Perseids Meteor Shower Will Be One Of Year’s Best Sky Shows

Perseids 2018 Perseid meteor shower at night

The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning.

The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus because that's where the point from which they appear to originate, called the radiant, is located.

The Perseids are an annual meteor shower that peaks in early-to-late August. The ice and dust, accumulating over a thousand years, burn up in our atmosphere to create the meteor shower.

The meteor shower will reach its peak on the nights of August 11 and 12, and the show will get underway around midnight local time.

A tent stands out against the starlit sky during the Perseid meteor shower on August 14, 2016 in Terlingua, Texas.

But not all meteors seen this month will be the Perseids and the odd shooting star might actually come from somewhere else. The number of meteors left behind during the 1990's was high, but figures are now falling and the comet will not be as close again until 2125. "This is how we know the Perseids always put on the best show of the year in August for many years".

While stars and star clusters are Twarog's specialty, he said he appreciates how the meteor showers light up the summer sky and anyone can appreciate the celestial wonder.

To see the meteor shower, you don't need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment; all you need is your eyes.

Meteor showers are some of the universe's most welcoming astronomical occurrences.

The Perseids have presented a scintillating display for 2,000 years, according to NASA. According to NASA, the comet is 16 miles across - that's almost twice the size of the object presumed to have led to the demise of dinosaurs.

During that period, people will be able to spot about 50-75 meteors per hour, which means that you can see a meteor per minute! Dr. Bill Cooke with NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office tells CBS News that this year, spectators will be in store for a better watching experience due to diminished moonlight -- or in his words: "We won't have any moon messing it up". He added that it takes at least 30 minutes for human eyes to adjust, so be patient and that you can expect to be outdoors for a few hours.

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