Perseids meteor shower 2013 reaches its peak

Aug 12 (TruthDive): Although the Perseids meteor shower is an annual event, the Royal Astronomical Society believes prospects for the Perseids meteor shower show of this year are good and could show up to 60 shooting stars an hour in the UK. They said the best display will last from late Monday evening through to early Tuesday morning.

Forecasters of UK say, weather conditions are expected to be favourable for the Perseid meteor shower, which should give its best display from late Monday evening to early Tuesday morning.

Matt Dobson, of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said that people would get a chance to see the meteor shower across large parts of the country, including the London area, with a lot of clear skies expected on Monday night.

Dobson added the shower would be the clearest in parts of central and southern England and also in the east of Wales, with clear shows coming on and off from dusk onward. Western parts of the country such as Cornwall, Devon, the west of Wales, Cumbria and western Scotland would be a little bit cloudier. Then the best thing for star gazers to do is to get away from any sources of light in big cities.

Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said that the best time to view the showers will be right before dawn. If the weather condition permits, the shower can be viewed anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

Across North America, unfortunately peak activity for the Perseids is predicted for the daylight hours, so stargazers with clear skies are asked to look for the meteor display during the pre-dawn hours of Monday and again during the early morning hours of Tuesday (Aug. 13). The absence of bright moonlight at these times, can maximize the chances of spotting a meteor.

The Perseids meteor shower occurs each August as the Earth passes through the dust and debris left in the wake of the comet Swift-Tuttle. These wandering bits of comet dust bang into our atmosphere at 132,000 mph, where they burn up and create light streaks across the sky.

Recently, NASA has declared the Perseids shower as the fireball champion of the annual meteor showers, because it has the highest concentration of bright meteors.

The Perseids meteors appear to radiate out of the constellation Perseus, hence the name. The Perseids meteor shower is active each year from around mid-July to late-August, but for most of that period only a few meteors an hour will be visible.

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