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Perseid meteor shower peaks Sunday night


Stargazers in the northern hemisphere will want to stay up late Aug. 11 and 12.

Conditions are expected to be favorable in Southwest Ohio for a spectacular peak of the Perseid meteor shower, which starts Sunday and continues Monday and Tuesday.

Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Erica Collura said “the weather should cooperate for the most part.”

“Looks like we’ll stay dry with fairly clear skies,” Collura said.

Dark skies are expected as the moon will be a small crescent Sunday night as it heads toward a first quarter moon on Aug. 14, according to Lunaf.com.

“Prime viewing will be late at night, preferably after midnight. Look to the northeastern sky and try to stay away from any light pollution. The darker the better,” Collura said.

Viewers could start seeing streaking meteors as early as 9 or 10 p.m. coming from the constellation Perseus, at a rate ranging from one per minute to 100 per hour, according to skyandtelescope.com.

Cool facts about the Perseid meteor shower (source: skyandtelescope.com)

  • The meteors are actually debris crashing into the earth’s atmosphere as the planet passes through the stream of comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle
  • The Perseid shower has a greater number of meteors than other showers
  • The meteors hit Earth’s upper atmosphere at 37 miles per second
  • The streaks of light we see are ionized air molecules (incandescent gas) creating super-heated plasma


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