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The Perseids 2017 - How to Spot a Yearly Celestial Event
10 August 2017, 12:26 | Camille Rivera
Perseid Meteor Shower To Produce 150 Meteors Per Hour On August 12, 2017
The peak of the Perseid meteor shower is brightening our night skies this weekend, but this year, there's some good news and there's some bad news. The meteors are the debris from the tail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle which made its last pass near the earth in 1992 and will not make its next perihelion until July of 2126.
FAST PERSEID FACT: The 2017 Perseids may be better than usual, but don't believe anything you see on the internet about this year's meteor shower being the "brightest in human history". At that speed, even a smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light when it collides with Earth's atmosphere. The rate will fall from 80 - 100 per hour to 40 - 50 per hour, because the smaller flames will not be seen due to the brightness of the moon.
Comet Swift-Tuttle has been well documented each time it has come close to Earth.
The Perseid Meteor Shower produces more fireballs than any other meteor shower.
In full flow, this year's especially active shower will produce up to 150 "shooting stars" an hour.
Every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of a comet that orbits the sun every 133 years. Their forecast was right, and at the shower's peak, some skywatchers saw over 200 meteors per hour!
The Perseids are an annual meteor shower that peaks in early-to-late August.
Northern Illinois University's STEM Café will be hosting an evening of stargazing and discussion with astronomy experts during the annual Perseid meteor shower. If our planet happens to pass through an unusually dense clump of meteoroids - comet rubble - we'll see an elevated number of meteors. Now imagine yourself being back in 1833, on the night of November 12.
Ali Amur al Shaibani, an Omani astronomer and member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, said enthusiasts must go at a spot with clear sky view without any urban light pollution, and look towards the northeast.
If you get to a dark place, the shower is best viewed between midnight and 6 a.m.
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