Stunning Perseid meteor shower is at its peak this weekend

Stunning Perseid meteor shower is at its peak this weekend

According to NASA, the rumours doing the round that the 2017 Perseid Meteor Shower on August 12, will be so bright that it will be visible even during the daytime are baseless. Still, the Perseids is considered runner-up in number and brilliance only to the Geminid shower in December.

Catching a sight of this meteor shower is an absolutely phenomenal experience as Johann Nishant, an astrophotographer who captured the meteor shower a year ago, describes it. As the earth goes round the sun, when it sweeps through the debris, these dust particles burn up in the atmosphere. Some meteor showers are slow, but we are moving into the Perseid stream so they are coming at us quite swiftly.

It's not expected that any of the meteors from the Perseid shower will hit the ground on Earth. The higher the radiant is above the northeastern horizon, the more meteors will be visible.

The Perseid meteors are shed by comet Swift-Tuttle every August and are among the brightest of all shooting stars.

So sky watchers who have been waiting a year for Perseid fireballs might have to catch a bit of luck with some late-night/early-morning sky clearing this Friday to Sunday (August 11 to 13) to satisfy that yearning.

Unfortunately for all of us this year, the magic will be slightly dampened. In a normal year you might see 50-75 meteors per hour in a rural location. Hence, they rarely reach the Earth and when they do, it is only small parts that no one realises, Sheikh Salman said.

However, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke believes the Perseids will be a little more hard to see than expected. So at least there's that. It is important to ensure that your eyes get adjusted to the darkness for a clearer view of the meteors, by keeping them closed for 15 minutes. Under the best conditions, a meteor shower looks like a ton of shooting stars going off at the same time, but watching a meteor shower with an almost-full moon is like trying to see the stars in New York City. Then all you need to do is look up and enjoy the show.

But you might not be able to see it if the weather stays overcast.

So if you happen to be awake in the hours just before sunrise this weekend, head outside and see if you can spot the fiery show.

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