This year’s Perseid meteor shower is expected to be brighter than usual because Jupiter is passing relatively close to the comet debris that produces it.
This year may be a bit different than what we’ve seen in recent years, as an extra tug of gravity from Jupiter’s orbit will help to push the Swift-Tuttle comet dust a bit closer to Earth to give a burst of activity.
The Perseids, which emanate from the constellation Perseus, are one of the more consistent showers of the year; but they aren’t the most vivid. Meteor rates will be around 100 per hour, but if the right astronomical conditions are in place, rates could be as high as 200 per hour.
To view the shower, remember to get away from the city lights, give yourself about 10–20 minutes outside to allow for your eyes to adjust to the low light, look toward the northeast and enjoy!
Another factor is the moonset – Friday’s moon will set around 1:30 a.m., allowing for prime viewing there after with a a starlit sky.
This year, the peak will occur around Aug. 11-13; high pressure is expected to be moving toward the area. This will help in the evening viewing, though we could still have patchy areas of clouds moving through the region that may obscure the viewing at times.
If you have cloudy skies, don’t fret: NASA will live-stream the shower! So you can always watch on your computer.
Sherri E. White