KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — This year’s Perseids meteor shower is expected to be quite a show as astronomers predict a major “burst” of meteors during the annual peak.
According to EarthSky.org, up to 200 meteors per hour could make for a spectacular show the evening of Thursday, Aug. 11-Friday, Aug. 12. However, whether or not viewers will be able to see the outburst will depend on what time of day it happens in their part of the world.
The hours before dawn are the best time to see meteors, EarthSky reports. NASA notes the meteors are particles left over from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which completes its orbit around the sun every 133 years. When the particles become trapped in Earth’s atmosphere and burn up, they can put on a spectacular visual show.
The reason for this year’s bigger-than-ever show is that Jupiter’s orbit has pulled the comet trail even closer to Earth’s orbit.
NASA’s advice for viewing the show is to go out between midnight and dawn, allowing 45 minutes for the eyes to fully adjust to the dark, lie flat on the ground and look straight up. A live stream will be set up for those who cannot make it out to see the shower firsthand or who experience cloud cover or light pollution.
Those who miss the shower Thursday night may still be able to see Perseids between midnight and dawn Friday evening, Aug. 12-Saturday morning, Aug. 13.