Don't miss the meteor shower

Jorge Duenes  Reuters

The ramp up to the peak begins overnight Friday into Saturday morning, but the greatest number of visible meteors comes over the weekend.

"The shower is the second strongest of the year, rich in fireballs, and only the December Geminids are better (but night is much colder and not so comfortable to observe)", Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, told NBC News MACH in an email. And conditions for viewing the meteors will be next to ideal this year.

The meteors appear to shoot off of the constellation Perseus, which is how they get their name. More meteors are visible the higher this radiant rises.

The comet whose tail creates the Perseus shower is called 109P/Swift-Tuttle, and is named after the US astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, who discovered it in 1862. The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly careen by Earth, with a nucleus of 16 miles wide. Shooting stars could happen every minute.

Part of the reason the Perseids really sizzle in the summer sky in the northern hemisphere isn't the seasonal heat, but rather their speed, which can be almost 60 kilometers per second (134,000 miles per hour).

Jay Bjerke, president of the Fargo-Moorhead Astronomy Club, said the best location to view the meteor shower will be away from city lights.

Don't miss the meteor shower
Don't miss the meteor shower

If you're counting meteors, notice there are times when numerous meteors are visible followed by a near absence of activity.

While the comet may only come back every 125 years, the actual debris field fills the entire loop of the orbit of the comet, he explained. This almost two-month spread suggests that comet debris has spread widely since Swift-Tuttle first passed though the inner solar system thousands of years ago. The Perseid are essentially a collection of dust and small rocks left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle.

I'm often asked what part of the sky is best to watch. You can tune in at any time to watch the show, and the last four hours of the stream will remain archived and viewable after the broadcast is complete. The longer you're outside in the dark, the better your vision of the meteors will be.

Plan on spending a few hours outside?

In summary: this weekend, check out a dark location, let your eyes adjust and look to the northeast.

Roy Gephart is a retired environmental scientist and an avid amateur astronomer.


Related News:

  • Patriots Add $5M In Incentives To Contract Of Tom Brady

    Patriots Add $5M In Incentives To Contract Of Tom Brady

    The deal would lift the five-time Super Bowl champion's compensation toward current market value at the quarterback position. The top five quarterbacks that have the highest guarantees in salary are all signed through at least the 2022 season.

    Travis Scott Nuzzles Kylie Jenner’s Neck As She Drinks At 21st Birthday

    Today is a big day for Kylie Jenner as she turns 21 years old. 'Omg look at the face of Stormi she is sooooo cute. You can see her outfits in the pics below. "I think more about the future because of her".
    Taliban try to take Afghan city, kill at least 14

    Taliban try to take Afghan city, kill at least 14

    Congressional watchdog, said the losses were "shockingly high" but Afghan authorities no longer release overall casualty data. Afghan officials said only one of its fighters was confirmed killed, but a Taliban spokesman said 140 enemy forces were dead.
  • See the Disney princesses lounge around in sweats

    See the Disney princesses lounge around in sweats

    The Princesses' involvement is a natural progression from the first film according to Co-Director Phil Johnston . Steve Brule/Dewey Cox is the "face" of a Disney franchise), Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Taraji P.
    Cleveland Browns: Dez Bryant says he’s coming for a visit

    Cleveland Browns: Dez Bryant says he’s coming for a visit

    Dez Bryant says that he is interested in playing for the Cleveland Browns , but he is not ready to play yet. Landry wrote on social media, a concept that Dez approved of via the same medium.
    Facebook launching augmented reality games on Messenger

    Facebook launching augmented reality games on Messenger

    Facebook has copied another one of Snapchat's features, and this time it brings augmented reality games to Messenger video chats. The introduction of games into Messenger is another strategy by Facebook to increase user engagement on the platform.
  • Sprint Center announces Drake and Migos concert postponed until Sunday

    Sprint Center announces Drake and Migos concert postponed until Sunday

    It's unsure if this played any sort of factor in the push back but hopefully, there won't be any more problems on their tour. The rapper/singer's tour bus was towed away from a hotel parking lot in Kansas City, MO around 3 AM Thursday.
    Jimmy Kimmel shuts down Kanye West's love for Donald Trump

    Jimmy Kimmel shuts down Kanye West's love for Donald Trump

    After West stared silently for several seconds, Kimmel said "Why don't we take a break and we'll come back". Kimmel also asked what was up ahead for West , following his June album release, ye.
    Multiple fatalities confirmed after shooting incident in Canada

    Multiple fatalities confirmed after shooting incident in Canada

    Police are at the scene and the incident is ongoing. "We will provide more details as soon as we can", city police tweeted. Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick, a province on the eastern side of the country and above ME in the USA.
  • Ikea opening in India brings traffic to standstill

    Ikea opening in India brings traffic to standstill

    And since children often sleep in the same room as their parents, one model bedroom includes a child's bed amid all the furniture. Some 380 million Indians, a population bigger than the entire US , will join the middle class in the seven years through 2022.

