Upcountry residents have the opportunity to witness an incredible meteor shower!
According to NASA, the Perseid meteor shower which peaks in mid-August is considered to be the best meteor shower of the year. Rapidly glowing meteors will be flying across the night sky leaving long "waves" of light and color as they burst through the Earth's atmosphere.
Perseids, also according to NASA, are the most plentiful showers with about 50 to 100 meteors seen per hour! They occur during the summery nighttime weather allowing star gazers an enjoyable experience watching them pass by.
NASA states, "Perseids are also known for their Fireballs. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material. Fireballs are also brighter, with apparent magnitudes greater than -3."
Perseids can be viewed best during early morning hours, at times you may be able to view them as early as 10 p.m. According to Space.com, "The Perseid meteor shower will be more visible than usual because the moon will only be about 10% illuminated."
"Years without moonlight see higher rates of meteors per hour, and in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour," Space.com states. "On average, you can expect to see up to 100 meteors per hour during the Perseids' peak."
HOW TO WATCH
"To find the meteor shower, look for the point in the sky where they appear to originate, a spot known as the radiant. The Perseids' radiant is in the Perseus constellation," NASA states.
To best view the meteors, go to the darkest possible spot, lean back and view as much sky as possible. Give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark. You won't need a telescope or binoculars to see these amazing meteors!
WHERE DO METEORS COME FROM?
NASA states, "Meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids. When comets come around the Sun, they leave a dusty trail behind them. Every year Earth passes through these debris trails, which allows the bits to collide with our atmosphere and disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky."
Stay up late a few nights this week and relax underneath the night sky and enjoy watching the Perseid meteor shower!