While skywatchers have been focused on the solar eclipse coming Aug. 21, it’s not the only astronomical show in August: Friday and Saturday nights, the Perseid meteor shower will peak.
There have been some false internet rumors that this year will be a spectacular show, with hundreds of meteors per hour, but Sky & Telescope magazine said it should be a pretty typical year, with about 80 per hour.
However the relatively bright moon will wash out the view to 40-50 an hour. And that’s only if you’re in a really dark place. If you’re in the middle of town, even in a dark corner of a yard, you might see 10 an hour.
NASA said the meteor show’s actual peak is about 1 p.m. Saturday, which means Friday-Saturday night and Saturday-Sunday night should both have pretty good shows.
The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, in the north sky beneath the more recognizable “W” of Cassiopeia.
The meteor shower is caused by Earth passing through debris by the comet Swift-Tuttle. It happens every year between the middle of June and the start of September.
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