    "Samsung Unveils its Latest 6.4" Galaxy Note 9 Flagship Smartphone

    You can use it to jot doodles or notes on the screen without even turning the display on - then have the option to save it later. People with the Galaxy Note9 will also be able to get the game that way, but the phone doesn't arrive until August 24.
    Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal win in Toronto

    Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal win in Toronto

    Djokovic, a four-time Rogers Cup champion, faded late on a warm, breezy afternoon at Aviva Centre on the York University campus. "I was really not focusing on winning or losing, just on starting to play good tennis and start building the right habits".


Most liked

Everton make four major signings in remarkable end to transfer window
In the immortal words of one Larry David: preeeetty... preeeeetty... pretty good. This is a great opportunity for me and I am looking forward to competing here.

Bulls to play regular season game in Mexico City on December 13
Both of the Brooklyn Nets' games in Mexico City a year ago against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat aired on ESPN. The NBA regular season schedule is expected to be released by the end of this week.

White House: Omarosa Book 'Riddled with Lies and False Accusations'
According to excerpts in media outlets , Manigault-Newman questions Trump's mental state and accuses him of using racial epithets. Omarosa doesn't claim to have heard Trump use this racial slur herself, but knows of multiple people who have.

The Magic Leap One Mixed Reality Headset Is Finally Here
The company received huge financial investments from companies like Google, bringing its valuation to an incredible $2.3 billion. There's also a lot of advanced technology in the system: It runs off a Nvidia Parker processor, which includes 6 ARM cores.

Why the Galaxy Note 9 is the new king of the enterprise
An upcoming public SDK will allow developers to program custom functions into their apps specifically for use with the S Pen. Rather than a battery, the S Pen has a supercapacitor inside that keeps it running for about 30 minutes at a time.

All New Overwatch Skins Available in the Summer Games 2018
However, Overwatch players will be guaranteed at least Summer Games Event item in the Summer Games Promo lootbox. Peruse through images of the new Overwatch Summer Games 2018 skins below, and click for high-resolution.

Tour de France victor Jan Ullrich held for 'prostitute assault'
But he then got into a quarrel with the "escort lady" and "physically attacked and injured her", police said. Ullrich, 44, was arrested after police were called to a luxury Frankfurt hotel early on Friday.

Trump doubles metal tariffs on Turkey as lira falls by 20%
Turkish companies have borrowed roughly US$300 billion in foreign currency, and now have to repay it in devalued Turkish lira . Doubling the tariffs to 20 percent for aluminum and 50 percent for steel would magnify the impact of the trade restrictions.

Samsung Group to invest $22 billion in AI, 5G technologies
He has since been released after some of his convictions were quashed on appeal, and is now awaiting a Supreme Court decision. Samsung's target is to provide support for 300 external candidates and 200 internal projects in the next five years.

CDC: 4 cases of West Nile virus in Minnesota
Symptoms include severe headaches, fever, vomiting and diarrhea, with the agency recommending to seek immediate medical attention. Cases generally tend to spike during the summer and fall months, between June and September, when activity is the most common.

Kurt Zouma Staying Put In London As Everton Look To Seal Loan
L'Equipe are an extremely reliable source, and the fact that they are reporting this indicates the deal is close to completion. With his prospects unlikely to improve much at Chelsea this season, a move away from the Bridge makes sense.

Drought-hit Australian farmers to kill kangaroos
The drought has hit farmers particularly hard, with crop, water, and fodder shortages putting their livelihoods at risk. Some exhausted graziers spend hours each day hand-feeding their stock because the ground is too dry for grass to grow.

Idris Elba Is Back in Talks to Be the Next James Bond
After two years of speculation, Daniel Craig announced last August that he will return to play James Bond for a fifth time. The article claims that Broccoli told Fuqua that "it is time" for a person of color to be cast in the role.

Hundreds of Ryanair flights cancelled today as pilots strike in five countries
Ryanair built its low-priced business model without unions, but said past year it would recognise them. The 24-hour walk-out involves staff in Germany , Sweden , Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Jose Mourinho: Man Utd boss 'not confident' of deadline day signing
Jorginho was Chelsea´s first close-season signing as the Italy midfielder followed Sarri from Napoli in a £57-million deal. Jurgen Klopp's side finished 25 points behind City who finished their campaign having accrued 100 points.