Monday, 20 August, 2018

Best meteor shower of 2018 visible over Middle TN this weekend

Perseid Meteor Shower Perseid Meteor Shower
Andrew Wong | 11 August, 2018, 21:55

However, the Perseids meteor shower is so bright that it is actually visible through lightly polluted skies.

Although the spectacle is considered the best display of meteors of the year in some parts of the country, it turns out Chicago is not the best place to catch glimpses of glittering showers of space matter.

Experts say this is a meteor shower you don't want to miss.

The short answer is, if you find a dark spot away from the streetlights and get your eyes adjusted, weather permitting, you might be able to see some. The name comes from fact that the meteors appear to shoot out from the Perseus constellation. The comet Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun once every 133 years, so every August, the Earth passes through the comet's debris field.

The meteor shower started to break out into the night sky around mid-July and will carry on through to the last week of August. This particular meteor shower "normally produces, statistically, up to 60 meteors per hour", Henderson said.

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Barely a third of it is under control, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection . That fire, which is now 43% contained, has destroyed more than 1,000 homes and burned over 160,000 acres.

Meteors in general are small particles of dust - some as small as grains of sand - entering the Earth's atmosphere at a high speed, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.

If you do have a break in the clouds, be sure to look toward the north. Smoke from the California wildfires that now covers parts of the western US may create hazy sky conditions capable of significantly dimming bright stars - and bright meteors.

But meteor magnitudes work a little differently from star magnitudes, University of Chicago astronomy professor Leslie Rogers told Gizmodo, since the meteors also have streaks.

-Allow your eyes 20-30 minutes to adjust to darkness.

Thankfully for United Kingdom watchers, this particular meteor shower favours the northern hemisphere - so we're in a prime spot to witness it.

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