The best summertime meteor shower - the Perseids - will be coming to a sky near you this coming weekend, weather permitting. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to flawless this year.
Every year, in mid-August, Earth passes collides with particles spread along the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle. This weekend (August 12-13th) marks the peak period to view the Perseids across all of North America.
The Perseids will light up the sky with dozens of meteors an hour on August 11 to 13, setting up a spectacular show for stargazers.
In fact, you can expect to see between fifty to a hundred meteors an hour in places where the sky is very dark.
The best time to see those meteors is at around 11 p.m. ET until dawn the next morning.
According to Space, this August during the peak, there should be about 60 to 70 meteors per hour, although past year saw about 80 an hour.
In August 2016, the shower produced about 150 meteors an hour and in 2009, the estimated peak was about 173 but some of the fainter meteors could have been washed out by Moonlight.
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The shooting stars will appear to come from a single point, or "radiant", situated in the constellation Perseus, that climbs higher as the night progresses.
What's great about the Perseids is they can be enjoyed during summer's warmth, unlike the often nippy nights during the Leonids of November or Geminids of December.
If you want a better view by getting away from light pollution, there will be a Night Walk 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell, where its $3 per vehicle. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun". Better still, viewing conditions this time around are particularly ideal - due to a new moon.
However, you can also catch the odd meteor before and after these dates.
On the odd occasion, however, the shower has been known to exceed all expectations during the peak.
The 2018 Orionid meteor shower will be visible from October 2 to November 7 and is expected to peak on the night of Oct. 21-22.