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Brighter moon takes sheen off Perseids show
13 August 2017, 12:37 | Ross Houston
Perseid Meteor Shower 2017 How To Watch Without Saturday's Bright Moon Spoiling Your ViewMore
While we have been talking for many weeks about the coming solar eclipse that is now less than two weeks away, there is another major celestial event happening right now.
The peak time for Perseid watching will be Saturday night and before dawn on Sunday, but the meteors may already be making an appearance.
The Perseid meteor shower generally starts in mid-July and peaks around August 12, as a result of the Earth passing through a trail of debris associated with a comet known as Swift-Tuttle. After the moon is up, that number drops to about 20 to 30 meteors an hour.
However, "The Perseids will be a little more hard to see due to the presence of the moon, which will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak", Space.com quoted Cooke.
Light pollution from the cities will also make it hard to see the meteors tonight.
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The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly pass by the earth and has a nucleus width of about 26 km.
The Perseids were the first meteor shower to be linked to a comet when astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli spotted their association with Swift-Tuttle in 1862. "So be sure you can at least devote an hour or more to viewing to be able to get the best show". Debris from the comet breaks off and can drift in space for years before being captured by Earth's gravity and falling into the sky.
With only a few clouds in the forecast tonight, some of us could see a few meteors streaking across the Valley.
The Perseids usually have a flare rate of about 80-100 per hour at 60 km per second speed, but this year flare rates are reduced by half owing to the bright moon, he added. The best time to look up will be after midnight - aka early in the morning of August 13 - when the sky will be darkest.
Perseid meteor shower hits B.C. This means it will be nearly impossible to see any meteors after the moon rises.
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