YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We are moving into the part of summer when we get to look up into the sky each night and try to catch a few shooting stars, or meteors, as the Perseid meteor shower gets underway.
This meteor shower is one of the most popular showers of the year, and it will last for around a month and a half. It can produce quite a show when it peaks in August if conditions are right.
The Perseid meteor shower results from the Earth passing through a trail of dust, ice, rock and organic material that was left behind and in the tail of the comet Swift-Tuttle.
The comet orbits the sun and leaves a tail of debris. The Earth orbits into the tail each year, creating the meteor shower we get to enjoy every summer. The debris burns as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere, creating the great Perseid meteor shower.
The Swift-Tuttle comet only passes by Earth every 133 years. It will be a long time before it passes again, as it made its last pass in 1992.
When to see Perseid Meteor Shower
The shower starts July 14 and ends September 1, and will peak between August 11 and 13.
The best time to see them is early in the morning.
Why the Moon will limit this Year’s Shower
The moonlight plays a big role in seeing the Perseid shower.
If there is not a bright moon, the shower can produce between 150 to 200 meteors per hour. When the moon is bright and full, the number of meteors is much lower, and a normal year produces around 100 meteors per hour at peak.
Unfortunately, this year’s full moon will be close to the peak of the shower on August 11, which will limit the spectacular show that the shower could provide. A rate of 50 to 75 meteors per hour may be visible if conditions are right during the peak.
We will still have plenty of chances to catch the shower through the month and a half that we make our journey through the trail of dust from the comet Swift-Tuttle.