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Perseid Meteor Shower Count Down

Aug 11, 2016 03:40 AM EDT
The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower
Astronomers are counting the hours to the Perseid meteor shower peak that will happen on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12.
(Photo : Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak on Aug. 11 and 12, astronomers and stargazers are counting down the hours and currently preparing for a show of a lifetime.

Experts say that this year's Perseid meteor shower will be one of the best cosmic displays to happen to Earth. Aside from the Earth passing through the center of the debris formation, the gravitational pull from Jupiter will also enhance the cosmic show.

To enjoy the celestial extravaganza, experts suggest to catch the time when the shower will peak at about 10:00 p.m. and at dawn. But due to a large number of meteorites in the sky, stargazers may even spot a few as early as after sunset. To fully enjoy the show, NASA experts suggest that people should allow about 45 minutes for the eyes to adjust to the sky's brightness.

Various instruments are being prepared to capture and live stream the event. In order to locate the best spot to view the meteor shower, enthusiasts are advised to keep away from light pollution or heavy lit metropolitan areas as the lights may have the tendency to obstruct the view. In clear nights, stargazers are sure to catch the magnificent shooting stars show.

But in areas void of the shower, the population can still enjoy the NASA live streaming of the event, as well as those from other live streaming websites. This year, the Perseid meteor shower sparked the interest of many since it is expected to produce double the amount of shooting stars compared to previous showers due to an outburst.

"The meteors you'll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago," said Cooke in a statement. "And they've traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth's atmosphere."

Records show that the last outburst occurred in 2009. The debris that turned into meteors is from the comet Swift-Tuttle that was broken due to the comet's proximity to the Sun.


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