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Perseid Meteor Shower peaks this week


Skywatchers can catch the Perseid Meteor Shower this week
Skywatchers can catch the Perseid Meteor Shower this week

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

August 13, 2011 — Astronomer Andrew Fazekas suggests using the naked eye to soak in the Perseid Meteor Shower this week.

Full moon made viewing the shower more difficult
Full moon made viewing the shower more difficult

It's an annual ritual for stargazers. Every summer around mid-August, the Perseid shower never fails to be a crowd pleaser, says astronomer and Night Sky Guy Andrew Fazekas.

“This year's show however will unfortunately be dampened because of a bright full moon we have to contend with.”

The moon was at full brightness right as the shower peaked Friday night. That meant many skywatchers only got half the show.

“The moon will probably drown out the fainter meteors leaving only the brightest viewable,” explains Fazekas.

However, even within city limits, up to 40 shooting stars per hour were visible Friday night and into Saturday morning.

Fazekas adds that if you missed the show during the peak times, you can catch 10 to 30 meteors per hour well into the coming week as well.

What happens during a meteor shower?

Fazekas says earth is slamming into a giant cloud of sand grain sized particles.

“And when this happens we see the individual particles burning up high in the atmosphere, approximately 60 to 100 km above our heads due to the friction with the atmosphere.”

If you happen to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower, be sure to send us your photos.

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