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Breakdown: Why the Perseid Meteor shower is one of the best

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 1:56 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of the best meteor showers will be active this month. The meteor shower will run through August 24 but the peak will be on Wednesday, Aug. 11 through dawn Aug. 12. Moonlight shouldn’t be a problem since the moon will be in the crescent phase and will set early. This means that the skies will be dark and you could see more meteors.

During the peak of the meteor shower you can expect 50 to 100 meteors per hour. Look toward the northeast but keep in mind meteors can originate from any area of the sky. You won’t need binoculars or a telescope to view the shower but be sure to find a place away from city lights and give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark.

The Perseids meteor shower occurs annually when Earth encounters the orbit of a comet known as 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Dust from the comet falls toward Earth and burns up in the atmosphere as meteors.

The Perseids are known to be the best because they can produce fast and bright meteors, with fireballs at times.

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