(NEW YORK) — The annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to bring its exquisite star showers Sunday night.
Every year, the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet called Swift Tuttle, and we see meteors streaking across the night sky as pieces of debris from the comet enter the earth’s atmosphere at more than 100,000 mph and burn up. The Perseid was visible during the last week of July or first week in August, but the peak will come the evening of Sunday, August 11 into the morning of Monday, August 12.
According to Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, the best time to see the showers will be right before dawn on Monday.
“It’s not one of those things where you can go out for 30 minutes after sunset,” Cooke told ABC News. He added that while your eyes are all you need — no binoculars necessary — you need a couple of minutes to adjust to the dark. If the conditions are good — clear skies and far away from city lights — you might see more than 60 shooting stars per hour.
The shower is visible anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, if weather conditions permit. According to AccuWeather, conditions should be good for viewing in the Northeast, but in the mid-Atlantic, especially Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and on the immediate West Coast visibility might be impacted due to clouds. The crescent moon, which creates for darker skies, should aid in the visibility.
Ultimately, though Cooke says don’t worry about all those details and just “lie flat on your back, look straight up and enjoy the show — it’s nature’s fireworks display.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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