Perseid meteor shower: How can you view it?

August 12, 2019 09:32 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- It's that time of year again. We are at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, one of the most popular meteor showers of the year.

Joe Altieri from the Rochester Academy of Science And Astronomy Section Outreach explained what you need to do to see these meteors.


"Tonight we have the Perseid meteor shower. This is a meteor shower given to us by comet swift Tuttle. The cool thing about this comet is it is a long period comet. It comes around every 133 years. Every year at this time, between Aug. 9 and 13, earth is actually in that debris field left by the comet."

Hear is another neat fact.

One of the co-discoverers of the comet Swift Tuttle was Kevin Swift, who is from Rochester and used to have an observatory here. So, if you want to see the debris from this comet, what do you need to do? 

"You need to come outside and look up. Pre-dawn hours are going to be your best time just because as the earth rotates, it starts to hit the debris head-on so your chances of seeing more is going to be greater. So if you happen to be downtown, the more lights you have around,you, the tougher it is going to be. But if you can just hop out of the city and find a dark field, you don't need anything special, no binoculars, you don't need a telescope, just your eyes and you should be able to see them," said Altieri.

Lastly, there is the issue of some natural lighting out this Monday night. Unfortunately, this year, the moon is near full which he did say could dim out some of the fainter shooting stars.

Plus, we need clearer skies thus the weather must play ball too. Good news is that we have a few more days of potential viewing of this astronomical event. 


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