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The Buzz

Get Ready for a Spectacular Perseid Meteor Shower





(Photo via Shutterstock)

If you're the type of person who enjoys looking up at the night sky, you'll want to keep your fingers crossed that we'll get minimal clouds over the next week in order to enjoy the Perseid Meteor Shower in all of its glory.

While the shower won't be at its peak until the nights of August 12 and 13, it will still be visible before and after those peak dates. But if the weather cooperates, you'll most likely want to pull up a chair on the 12th and 13th. That's because experts say you'll be able to see around 60 or 70 meteors per hour, and maybe more. In 2016, there were up to 200 meteors per hour, all viewable with the naked eye.

Regardless, this will be the best meteor shower of the year.

"This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight," said NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. "The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it."

In order to see it, you won't need any special equipment, but the American Meteor Society offers some suggestions. For example, don't look straight up. With more activity visible at lower elevations, you'll want to aim your center of view about halfway up in the sky. 

You'll also want to watch from a site that's as dark as possible; the more rural the setting with less light pollution, the better. It could be a real treat for those people camping.

And good news for night owls, considering the best viewing will be after midnight.

Cooke suggests alotting a decent chunk of time to observing the meteor shower. Keep in mind that it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to darkness, so the longer you sit outside, the more you'll be able to see. 

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