Perseids meteors grace the night sky
By Renee Richardson Forum News Service BRAINERD, Minn. -- Stargazers report peak night viewing is here for the annual Perseids meteor shower and lakes area residents can benefit from dark skies to see one of nature's wonders. "Thanks to a new moo...
By Renee Richardson
Forum News Service
BRAINERD, Minn. - Stargazers report peak night viewing is here for the annual Perseids meteor shower and lakes area residents can benefit from dark skies to see one of nature's wonders.
"Thanks to a new moon, this week’s Perseid meteor shower is expected to be one of the best in years," NASA reported.
Even city dwellers can grab a lawn chair and take advantage of the soft breeze of a summer night to see streaks of light shoot across the dark sky.
"The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years," NASA reported. "Every August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's orbital debris. This debris field - mostly created hundreds of years ago - consists of bits of ice and dust shed from the comet which burn up in Earth's atmosphere to create one of the premier meteor showers of the year."
With the dark skies, the peak hour was expected early Thursday morning but there are good chances to see streaking meteors for those who missed the peak.
"The Perseids build up to their peak slowly, so if that night is cloudy, try any early morning" through Friday, Deane Morrison advised in a Minnesota Starwatch report for August from the University of Minnesota. "The meteors radiate from a point near the helmet of Perseus, which will be high in the northeast during the peak hour. Meteors will probably begin flying soon after nightfall, and under dark skies you could see as many as 50 per hour. Perseids are fun to watch because they tend to be fast and often leave persistent trails."