There is a meteor shower likely coming to the sky near you this weekend, think of it as a sky watching warm up for the August 21 eclipse. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, the brightness of the sky overhead at full moon away from an urban center can be the same as an urban center on a moonless night. "Upwards of 100 lay prostrate on the ground [.] with their hands raised, imploring God to save the world and them", Cooke quoted from an 1833 account of seeing the Leonids meteor show in SC.
"This is not much better than a full moon and will certainly pose a challenge in viewing the Perseids this year". The best Perseid performance we know of occurred in 1993, when the peak rate topped 300 meteors per hour, Cooke said. Meteor showers are tiny dust particles, debris left over from a comet, in this case Swift-Tuttle.
One other factor that may put a damper on the meteoric action is the fact that the almost three-quarters-full moon, rising shortly before midnight, will outshine some of the smaller, thereby fainter, meteors. The best chance to see the meteors will be in an area with very little light from cities and large buildings.
For those interested in catching the celestial event, Mr Chee recommended places such as Changi Beach, West Coast Beach and Bishan Park, where there are better views of the night sky.
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Cox recommends finding a dark spot outside, away from street or house lights, and allowing your eyes at least 30 minutes to adjust.
The Perseid Meteor Shower, the most popular meteor shower of the year, will reach its peak in the coming days. A light jacket or blanket could be ideal since temperatures are expected to cool to the upper 60s from 9 p.m.to midnight, depending on how cozy you want to be when relaxing and enjoying the meteor shower.
The meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, in the north sky beneath the more recognizable "W" of Cassiopeia. Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years, as was the case last year, the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.
"We hit that meteor debris trail every year about the same time", Stunder said. Every meteor we see is actually a tiny piece of the comet burning up as it strikes the Earth's atmosphere.
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Perseid meteor shower to peak on August 12
According to meteor expert Bill Cooke (who, incidentally, is on NASA's payroll), it's the most popular meteor shower of the year. A dazzling display of shooting stars will light up Irish skies as the best meteor shower of the year takes place.
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