Massive meteor shower should reach its peak August 12-13

Perseids 2018 Perseid meteor shower at night

But you don't need to stare at Perseus to spot meteors - in fact, it may be better to simply stare unfocused into the sky and let your more-sensitive peripheral vision do the heavy lifting. It's all because of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which zooms close to Earth during its 133-year journey around the sun. At their peak, the Perseids can produce 100 meteors an hour.

After, all they come every year. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn should offer good views in the sky as well, according to Bjerke. This comet was discovered by American astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle back in the Civil War days of 1862. So you can definitely catch them in advance. "You really have to get out in the country", he said.

From years of observing, I've seen Perseids streak across the sky as early as the first week of July to as late as the final week of August.

How fiery and bright the show might be depends on how the dust and particles are distributed along the orbit. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on planet Earth. When it last passed by in 1992, this comet left a trail of stony grit, NASA reported.

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This weekend, Twarog is anticipating a slightly higher debris field.

NASA's photo of the lonely Perseid meteor was snapped in the early pre-dawn hours Universal Time when viewing conditions are prime. He suggests grabbing a lawn chair and heading to Clinton Lake or anywhere a few miles outside of town where the sky is dark.

In a similar way the Geminid meteor shower in December appears to originate from the constellation Gemini. Shooting stars could happen every minute.

"They are basically rocks", he said.

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This weekend's show is expected to be particularly spectacular.

In 2018, the peak night of this shower will be totally free of moonlight.

The meteors can be traced to the Perseus constellation, from which they get their name, which will climb in the northeastern sky as the evening passes.

If you want a better view by getting away from light pollution, there will be a Night Walk 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell, where its $3 per vehicle.

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