One of the most easy to see celestial events, the Perseid meteor shower, will be rip-streaking across our skies for the next few nights. And astronomers are predicting it’ll be brighter and better than normal.
As the Earth spins through space, it sometimes passes through ancient trails of debris left by comets that briefly visit our solar system. Tiny bits of their debris burn up in our atmosphere, creating bright streaks across the night sky.
The Perseid Meteor shower peaks through this evening and could stream up to 80 light streaks an hour overnight.
But it might be even better tonight. The course the Earth is taking through the debris field is especially populated with comet debris so that the number of streaks could hit 200 an hour. That’s more than double the “normal rate.”
To see this annual display, all you have to do is have clear, or nearly clear skies – a lawn chair that leans way back, and be ready to stay up well past midnight.
The Perseid meteor shower generally lasts from mid-July to nearly the end of August. The annual shower was peaking Wednesday, Thursday and tonight. It’ll drop of rather quickly heading through the weekend and then be pretty well spent by the beginning of next week.