The wait is over and stargazers are gearing up for one of the most prized meteor showers of the year, but the clouds could disrupt the event for about a third of the United States. .
The Perseid meteor shower will peak on Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning, a meteor shower reliably emerge from year to year.
“The Perseids are the most common meteor showers as they peak on warm August nights when viewed from the Northern Hemisphere,” the American Meteorite Association (AMS) explains on its website.
This year, audiences can expect to see between 50 and 75 meteors per hour under dark skies, an average of about one meteor per minute.
“The Geminid meteor shower in December created the same number of meteors. Both meteor showers produced about four times more than any other rain of the year,” said Astronomy Blogger AccuWeather Dave Dave Samuhel said.
Another big difference between Perseids and the Geminids is the weather. August usually has more comfortable stargazing weather for the Perseids compared to the cold and often cloudy December conditions around the top of the Geminids.
Like every meteor shower, the best time to watch is when the meteor shower’s spot of light is highest in the sky. The number of meteors that can be seen increases gradually as the radiation point moves higher in the sky.
“They are called Perseids because the radiant region (the area of the sky where the meteorites originate) is located near the prominent constellation Perseus,” explained AMS.
Contrary to popular belief, sky watchers don’t need to look at the radiant spot to see the meteor shower – shooting stars will be visible in all areas of the sky.
The Perseids’ radiant point will rise above the horizon at around 11 p.m. local time and will continue to climb higher in the sky as night falls. However, the moon will rise at around 1am local time and will result in natural light pollution, making it harder to see some of the fainter meteors.
Because of this, The best window to see this year’s Perseid meteor shower will occur between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. local time.
“Although the Perseids will be most active after midnight, I encourage people to start looking when it gets dark at night,” Samuhel said. “You are more likely to see a bright, long-lived shooting star flying over a large portion of the sky at night.”
Those outside after 1am to watch the celestial light show should gaze at the darkest part of the sky away from the moon.
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This year, much of the western and central US will have cloud-free conditions for the top of the Perseids. Favorable weather is also in the forecast for much of western Canada and the Canadian Prairies.
Residents east of the Mississippi may have some clouds to deal with, especially across the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic coast.
Other areas, such as the Deep South, northern New England and into the St. River Valley Lawrence will have some interrupted clouds, which could provide an opportunity to spot a few shooting stars throughout the night.
Meteors will continue to appear on the nights after their peak, so those who find themselves under the clouds on Tuesday night should plan for a night under the stars on the weekend when weather conditions arise. details are improved. However, the number of visible meteors will gradually decrease each night.
In addition to needing clear weather, a little patience is also required to see the Perseids.
Samuhel said: “Take a sure hour to do nothing but search for asteroids. “If you only look for a few minutes, you can’t see any.”
It’s important not to look at any light sources while out looking for shooting stars, including cell phone screens.
“Make yourself comfortable. Lie back on the salon chair, or put a blanket on the lawn. Don’t sit on a regular chair and look up, your neck will quickly tire,” Samuhel said.
After the Perseids pass, the next moderate meteor shower won’t happen until mid-October with its climax of the Orionids.
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