Perseid meteor showers to be extra special this August

from The Perseid meteor shower will arrive this weekend, peaking between
Aug. 11 and Aug. 13, and astronomers say this one could be special

For one thing, there won’t be any competition from the moon. The moon
sets shortly after 10 p.m. local daylight time on the 11th in northern

Secondly, NASA announced this summer
that the Perseids are the “fireball champion,” consistently producing
more fireballs — extra-bright meteors — than any other shower.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs as earth orbits through the debris
of the Swift-Tuttle comet. Some debris burns as it enters our
atmosphere, creating both the small meteors and the fireballs. (The
comet itself orbits the Sun once every 130 years and last returned to
the inner solar system in 1992.)

NASA predicts the best show will be Monday and Tuesday night between
10:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. local time. The rate of meteors will increase
as the night goes on, peaking before sunrise.

The meteors will appear to radiate from a spot between the
constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus in the northeastern skies. This
spot gets higher in the sky as dawn approaches.

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