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Head outside and look to the skies tonight, Aug. 12 to catch the Perseid meteor shower!
Peak viewing begins at 9:00 pm EST into the early hours of Tuesday morning. Usually you can see one meteor per minute, but unfortunately the Moon is nearly full, and therefore the brightness will make it hard to see that many. Don’t worry, though – a few bright ones will still be visible!
So what exactly are meteor showers, anyway? These repeating annual events are caused as the Earth passes debris left over from a comet (in the case of Perseids, the comet is 109P/Swift–Tuttle). As the Earth goes around the Sun, our planet runs into the same debris at the same time each year.
Meteor showers are great “do it yourself” astronomy events, meaning it doesn’t take a lot of work to spot them. Binoculars or telescopes aren’t needed, since you’re scanning the entire sky looking for streaks of light. Just find a location far from city lights, get comfortable, and look up!
Interested in learning more about space news and events? Catch a show in LSC’s Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere! Click here to see what’s playing and get showtimes.