Look up this weekend for annual meteor shower

12 August, 2018, 01:29 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • An outburst of Perseid meteors lights up the sky in August 2009 in this time-lapse image

Here in Dubois County, stargazing conditions will be good during most of the weekend.

The annual Perseid shower peaks this weekend between the nights of Saturday, August 11, and the wee morning hours of Monday, August 13. But if it is cloudy, you will not be able to see the meteor shower. This time the shower will be especially visible thanks to the August 11 new moon, leaving a dark and hopefully clear sky.

This year, Europe and North America will have the best views. Meteors should appear at rates of 60 to 90 per hour. The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower.

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Remember: areas without urban light are the best and your eyes may take some time to get used to the darkness before you can see the show. We're talking the Perseid meteor shower, which is visible every year when Earth passes through the trail of debris left by the Swift-Tuttle Comet.

This is classified as an outburst rather than a meteor shower. Smoke from the California wildfires that now covers parts of the western USA may create hazy sky conditions capable of significantly dimming bright stars - and bright meteors. The longer one looks at the dark sky, the more the eye will adapt to the lack of light and be more sensitive to catch the faint glow from the meteors.

A number of planets will also be highly visible.

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

The Virtual Telescope Project will be streaming a view of the Perseid meteor shower on Sunday from the Castel Santa Maria in Italy's Perugia province, where the community is restoring the 16th-century church that has been damaged by several earthquakes. If you're on the West Coast, be aware that, as AccuWeather points out, the wildfires may make the meteors harder to see.

Find a spot where you can see the sky with as little obstruction as possible, and set up blankets or lawn chairs by 9 p.m. or so.

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