Perseids Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend
Peak viewing times between midnight and dawn Saturday and Sunday. Shower could display up to 40 meteors per hour in pre-dawn hours.
Area stargazers are hoping the weather cooperates for the peak of the Perseid meteor showers this weekend.
The forecast for Saturday calls for a chance of showers and thunderstorms but the forecast for Saturday and Sunday night is slated to be partly cloudy, giving stargazers hope that the shower will be visible.
The Perseids are a meteor shower visible when the Earth passes through the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet. The meteor shower has been visible for about 2,000 years. The Swift-Tuttle comet orbits once every 133 years, according to NASA.
“The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere,” according to a 2011 NASA release. “Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors appear to radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus.”
At its peak, the Perseids meteor shower could display up to 40 meteors per hour in the pre-dawn hours Sunday. The American Meteor Society recommends viewing this meteor shower between midnight and dawn Saturday and Sunday.
Get as far away from city and other artificial lights as possible.
Meteor showers are best viewed in really dark skies. Try to keep the moon out of your field of vision, too.
Be patient. It may take your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the light and see the meteors.
You don’t need binoculars or a telescope – that will only limit the amount of sky you can see.
The SC Botanical Garden in Clemson has two events scheduled for next week about stargazing.
On Wednesday, August 13, from 10:30am - noon, the Backyard Geology series will focus on Shooting Stars and the Perseids.The program will be held at the Hayden Conference Center and costs $8 ($5 for members or volunteers.)
Beginning at 9pm at Kelly Meadow, the Botanical Garden will host a Meteor Shower-gazing event. Learn more about the Perseids as curators guide you in viewing with and without a telescope, counting and measuring meteors and understanding what you see.
Bring a notebook, pens, blankets and chairs, and dress for the weather.Refreshments will be provided. The cost to attend is $10 per family (up to five people), $7 for members and volunteers.
Cloudly skies or rain will cancel the event.
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