Perseid meteor shower to offer a spectacular show this weekend

Best meteor shower of the year peaks this weekend

Comets are large, icy solar system bodies.

Meteor showers occur when meteoroids, the rocks and debris left behind by a comet, enter the Earth's atmosphere.

If a meteor makes it all the way to Earth without burning completely up, it graduates from a meteor to a meteorite, however, most of the meteors in the Perseids are about the size of a grain of sand and are much too small to make it to Earth. A radiant is the point of origin of the meteor shower, so the Perseid meteors will appear to be traveling away from the constellation Perseus in the night sky.

How can I view the meteor shower?

Comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth.

Earth is now passing through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle and the best meteor shower of the year will happen this weekend as a result.

"The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it", Cooke told Space.com.

Although the meteor shower is considered the best 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. Note that the rates listed below are for ideal conditions: very dark skies free of moonlight or light pollution. The best viewing time: between midnight and dawn, when more than 50 meteors per hour will streak across the night sky.

Between midnight and 5 a.m. on August 11 and 12.

Blake said the shower will peak the evening of Aug. 12 and the morning of August 13, but the night before and after should still show meteors from the shower.

The Fargo-Moorhead Astronomy Club will be hosting a Star Party Aug. 10 at the Minnesota State University Moorhead's Science Center.

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