This weekend, the sky will be ablaze with thousands of magnificent white streaks of light in what is known as the Perseids meteor shower. Although the annual shower has been active for some time now, late night on Saturday, August 11 or early morning on Sunday, August 12 will be the best times to view it.

The meteor shower is a result of the debris left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet. The comet was discovered 150 years ago by Americans Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, but it wasn’t until 1867 that Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli noticed that the Persied meteor shower was a result of Earth passing through the comet’s orbit.

The meteor shower is visible within most of the constellation Perseus, therefore it is called the Perseid meteor shower. Look toward the northeast part of the sky for a constellation that looks like an inverted “Y.” Lucky for you outdoorsmen and women, the moon will be in its waning crescent phase and should not inhibit your view.

The best place to see the meteor shower is away from city lights. Some parks are offering guided viewings of the event, such as the San Tan Mountain regional park in Queen Creek, Arizona. Check your local park or recreation area for information. If there is nothing offered, then this is a great chance to get far away from the city with your binoculars or telescope!

Image from Barry M (Mulling it Over) on the flickr Creative Commons, Image from Dominic Alves (Dominic's pics) on the flickr Creative Commons

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One thought on “Perseid Meteor Shower Will Be at Its Brightest This Weekend

  1. It’s sad when more people don’t get X-cited about the wonders of the heavens and nature. This event’s been on my calendar for 2 months now…hope we get to see enough of it to entrance my darling wife.

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