Perseid Meteor Shower Is Back For 2016 – Peaks This Thursday & Friday
August may be hot but one of the great things that returns this time of year is the Perseid Meteor Shower, if you like gazing at the stars and watching meteor showers, this Thursday and Friday will be the best time to watch.
The best time to watch is between 1:30AM and dawn. Why so late? This year we have a waxing moon to deal with, meaning the moon is more than half full which translates to very bright. The brighter the moon, the harder it is to see the meteors. But after moonset, around 1 AM our time, the visibility should increase greatly.
The Perseid shower is named that because the meteors appear to emanate from the Perseus Constellation. In actuality the earth is flying through the debris field of comet Swift-Tuttle. To find it in our area look to the north then gaze upward.
Under perfect conditions this Perseid shower could be one of the best in years according to NASA. Normally we just graze the debris field but this year, thanks to Jupiter's gravity, we're making a more of a direct hit on that field. Some scientists are predicting up to 200 meteors per hour is a possibility. But don't forget, that's under perfect conditions, either way you're going to have to stay up really late, or like me, get up really early to catch this one because of the brightness of the moon.
If you have a smartphone or tablet, download the Google Sky mapping program that uses your GPS enabled phone to show exactly where to look.
Happy star gazing!