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Perseid meteor shower promises great show for star gazers

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The Perseid meteor shower is now underway and is about a week from its peak in mid-August.

As the best meteor shower of the year, you can see up to 50 meteors per hour. according to NASAand sometimes even more if the conditions are right. The fast and bright meteors often leave long trails of light as they roam the atmosphere, making them easy to see even for the casual astronomer.

The Perseids get their name from the Perseus constellation because they seem to shine from this point in the sky, but the constellation is not the source. When comets come around the sun, they leave a dusty trail. This time the earth passes rubble every year Comet Swift-Tuttlethat burns in our atmosphere.

“Comets are these cosmic debris from the solar system. They leave small pieces of dust, stone and debris, ”said Will Snyder, manager of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center. “As the Earth traverses the same place in space, these tiny particles in the atmosphere become overheated and can produce the brilliant streaks of light that we see above us.”


In the northern hemisphere, the Perseids are best seen early in the morning, although it is sometimes possible to see some as early as 10 p.m.

“If you can sit back, give yourself a flat, clear view of the sky, and of course, move away from lights when you can. The moon is our natural enemy, but all the lights of buildings on your porch or property can always spoil the show, ”said Snyder.

T.He Perseids The peak is expected to be reached on Tuesday evening until the early hours of Wednesday morning. You can spot Comet NEOWISE in the southwestern sky even after sunset, but it is fading quickly. The planets Jupiter and Saturn are bright in the southeastern sky. In the morning Mars and Venus continue to give a show before sunrise.

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