Annual Perseid Meteor Showers To Light Up The Skies This Weekend

By Meera Dolasia on August 11, 2012

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Each year in late July or early August, we witness the Perseid Meteor showers, a spectacular 'shooting star display', as the Earth in its orbit around the sun, passes through the dusty remains of the comet Swift-Tuttle. This year, the best time to watch nature's annual firework show will be on late Saturday, August 11th or early Sunday, when the skies are darkest.

Called Perseids because they appear to spew off the constellation Persues, the meteors have already been streaming through our skies at the rate of about a dozen per hour for the last few weeks. However this weekend, they will accelerate to 100 or more per hour, making them easier to view with the naked eye.

If that's not enough, three of the brightest planets in our Universe - Jupiter, Venus and a crescent Moon will be aligning  just before sunrise from August 11-13th - The same time the meteor showers reach their peak. Given that avid sky watchers have always maintained that there is nothing prettier than a close encounter with the moon and Venus, a smattering of Perseids can only make the whole scene extra spectacular.

The meteors, which hit the Earth's atmosphere at speeds of 140,000 mph are debris left behind by the comet, Swift-Tuttle as it traveled through the area on its 132-135-year orbit. We happen upon them the same time each year, as the Earth passes through the region along its orbit around the sun. And, while they can be seen from most parts of the world, they are most visible from the Northern Hemisphere because of the path of the Swift-Tuttle's orbit.

So be sure to rise and shine early this Sunday morning or better still, make plans to camp out all night because according the NASA, the best time to watch the show is in the dark hours immediately before dawn. Also if possible, try get away from the well-lit areas and most important of all, don't forget to make a wish or two - They are bound to come true!

Resources: NASA.gov, Huffingtonpost.com

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60 Comments
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  • T9/16/2012
    wow!!!!
    • Niya9/17/2012
      wow this s amazing hi world
      • cordarrius9/18/2012
        cool
        • Casey10/2/2012
          I love that video
          • jay10/3/2012
            this was a very cool article because i learned a lot more about the stars than i aready new.
            • star ship10/14/2013
              this is so cool
              • mccartya1
                mccartya111/6/2013
                I wish I could see this in person(like that will ever happen I live to far away.)
                • Jesse W12/12/2013
                  I am mad beacuse comet ison was coming and we would be able to see it but it got to close to the sun and surived and 3 days later it died
                  • Jesse W12/12/2013
                    Did you guys hear about comet ison dying or anythinh about comet ison at all
                    • ikyra_marie
                      ikyra_marie4/13/2014
                      that is so cool

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