Stargazers are gearing up for a treat early Wednesday when the annual Perseid meteor shower peaks.
Perseid meteor shower occurs when fragments of comet Swift-Tuttle crash into Earth’s atmosphere. The asteroids began appearing in the sky late last month and will peak in the pre-dawn hours on August 12, NASA officials wrote in a blog post.
“Plan to stay up late on the night of August 11 or get up early on the morning of August 12,” wrote NASA officials. “Perseids are best seen between 2am local time and dawn. The moon rises around midnight, so its brightness will affect the peak view window.
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The Moon will reduce the number of visible meteors from 60 meteors per hour to 15 to 20 meteors per hour. “Although the phase and the presence of the Moon will keep the frequency of meteorites lower, there will be close to one meteor every two minutes in extreme times!” according to NASA.
The space agency said some Perseids will also show up after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
“If it’s cloudless, choose an observation point away from the light, lie on your back and look up! According to NASA, you don’t need any special equipment to view Perseids – just your eyes. “Meteors can be seen all over the sky so don’t worry about looking in any particular direction.”
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Meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus, part of the sky, or ‘radiance’ where it appears.
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A small fraction of asteroids or comets are also known as asteroids. When it enters Earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a meteor or a fireball or a meteor. Fragments of rock falling to the ground, valuable to collectors, are meteorites.
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