NASA, the United States space agency has revealed that the Perseid meteor shower that will begin on August 11, is the best of the year. According to the space agency, the meteor shower will reach its peak on the evening of August 11, until August 12 morning.
As the meteor shower reaches its peak, skywatchers can see dozens of meteors per hour as Earth plows through a giant cloud of cosmic cometary debris. Skywatchers who wish to watch the meteor shower could select a perfect place like a grassy hill where a clear view of the sky can be accessed. Skywatchers should also make sure that they are staying as far away from any kind of artificial light.
How Moon will Affect this Year's Meteor Shower?
However, this year, Perseid meteor shower could face a real challenge from the brightness of the moon. Under ideal conditions, skywatchers can see more than 100 meteors during the peak time of the shower. NASA revealed that skywatchers will be lucky if they see 30 meteors in an hour.
This year, the moon, which is currently in its last quarter phase will rise before midnight and will illuminate the entire night sky. Due to the spectacular brightness of the moon, several meteors will fail to illuminate the skies, and as a result, they may go unnoticed.
"The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks on the morning of August 12th. The last-quarter moon will interfere with the visibility of most fainter Perseid meteors this year, but you'll still be able to see a few brighter ones, including the occasional "fireball." The best time to look is in the pre-dawn hours on Aug. 12, but midnight to dawn any morning the week before or after should produce a few meteors. The Perseids generally appear to radiate from a point high in the north, called the "radiant." But you need only point yourself generally toward the north and look up," wrote NASA on its website.
The space agency also revealed that Perseid meteors are coming from a comet called Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 133 years. Every year, earth's orbit collides with a lane of grit left by this comet, and during this time, debris ranging from the size of sand grains and peas will screech across the atmosphere of the earth at a speed of more than 37 miles per second.