Annual Perseid Meteor Shower Coming This Weekend

A composite image of Perseid meteors in 2015 is shown

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com that the 2018 event will peak on the nights of august 11-12 and 12-13.

Make sure to look up this weekend as the Perseid Meteor Shower puts on its annual show in the skies above South Florida.

No astronomical equipment is needed to see the Perseid Meteor Shower; you just need dark, clear skies, something comfortable to sit on and look up. 2016 was an outburst year, which means the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

One of the most photographed meteor showers of the year has been putting on a small show every night since mid-July. It is said that the Perseid shower commemorates the time when Zeus visited Danae, the mother of Perseus, in a shower of gold.

Viewers are seeing pieces of comet debris heat up as they enter the atmosphere and burn up in a bright burst of light. The meteors travel at 37 miles per second and most are the size of a grain of sand.

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Earthsky's Bruce McClure said "it should be an awesome year to watch the Perseids!"

The Comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest solar system object to pass close to the Earth repeatedly, according to NASA. The Northern Hemisphere down to the mid-southern latitudes are the best locations for viewing.

The best time to observe any meteor shower is after midnight (or after 1 a.m. if you're on daylight time), because then you are on the leading edge of the earth in its orbit around the sun and it sweeps up more meteor - just like bugs on your windshield on a freeway. Go to a dark area in the suburbs or countryside and prepare to wait outside for a few hours.

One of the most interesting and lovely things anyone can see in the night sky are meteors!

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