Saturday, 19 August, 2017

The Perseids 2017 - How to Spot a Yearly Celestial Event

Perseid meteor shower 2017: When and where to watch the stellar show of the year Perseid Meteor Shower To Produce 150 Meteors Per Hour On August 12, 2017
Garry Little | 10 August, 2017, 00:22

The astronomical event, which is perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year, will peak at 1PM ET (6PM in the UK) on 12 August.

The annual meteor shower began on July 17 and will continue until August 24, offering the best chance to see it on August 12, around 9pm and early morning hours of August 13. But in the meantime, as Earth passes yearly through the dust and debris it has left behind, this creates the annual Perseid meteor shower.

Earth passes through this trail every year with the debris slamming into the upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 130,000 miles an hour (210,000 km).

The shower typically has between 80 to a few hundred meteors per hour.

A Perseid meteor over the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank in August 2013 (Photo: Getty)When is the best time to see them? Unfortunately, the light reflecting off the moon will make it more hard to see the streaking meteors.

In April, Antelope Island was named an International Dark Sky Park - a place where light pollution is so minimal that visitors have a much easier time appreciating the wonders of the night sky. Records of the meteor shower date back nearly 2,000 years. Though Perseid meteors do not pose any threat to Earth, outbursts could pose threats to spacecrafts in the area. The moon will rise just before midnight local time.

Swift-Tuttle is a periodic comet that orbits the planet roughly every 133 years. But we'll see some meteors nonetheless.

The best way to see it would be to watch the sky from a wide, open space - away from trees and tall buildings.

Meteors - colloquially referred to as shooting stars - will be recognised by the untrained eye as thin streaks of light that dart fleetingly across the sky; blink, and you miss them.

Regardless of where you live, many provincial parks offer a great place to view these events, even if you have to stick to the parking lot at night.

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