"The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean... Recently, we've managed to wade a little way out, and the water seems inviting." - Carl Sagan
Perseid meteor shower will peak soon
Every August, just when many people go vacationing in the country where skies are dark, the best-known meteor shower, makes its appearance.
This year, the Perseid meteor shower is expected to reach its peak overnight on Monday (Aug. 12), and there are some key tips to keep in mind for your “shooting stars” viewing.
Peak activity for the Perseids is unfortunately predicted for the daylight hours across North America, so stargazers with clear skies are encouraged to seek out the meteor display during the pre-dawn hours of Monday and again during the early morning hours of Tuesday (Aug. 13). At these times, the absence of bright moonlight can maximize your chances of spotting a meteor.
At mid-northern latitudes, moonset on Sunday evening (Aug. 11) occurs at about 10:15 p.m. local time and around 10:50 p.m. the following night. Since dawn doesn’t break until around 4:30 a.m. local time that means there will be between five-and a-half to six hours of dark, moonless skies for the two best viewing nights for the Perseids.
Take full advantage of this year’s favorable lunar circumstances. Next year, a bright waning gibbous moon will flood the after-midnight night sky with its light and seriously hinder the Perseids.
Image credit: StarDate