The Perseids: Astronomers prepare for Earth to ‘plow’ into fiery meteor shower (PHOTOS)

The Perseids is a prolific shower of fiery space particles that has streaked over our planet annually for generations as Earth encounters debris falling off the Swift-Tuttle comet, which was first discovered back in 1862.

The gleaming debris is generally first seen in mid-July in the northern hemisphere but enters a particularly sweet period of viewing for amateur stargazers between August 11-13, 2018. According to NASA, the peak period happens around a moonless night when the sky is darker than normal.

READ MORE: Cryptic fireball streaking over US base in Greenland puzzles NASA scientist

“Unlike most meteor showers, which have a short peak of high meteor rates, the Perseids have a very broad peak, as Earth takes more than three weeks to plow through the wide trail of cometary dust,” said Jane Houston Jones, of the US space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year. Observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views.”

The Perseids are essentially parts of the Swift-Tuttle comet tearing away from its nucleus and slamming into Earth’s atmosphere. Every August, Earth travels through the debris-strewn tail of the comet, encountering the rocky particles which burn up dramatically in our atmosphere creating the celestial light show. 

Taking approximately 133 years to complete each of its solar orbits, the comet last flew its closest approach to Earth in 1992. It’s expected to come in close contact with the Moon and Earth again in 2125.

READ MORE: Decades-long investigation into Bermuda Triangle finally explains mysterious disappearances

On a clear night people trying to catch a glimpse of the Perseids could be treated to around 60-70 meteors per hour, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told

“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,” he said.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

Source Article from

Related Posts
The Leonid is expected to be best visible in the early hours of the morning on
The dazzling light show will set skies ablaze from Sunday until Thursday, peaking on Tuesday
The 5-year-old girl found tied to a shower door on Monday in the central Israeli
Widely seen as one of the most entertaining celestial events of the year, the Perseids

Hits: 13

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply


Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes