Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Brad's Astro Extra: Best way to watch the Perseid meteor shower

Brad's Astro Extra: Best way to watch the Perseid meteor shower

To get the best view, NASA suggests you steer clear of bright city lights and allow 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

"Sky gazers just need to look to the northeast to observe the Perseid showers", Dr Marzouk suggested.

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower is peaking this weekend over Mid-Michigan! The meteor shower will peak overnight into Monday, with 70 meteors visible each hour, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.

Experts say up to 75 meteors will be possible per hour as Earth passes through debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

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Conditions this year are expected to be ideal thanks to the darkened New Moon keeping the skies dark thought the shower.

But in order to enjoy the sight of "shooting stars", clear skies are necessary. The ice and dust from that field then burn up in our atmosphere, creating the meteor shower.

Look for the meteors originating out of the north, though they can appear from anywhere.

In the Astronomical League guidebook "Observe Meteors", astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg wrote, "We have seen Perseids coming in such rapid succession that counting and recording were hard, followed by slack periods with little activity". Around 10 p.m., the meteors' visibility should begin to increase.

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Remember: areas without urban light are the best and your eyes may take some time to get used to the darkness before you can see the show.

The meteor shower started to break out into the night sky around mid-July and will carry on through to the last week of August.

But meteor magnitudes work a little differently from star magnitudes, University of Chicago astronomy professor Leslie Rogers told Gizmodo, since the meteors also have streaks.

"That's pretty active", he said when asked if that's a lot for a meteor shower.

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-If you plan on capturing them on camera, don't forget to lower the shutter speed!

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