Brighter moon takes sheen off Perseids show

MACEDONIA-METEOR-SHOWER-PERSEID

Consider this weekend's Perseid meteor shower an opening act for the total solar eclipse on August 21.

Because the density of the dust cloud varies, the meteors will not be evenly spaced out.

If you can see through the clouds, there's a meteor shower happening tonight in Ireland

The comet orbits the sun every 135 years. The particles, many no bigger than a grain of sand or a pea, blast across the sky at 132,000 miles per hour and disintegrate high up in our atmosphere after making a brilliant streak of light. Peak viewing will be Friday night, early Saturday, Saturday night and early Sunday.

The retired astronaut said the earth gets hit by about 50 tons of meteors every day, but a Perseid meteor shower happens when comets leave a debris field behind them. The meteors look like they are coming from within the constellation Perseus.

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"You might be lucky or unlucky; that's the way with meteors", he said. However, the meteors will streak across the sky in all directions, so it doesn't really matter.

If you can, find a dark place away from populated areas and make sure the city lights are at your back. You will also want to be patient. "It can take your eyes as long as 20 to 30 minutes to fully adapt to darkness after being in a normally lit room".

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The Perseids usually have a flare rate of about 80-100 per hour at 60 km per second speed, but this year flare rates are reduced by half owing to the bright moon, he added.

Milky Way is seen during the annual Perseid meteor shower above Salime Reservoir, near Grandas de Salime, Spain August 11, 2017.

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Gallery visitors made their wish during the meteor show on a Time Capsule Wall.

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