New Delhi: Sky gazers across the northern hemisphere are in for a treat this weekend, as the Perseid meteor shower is about to bless the skies.
According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year. Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.
The shower will peak around 1:00 pm EDT on August 12, which means that the night before and the night after will both have good rates; 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.
However, this year, the Perseids will be a bit difficult to view because of the moon which will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak around midnight local time.
“Rates will be about half what they would be normally, because of the bright moonlight,” Cooke told Space.com. “Instead of 80 to 100, [there will be] 40 to 50 per hour. And that’s just because the moon’s going to wash out the fainter ones.”
But don’t let that put a dampener on your skygazing plans.
“The good news is that the Perseids are rich in fireballs; otherwise the moon would really mess with them,” Cooke added.
The Perseid meteor shower occurs every July and August as the Earth passes debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.
Below is a short video released by NASA guiding you on where, when & how to watch the celestial spectacle. Check it out!
Catch a falling star! The #Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend. This video shows where, when & how to watch. pic.twitter.com/jGpOmU9VFt
– NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 12, 2017