If you’re outside and looking up tonight, keep an eye out for a Perseids meteor shower! It’s nature’s brightest light show of the summer!
According to NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, when these meteors slam into Earth’s atmosphere, they will be speeding at about 132,000 MPH, and burning bright at around 3,000 to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit!
Dedicated star gazers will also be able to see Saturn, the moon and Mars too!
Here’s more information from NASA:
Determine Meteor Shower Activity Where You Live
NASA Meteor Estimator
- Comet of Origin: 109P/Swift-Tuttle
- Radiant: Constellation Perseus
- Active: 17 July — 24 August 2016
- Peak Activity: 11 — 12 Aug 2016
- Peak Activity Meteor Count: Up to 100 meteors per hour
- Meteor Velocity: 37 miles (59 km) per second
2016 Perseids Forecast
August’s Perseid meteor shower peaks for U.S. observers just after sunrise on Friday morning, August 12. It should also put on a great show this year for observers in Europe, with some predictions showing an outburst of up to 150 or 200 meteors at the peak, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke. U.S. observers will get a great view of the ramp up to the peak between moonset and sunrise on Friday morning, August 12.
About the Meteor Shower
The Perseids, which peak during mid-August, are considered the best meteor shower of the year. With very fast and bright meteors, Perseids frequently leave long “wakes” of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers (50-100 meteors seen per hour) and occur with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view them.
Perseids are also known for their fireballs. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with apparent magnitudes greater than -3.
The Perseids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the pre-dawn hours, though at times it is possible to view meteors from this shower as early as 10 p.m
Find an area well away from city or street lights, and if you want, set up where you are shadowed from the moon’s glare before it sets. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Face whatever direction you like, the one unobstructed by trees, buildings or moonlight. Look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. If you have a group, each person should look in different parts of the sky. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt, and you will begin to see fainter objects, including meteors. Be patient; the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.