Perseid, The Most Popular Summer Meteor Shower, Peaks This Weekend

A composite image of Perseid meteors in 2015 is shown

No special equipment is needed to enjoy this nighttime spectacle, just a dark sky and some patience.

The Perseid meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus because if you trace their paths backward they appear to be coming from the area of the sky.

Viewers are seeing pieces of comet debris heat up as they enter the atmosphere and burn up in a bright burst of light.

One of the most interesting and lovely things anyone can see in the night sky are meteors!

First, the meteor shower will peak on the weekend, which is nice.

On the nights of August 12 and August 13, Cooke says stargazers all over the Northern Hemisphere should be able to see about 60 to 70 meteors streaking across the night skies - a dip from 2016, which saw more than twice as many meteors per hour, but a bump up from last year's 40 or 50, and still plenty vivid. Infinite amount of shooting stars and wishes! But Cooke said the Perseids are rich in fireballs, so the show should be spectacular. According to Space, the shower will peak on August 11 and August 12, but NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke stated one can expect a better show on August 12. If you take a peek next Friday or Saturday nights, you'll likely still see 80 or more meteors per hour. Heck, even tonight you'll see a few.

Cooke said the best way to view a meteor shower is to "take in as much sky as possible".

If you'd like to take a closer look at the Perseids, or any of the other wonderful and fantastic things in the sky, please visit csastro.org for a link to information on our monthly meetings and our free public star parties.

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