Image Courtesy: NASA

OVER 100 an Hour

By Laura Lockwood @yourmetlaura August 17, 2017 5:43 am CDT

Perseid Meteor Shower 2017

The Perseid Meteor Shower this year will go from July 17th through August 24th. The rates of visible meteors will increase through August 12th, then decrease.

The Perseid Meteor Shower peak activity will be from August 11th through August 13th, 2017. The best time for viewing will be predawn of August 12th. Peak rates this year will be around 80 to 100 per hour, but with the waning crescent moon, we will likely see only about 40 to 50 per hour as the light from the moon will wash out the fainter meteors.

Where to Look

The Perseid Meteors radiate from Perseus the Hero, but you will not need to know where Perseus is to see them, because they will appear in all parts of the sky. The meteors are often bright and frequently leave persistent trains.

 bases on NASA illustration

 

About the Perseid Meteor Shower

These meteors are actually bits of the comet Swift-Tuttle, and some say that this is one of the more amazing showers of the year. Most of the meteors are traveling close to 133,200 mph relative to Earth. They will range from the size of sand grains to as big as marbles. Almost none hit the ground, but if they do, they are called meteorites.

When a Perseid particle enters the atmosphere, it compresses the air in front of it, which heats up. The meteor, in turn, can be heated to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 Celsius). This intense heat vaporizes most meteors, creating what we call "shooting stars". Most become visible at around 60 miles up (97 kilometers) up in the atmosphere. Some large meteors splatter,  which cause an even brighter flash called a "fireball", and sometimes an explosion that can often be heard from the ground.

 

Make a Wish

Don't forget to make a wish!

"Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight: I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight!"

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