The Perseid Meteor Shower: Nature's Fireworks

Perseid Meteor Shower 2018

The Perseids happen every year, but this year's crescent moon will make the sky darker, allowing the meteors to shine. But don't go longer than that, otherwise you'll pick up the rotation of the stars, which could block out streaks from shooting stars, Cooke said.

During the Perseid meteor shower, spectators will see about 60 to 70 meteors per hour.

People can view the meteors streaming across the sky anywhere away from downtown Lawrence.

They're bits of ice and dust, which can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pea. The comet was independently discovered by Lewis Swift and Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1862.

Other chances to view shooting stars this year include the Orionids in October and the Leonids in November, both of which produce approximately 15 meteors per hour in moonless, dark skies.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend and viewing conditions should be spectacular in mid-Missouri. It is a common misconception that you need to look at a specific area to see meteors.

According to Space.com, the recently accredited Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve in the United States of America, which has the country's darkest skies is one of the best places to catch the meteor shower.

The Perseid meteor shower is a prolific meteor shower which occurs every year in mid-August.

The Perseid meteors are actually pieces of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth.

The comet itself will come extremely close to Earth in a "near-miss" in 2126.

Let's all hope for clear skies, as August holds much promise for sky viewing opportunities.

Since the Perseids radiate from the northeast, you will generally see more meteors with shorter tails when watching the northern sky.

The good news is you will be able to see them with the naked eye.

Naturally, you'll want to get as far from city lights as possible to take in all that the Perseids have to offer.

After about half an hour, your eyes should adjust to the darkness and you will start spotting them very fast - so we recommend you don't check your phone in the meantime. You can view all night long or just for one 15 minute interval if you wish.

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