orionids to Geminids.

Locally, Natural Bridge is offering an opportunity to watch the meteor shower between 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Saturday. Kristin Hendershot, a NASA solar system ambassador, says the park is one of the best places to view it because of the darkness. This weekend will also bring a new moon, which will make the skies extra dark. Scientists from NASA also said that camping out in the country can triple the amount of visible meteors.

"People often ask when we can see it in the city, and to be honest you may not see it at all", Nichols said.

And don't forget to grab your camera before you head out.

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