Starstruck: Perseid meteor shower returns to night sky

Mindy Sparks
August 16, 2018

The Perseids meteor shower is an annual celestial event associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle.

Most meteor shows have a short peak, but, since Earth takes almost a month to get through the trail of "cometary dust" from Perseid's mama astrological phenomenon, the comet Swift-Tuttle, these heavenly wonders have a broad peak, NASA said.

The gleaming debris is generally first seen in mid-July in the northern but enters a particularly sweet period of viewing for amateur stargazers between August 11-13, 2018.

Meteor showers are nearly always linked to comets, which are giant balls of ice, rock, space dust, and gasses orbiting the sun.

Named for the constellation Perseus, because of where the meteors are viewed, the shower can be seen when looking toward the constellation in the northeastern portion of the sky between midnight and dawn.

However, unlike last night, most areas in the county are due to have clear skies.

Taking approximately 133 years to complete each of its solar orbits, the comet last flew its closest approach to Earth in.

With a nucleus that is 26 km in diameter, Comet Swift-Tuttle contains almost 30 times the kinetic energy of the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs. It's expected to come in close with the Moon and Earth again in 2125.

As for the best way to ensure a great view, "it's actually just best to get out of town", Boyle said.

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