One of the "brightest" meteor showers to appear in North State skies

Aug 10, 2015 8:33 PM by Accuweather/News Staff, Photo: MGN

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower, a favorite among astronomy fans, is this week and viewing conditions in the North State are favorable.

"It's one of the two best annual meteor showers, and the only one that happens during warm weather," Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman said.

The Perseids is a favorite among stargazers due to these meteors being brighter than most showers, according to Slooh, a community observatory that has connected telescopes to the Internet for public use.

The Perseids will peak when Earth passes the thickest part of the debris stream on Aug. 11-12. Slooh stated that in a clear, dark sky as many as 60 meteors can be seen in an hour. With a new moon on Aug. 14, skies will be dark all night, providing excellent viewing conditions.

The Perseids are similar to most meteor showers in that they are simply dust-sized pieces of icy debris expelled from a comet, according to Slooh.

Berman stated that the best time to view the Perseids would be after midnight both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. He added that "people away from cities should see one a minute starting at midnight both nights; but city dwellers will only see the brightest ones, reducing the number to maybe one every 10 minutes. Also, an open area of sky is best. Don't just try to peek between trees or buildings.


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