Published: Thu, August 10, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Stargazers to witness Perseids meteor shower this weekend

Stargazers to witness Perseids meteor shower this weekend

No matter where you live worldwide, the 2017 Perseid meteor shower will probably produce the greatest number of meteors on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. The peak is expected Saturday, and during its best hours, stargazers can expect to see at least 80 meteors an hour, the report added.

We see meteors flash in the night sky when the meteoroids from the debris stream hit the top of Earth's atmosphere, travelling at incredible speeds - over 200,000 km/h (124,274 mph).

The Perseids, active every August, are made up of pieces of space debris that originate from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. "During a good Perseid shower under ideal conditions, you can see about one meteor per minute".

What causes the meteor shower?

The discussion will begin at 7:15 p.m., and after dark guests can watch the meteor shower and view the night sky using their own telescopes, or ones provided by NIU.

Northern Illinois University's STEM Café will be hosting an evening of stargazing and discussion with astronomy experts during the annual Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseids meteor shower will be visible nearly all over the world - but will be best seen in the northern hemisphere.

But the moon will not fully rise until around 11pm on Sunday, giving viewers plenty of time to observe the dark skies. So, while the Moon may prevent us from seeing all of the increased activity for this year, we may still see more fireballs, which are a spectacular part of the Perseids, every year. "Looking outside, you would see something like 20 to 30 meteors per second", he wrote.

It is noted that the most intensive it will be on the night of 12 on 13 August.

Meteors - colloquially referred to as shooting stars - will be recognised by the untrained eye as thin streaks of light that dart fleetingly across the sky; blink, and you miss them. Lie on your back and look straight up.

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