Perseids meteor shower on Saturday


Most astronomers suggest that depending on the Moon's phase, the best time to view meteor showers is right before dawn.

The actual peak of the shower will be 1 p.m. Saturday, not the best time to get a glimpse. "A year ago also saw an outburst of just over 200 meteors per hour".

Named after the Perseus constellation, which is the point from which they appear to come from in the night sky, the Perseids are are pieces of debris from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which is the largest object known to repeatedly pass Earth.

This year - despite some "greatest ever" social media reports - don't expect so many.

Not so, according to NASA. Several sources include the added imperative that, regardless of your age, it is probably the last chance to see anything that even comes close, meteor-wise.

If there is a full moon or a almost full moon, you may not see as many meteors.

Still, the Perseid shower has a history of producing "fireball" meteors, which experts say are easier to spot despite moonlight.

Normally, Northern Hemisphere viewers are treated to a spectacle of about 100-120 visible shooting stars per hour when the phenomenon peaks around mid-August - depending on the Moon and the weather. An astounding meteor shower promises to make an appearance this year on the night of August 12 and it will be a sight to behold.

This year, said Bill Cooke of NASA, although enhanced rates of about 150 per hour or so are expected during the peak, the increased number will be canceled out by the bright moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids. Saadoun noted that the Perseids meteors enter the Earth atmosphere at a speed of 59 kilometer per second, and gets burnt at about 80 kilometers from the planet surface. Now imagine yourself being back in 1833, on the night of November 12. ABAA's president Jayanth Basvarajaiyah says, "It is a attractive experience, if you do get to see it".