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Perseids Meteor Shower


The Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the most consistently observable meteor events in the Northern Hemisphere, starting in mid-July and reaching its peak beween August 9 and 15, when the rate of observable meteors reaches up to 100 per hour.

To observe the Perseids, locate yourself away from any brightly lit community or highways that  obscure the night sky. Local parks are usually good locations.

Lie down with the horizon in your peripheral vision. Once your eyes adjust to the dim light, the meteors will attract your attention as they fall from the sky.


2016 Forecast

Viewing of the Perseids can begin early in August, with the number of meteors increasing as the meteor shower reaches its peak on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13, when it could average 100 meteors an hour. A waxing gibbous Moon will make it harder for observers to view the Perseids this year. Best viewing is always from a dark location after midnight. Most meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
 



History

Observarion accounts of the Perseids Meteor Shower date back over 2,000 years, with the earliest recorded in the Far East.

The shower is named after the Perseus constellation because the point at which the meteors come from (the radiant) lies within its stars.

The meteors come from a cloud of particles created by the comet Swift-Tuttle during its 130-year orbit. The meteor shower occurs when the Earth's orbit moves through the cloud.

The Tears of St. Lawrence

Some Catholics refer to the Perseids Meteor Shower as the Tears of St. Lawrence, since the date of that saint's matyrdom was August 10.



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Meteors and How to Observe Them
Meteors and How to Observe Them

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A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky





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