Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend

Weather

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – A normally popular meteor shower approaches its peak this weekend.

On a perfect night with little light, the Perseid meteor shower is known to produce up to 100 meteors per hour. Some years even see up to 200 meteors per hour with this shower.

This year is much different, however. On the night of the peak of the shower, Aug. 12, the moon will be almost full. The moon’s brightness will likely wash out more than half of the meteors that fall into the atmosphere.

The show will still be worth checking out as it will be the second-best meteor shower of the year. Ten to 20 meteors per hour are expected this year. Perseid meteors are typically brighter fireballs which will make it even more worth the show.

Spend some time out in the dark night sky. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness and bring your patience. According to earthsky.org, the meteors will come in bursts and the number of meteors you see will vary hourly. In between the bursts, there may be longer lulls.

The best show will occur before dawn, before any sunlight starts peaking over the horizon, and when the moon is setting. During this in-between time, you’ll experience the most darkness and it will allow fainter meteors to be seen as well.

The mornings with the longest amount of total darkness (no moon or sunlight) will be on the mornings leading up to the peak. The moon will set an hour later each morning. Starting Saturday morning, there will be about three hours of total darkness, Sunday morning will have two and Monday will only have one.

Where we air
Day Times Best time
Saturday Morning, Aug. 10 Moonset: 2:40 am
Twilight: 5:32 am
Sunrise: 6:57 am
In between 2:40 and 5:30 am
Sunday Morning, Aug. 11 Moonset: 3:27 am
Twilight: 5:33 am
Sunrise: 6:57 am
In between 3:30 and 5:30 am
Monday Morning, Aug. 12 Moonset: 4:18 am
Twilight: 5:33 am
Sunrise: 6:58 am
In between 4:30 and 5:30 am
Source: Timeanddates.com

It is still possible to see shooting stars before the moon sets, but there is a greater chance of seeing more of the faint meteors during darkness.

These particular meteors come from the trail of debris left behind Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year in late July and August, earth’s orbit takes us through the trail. The actual comet’s orbit is much larger than earth’s and only passes near earth every 133 years, according to earthsky.org. The next time Swift-Tuttle will pass just inside earth’s orbit is not until July 2126.

Sources: earthsky.org, meteorshower.org

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

USF Health helps create 3D printed nasal swabs for coronavirus testing

Thumbnail for the video titled "USF Health helps create 3D printed nasal swabs for coronavirus testing"

UPS no longer requires signature for package

Thumbnail for the video titled "UPS no longer requires signature for package"

Mayor Castor gives update on coronavirus, safer-at-home order

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mayor Castor gives update on coronavirus, safer-at-home order"

3 more die from coronavirus in Pinellas County

Thumbnail for the video titled "3 more die from coronavirus in Pinellas County"

Stimulus details

Thumbnail for the video titled "Stimulus details"

Amazon suspends nearly 4,000 sellers over coronavirus price gouging

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amazon suspends nearly 4,000 sellers over coronavirus price gouging"

Hillsborough, Pinellas ordered to stay home. Will others follow suit?

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hillsborough, Pinellas ordered to stay home. Will others follow suit?"

pregnant women coronavirus concerns

Thumbnail for the video titled "pregnant women coronavirus concerns"

Ford-produced face shields arriving for health care workers in Sarasota

Thumbnail for the video titled "Ford-produced face shields arriving for health care workers in Sarasota"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss