The Perseid meteor shower reaches
The Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak on Wednesday night: Here’s how to view it.
(KRON) SAN FRANCISCO — This week, another stunning celestial phenomenon will occur, and an astronomer will explain how to obtain the greatest view.
According to astronomer Alex Filippenko, the Perseid meteor shower will rocket through the skies, culminating late Wednesday night into Thursday early.
Filippenko shares some advice for catching the best meteor shower of the year.
Here’s how to view it.
The meteor shower happens as Earth travels close to the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle, according to Filippenko, who lectures at the University of California, Berkeley. The comet’s little fragments of rock and ice burn up as they speed through Earth’s atmosphere at over 130,000 mph. The material is as little as sand grains.
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He recommends setting aside at least 30 minutes to an hour (the longer, the better). You’ll see around one “shooting star” each minute at most.
“The Perseids are noted for having a lot of brilliant and fast meteors that should be visible even in a light-polluted sky, though you’ll see a lot more from a darker location,” he explained.
You don’t even need binoculars or a telescope.
“Find a comfortable spot, avoid bright lights as much as possible (yes, that includes your phone), and give your eyes some time to acclimatise to the darkness – up to half an hour if feasible,” NASA said.
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The most meteors should fall in the northeast direction. “You might see more than 40 Perseids every hour if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and far away from light pollution,” NASA warns.
You may also follow NASA on social media by tuning in between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. ET on Wednesday and Thursday (11 p.m. – 6 a.m. ET). If the skies are cloudy Wednesday night, NASA will attempt again the next night or the next day.