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Space and Physics

The Most Incredible Meteor Shower In A Decade Will Peak This Week

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockAug 8 2016, 10:49 UTC
A composite image of a meteor shower, most of which are Perseids. NASA/MSFC/MEO

The Perseids meteor shower is one of the sky's more in-your-face meteor showers. This year, they’re even more excitable than usual.  

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"This year, instead of seeing about 80 Perseids per hour, the rate could top 150 and even approach 200 meteors per hour," NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com.

The meteor shower will peak on August 12, but will continue to rage on until August 24. If you’re planning to brave the early hours and get a good view of the display, it will be best to do it before the full Moon on August 18. They will be best seen looking in a north-eastern direction from the Northern Hemisphere after 10pm.

Meteor showers are simply pieces of space debris hitting the upper atmosphere of Earth. In the case of the Perseids, that debris comes from the 26-kilometer (16 miles) wide Comet Swift-Tuttle, which regularly passes Earth.

This shower will also overlap with the Delta Aquarid meteor shower, which has already peaked but will continue to fizzle for another week or so.

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So, dust off your patio furniture and turn the lights down, it’s going to be a good few weeks for stargazing.

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Space and Physics
  • space,

  • comet,

  • Meteor,

  • Meteor shower,

  • stargazing,

  • Perseids meteor shower

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