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Perseids Meteor Shower: Up to 200 Meteors / Hour | Extra-Special 2016 Outburst

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Perseid-7-25-2016-Ken-Christison-lg-e1469488939679Photo | Ken Christison via EarthSky

It’s the biggest meteor shower of the year, so you better stay up late and grab your binoculars.

The annual Perseids meteor shower is the glittery result of Earth’s passage through a stream of debris left behind by a comet, so you should expect to see meteor rates as high as 200 per hour  – as long as you are away from light pollution and the clouds stay away.

2016 Perseids Meteor Shower
Late Late nights of August 11-12, 2016 | Midnight to dawn
Peak: Late Late Thursday night / Early Friday morning

In 2016, astronomers expect an outburst of Perseid meteors. The prediction is for 200 meteors per hour seen on the peak night, August 11-12 (evening of August 11, morning of August 12). That’s about double the usual rate. From southerly latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll enjoy the shower, too, with about a third as many meteors expected. In 2016, the waxing gibbous moon sets before the predawn hours. So if the outburst occurs before dawn for you, the moon won’t be in the way. Will you see the outburst? Maybe. The peak rates are predicted to last about half a day, from late August 11 to mid-August 12. But, outburst or no outburst, the Perseids are always a treat.

Read more at earthsky.org

Viewing Tips
1) Get away from bright lights of the city and go to a high elevation
2) Give yourself at least 15 minutes in darkness to allow your eyes to adjust (don’t look at a cell phone)
3) The best viewing begins after midnight with better viewing after the moon wanes and tends to hit its peak right before dawn 


Links: Event details

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