This Week's Meteor Shower Could Be Best in Years

Aim for tonight or tomorrow to see the Perseids, NASA says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2015 6:04 AM CDT
This Is a Great Year to Catch Meteor Shower
Meteors streak above the Wyoming countryside in this time-lapse Perseids photo.    (AP Photo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Blaine McCartney)

If you want to see a light show in the sky, after midnight tomorrow night will be the best hour of the year and possibly the decade. The annual Perseid meteor shower will be at its peak between tonight and Friday night and NASA says 4am EDT will be the ideal time to catch sight of up to 100 meteors an hour. This is the first time since 2007 that the shower, which is seen every year as the Earth passes through the debris field of Comet Swift-Tuttle, coincides with a new moon, which will make it a lot easier to see the meteors, the CBC reports. NASA notes that the Perseids are known for fireballs: "larger explosions of light and color that can last longer and shine brighter than an average meteor streak."

NASA has some tips for viewing the shower starting as early as 10pm: Find an area well away from city lights, lie back on a sleeping back and lawn chair, and wait 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. "People away from cities should see one a minute starting at midnight both nights; but city dwellers will only see the brightest ones, reducing the number to maybe one every 10 minutes," Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman tells "Also, an open area of sky is best. Don't just try to peek between trees or buildings." Clear skies are forecast for most of the US, but Slooh plans a live broadcast starting at 8pm tomorrow for those in New England and other areas that may have a cloudy night. (Read more meteor shower stories.)

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