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losangelesnewstoday.com August 23, 2017


Perseid meteor shower peaks August 12

12 August 2017, 12:25 | Kristen Gross

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Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend

We're closing in on that historic solar eclipse, just 10 days away, but another spectacular show in the cosmos will light up the night sky this weekend, providing a flashy opening act.

"The increased number will be cancelled out by the bright Moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids", according to a NASA blog post.

"We wish this were true", Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, said of the rumored record-breaking meteor shower, "but no such thing is going to happen". The moon will be about three-quarters full then.

The meteors are the trailing debris of the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

"The Perseids can be seen from the end of July with one meteor an hour crossing the skies".

Cool Morning, Warm Afternoon... Comfortable Humidity!
Highs today will reach the mid 80s, 10 degrees below normal! Tropical Storm Franklin has made landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula. Storms in northern Mexico are expected to spread northwest allowing isolated showers and thunderstorms in our area overnight.

Cooke said the show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of August 12, but that there'd be a decent show both nights. According to the International Meteor Organization (IMO), a bright moon can obstruct the shower and this year, the moon will have waned to around 80% illumination by 12 August.

The shower will be best in the Northern Hemisphere and down to the mid-southern latitudes, with a bit of patience, people will most likely be able to spot some of the meteors. For the best viewing head to the country and get away from the city lights. "Past year also saw an outburst of just over 200 meteors per hour".

It looks like the smoke haze that has dogged Lower Mainland skies for weeks might be clearing just in time for the annual Perseid meteor showers.

To see the meteor shower, you don't need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment; all you need is your eyes.

Its name comes from the point at which the meteors appear to come from - its radiant - in the constellation of Perseus. "This bright moon will obliterate all but the brightest Perseid meteors". Typical rates of Perseids are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour. There are plenty of dark sky maps across the internet that can help you out, like this one. The comet only orbits the sun every 133 years but when it does it leaves a trail of dust and small debris behind it. Once these bits of comet debris hit Earth's atmosphere, the meteors are heated to almost 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.



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