The Perseid meteor shower is slated to be one of the most impressive meteor displays of the year. This year’s Perseid meteor shower is predicted to double its traditional rate, reaching up to 200 meteors per hour. So, when will the meteor shower peak this year?
Mashable reports that this year’s Perseid meteor shower is forecast to produce as many as 200 shooting stars per hour at its peak, which would make it the most impressive Perseid meteor shower since 2009. In fact, this would double the meteor shower’s traditional levels of approximately 100 shooting stars per hour. The Perseid is slated to peak in the overnight hours of August 11 and 12, with the highest level of meteor activity predicted to occur at approximately 3:00 a.m. on August 12.
“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of Aug. 11-12. Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”
Though the peak is at 3:00 a.m., sky watchers can expect to see meteors throughout the night. From sundown on August 11 to dawn on August 12, shootings stars are expected to grace the night’s sky. However, the best viewing will be between midnight and to dawn when the moon finally sets. Though the meteor shower is expected to put on quite the show, viewers hoping to capture the Perseid meteor shower in its full glory should place themselves in the darkest location possible, far away from the artificial lights of the city.
— VirtualAstro (@VirtualAstro) August 7, 2016
The darker the area, the more meteors you will be able to view. However, with such a strong forecast, suburban viewers may be able to catch a few of the shooting stars streaking across the sky as well. For city-dwelling stargazing hopefuls, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says to find a nice place in the shadows so that as much artificial light as possible will be clocked out. Cooke specifically suggested placing yourself in the shadow of a large building or finding a park or field nearby that you could utilize for the viewing. However, Cooke says that you shouldn’t expect to see as many stars as your rural counterparts, but with patience you could see one or two bright meteors if you are watchful.
— Corey S. Powell (@coreyspowell) August 7, 2016
— Epic Cosmos (@EpicCosmos) August 7, 2016
If you want to have the best chance of multiple shooting star sightings, NASA’s Rhiannon Blaauw says that find your dark location and lay on your back. It is noted that you should give your eyes a chance to adjust to the darkness so arrive to your location early. If you are laying on your back, Blaauw says you will have the best chance of viewing the meteors as you will be able to see a larger portion of the sky.
“You are going to want to give yourself a long time for your eyes to adjust to the dark, and I would suggest just lying on your back and taking in as much of the sky as possible.”
If you can’t find a dark location or if clouds are blocking your view, NASA is providing a Perseid meteor shower webcast that will offer real-time viewing of the shower beginning at 10:00 p.m. EST on August 11, 2016. The webcast can also be viewed below.
Scientists are thanking Jupiter for this year’s impressive Perseid prediction, as they say Jupiter’s gravity may pull debris from comet Swift-Tuttle closer to Earth, which will create the outburst of meteors.
Will you be watching this year’s Perseid meteor shower?
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