Perseids Meteor Shower 2013

overnight hours. 

The Perseids grace our skies when Earth plows into a stream of fragments—ranging in size from sand grains to boulders—left behind by a comet. These particles slam into the atmosphere at speeds of 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) per hour, causing the meteors to burn up in the upper atmosphere, which produces a momentary streak across the overhead skies known as a shooting star.”As the Earth passes through the dust trail of comets, it encounters debris—some of which can be the size of grapefruit or larger—which [then] can cause fireballs,” said Raminder Singh Samra, resident astronomer at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.”The chances of seeing fireballs always increase when there is a strong meteor shower like this one,” he added.

Perseids Meteor Shower 2013 according to same National Geographic article, the meteors will appear to radiate out from the shower’s namesake constellation Perseus, which rises after local midnight in the northeastern sky. But it’s recommended to face the northeast starting at local nightfall to catch even the straggler Perseids.To see the highest rates of meteors, however, Samra recommends timing your observations for when Perseus rises to its highest point in the sky—in the pre-dawn hours on Sunday, August 11, and Monday, August 12.


Photo: A Perseid meteor over cliff-side monasteries in Meteora, Greece. Photograph by Babak A. Tafreshi, TWAN 


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