The following is an excerpt from Blaine Friedlander | August 8, 2016 | Thewashingtonpost.com |
The pleasantly prolific Perseid meteor shower — a shooting-star show that reigns each August — may become an “outburst” this year, if astronomical predictions hold firm.
In any given year, when the dark heavens cooperate, the Perseids could peak at 50 to 100 shooting stars an hour. This year, the International Meteor Organization thinks that number may increase to about 150 meteors an hour. Other astronomers are calling for up to 200 meteors an hour.
Of course, nothing is a shooting-star slam dunk. Naval Observatory astronomer Geoff Chester tempers the excitement with caution, reminding all sky gazers that meteor showers can be unpredictable.
The Perseid meteors peak this Thursday evening into Friday morning, your best chances to catch the light show. The young, bright moon washes out many meteors Thursday evening, but chances get better after midnight: The waxing young moon sets at 1:09 a.m., welcoming heavenly darkness, according to the U.S. Naval Observatory.
So here’s hoping for clear skies.
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