Perseid Meteor Shower lights up night sky this week

Weather

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Make sure to look up at the sky this week! The Perseid Meteor Shower will be in view.

Real Time Perseid from September 8, 2018. Bright meteors and dark night skies made this year’s Perseid meteor shower a great time for a weekend campout. And while packing away their equipment, skygazers at a campsite in the mountains of southern Germany found at least one more reason to linger under the stars, witnessing this brief but colorful flash with their own eyes. Presented as a 50 frame gif, the two second long video was captured during the morning twilight of August 12. In real time it shows the development of the typical green train of a bright Perseid meteor. A much fainter Perseid is just visible farther to the right. Plowing through Earth’s atmosphere at 60 kilometers per second, Perseids are fast enough to excite the characteristic green emission of atomic oxygen at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so. Credit: Till Credner, AlltheSky.com

The Perseids peak in mid-August every year and produce streaks of color and light across the sky. According to NASA, “the pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Perseids originate from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.”

The paths of the meteors also appear to come from the direction of the constellation, “Perseus,” and is next to the constellation, “Cassiopeia;” this is visible to the northeast when viewing after midnight.

The constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia. Courtesy: EarthSky Communications

Some of the meteors will show up as fireballs which are larger explosions of color and light compared to an average meteor.

The Perseid Meteor Shower will display anywhere from ten to one hundred meteors per hour at its peak as one of the most abundant meteor showers.

When looking for the Perseid Meteor Shower, be out after midnight for the best viewing; the setting moon will make it look darker. Begin to look in the northeast and allow your eyes to adjust.

Look away from city and highway lights to best see the meteors. A good idea is to get into a position where a house, barn, shed, trees, or hills are in between you and the moon to make things darker for viewing. Using a telescope or pair of binoculars will enhance viewing of the Perseids.

Clouds will be more visible Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. Clearer conditions will be more likely late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning for better viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

For the latest forecast, please visit the StormTracker 12 and 12News apps, Facebook, Twitter, and www.wboy.com/weather to keep up-to-date!

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