Brad's Astro Extra: Best way to watch the Perseid meteor shower

Brad's Astro Extra: Best way to watch the Perseid meteor shower

The Perseids arrive each year in the night skies when the Earth passes through the cosmic trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. It's best seen in dark skies after 10pm, with more meteors closer to dawn.

Meteors in general are small particles of dust - some as small as grains of sand - entering the Earth's atmosphere at a high speed, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.

The annual meteor shower will peak August 12-14, and should be visible each night.

Most of the state should experience clear to mostly clear skies each night. From our perspective, the meteors all seem to come from a single point called the "radiant", but that's because they are moving parallel to each other. Every meteor we see is actually a tiny piece of the comet burning up as it strikes the Earth's atmosphere.

The Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak late in the evening Saturday into early Sunday morning, though a similar show could be seen Friday evening into early Saturday morning.

The Perseid meteors are so named because they look like they're radiating from the constellation Perseus. This particular meteor shower "normally produces, statistically, up to 60 meteors per hour", Henderson said.

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Some meteors only have faint, quick streaks. They say the further you are from artificial lights, the better the view will be.

A number of planets will also be highly visible. That will make the light from those meteors really pop!

And don't forget to grab your camera before you head out.

Skies will be clear enough both of the nights this weekend to see them.

The Virtual Telescope Project will be streaming a view of the Perseid meteor shower on Sunday from the Castel Santa Maria in Italy's Perugia province, where the community is restoring the 16th-century church that has been damaged by several earthquakes.

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