Annual Perseid meteor shower reaches a peak this weekend

The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a good show as it reaches a peak this...
The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to put on a good show as it reaches a peak this weekend.
Updated: Aug. 10, 2018 at 9:06 PM CDT
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The annual Perseid meteor shower will reach a peak the next couple of nights in the skies over the ArkLaTex. The Perseids are typically one of the most popular and dependable displays of shooting stars.

The meteors are created as the Earth passes through a cloud of ice and dust left behind from comet Swift-Tuttle.  The comet debris enters Earth's atmosphere at high speeds creating streaks of bright light as the small pieces burn up.  The Perseids are known for producing fast and bright meteors and even the occasional fireball streaking across the night sky.

Meteors will be visible both Saturday and Sunday nights, but are expected to be most numerous after 11pm Sunday night and through the pre-dawn hours Monday morning.  Up to 60-70 meteors per hour are possible during the peak. There is also no moon in the night sky this weekend which should make the sky extra dark and more easy to see even the faintest meteors.

The meteor shower is best viewed away from city lights which will obscure all but the brightest meteors.  To view the shower just lie back and look up in the sky toward the northeast during the late evening hours.  Meteors will become more visible directly overhead as the night wears on. The meteors will appear to emanate from the constellations Perseus (hence the name) and Cassiopeia.

Visibility of the meteors will of course be weather dependent. If you have clouds overhead you aren't going to see anything. After a couple of afternoons of showers and storms hopefully skies will clear out enough during the overnight hours for some good viewing conditions.

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