NIU STEM Café to host Perseid meteor shower viewing


The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks tonight through Sunday in the northeastern sky.

The people of Ukraine and all countries of the Northern hemisphere can observe the Perseid meteor shower during the period from 17 July to 24 August.

Weather permitting, an eye to the sky in the predawn hours will catch one of the brightest meteor showers that passes through the Earth's atmosphere. The rate will fall from 80 - 100 per hour to 40 - 50 per hour, because the smaller flames will not be seen due to the brightness of the moon.

The Perseids, active every August, are made up of pieces of space debris that originate from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. "But the good news is that the Perseids are rich in fireballs; otherwise the moon would really mess with them".

It might take some time for the shower to build in intensity, but the meteors will begin to break out mid-to-late evening north of the equator.

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In April, Antelope Island was named an International Dark Sky Park - a place where light pollution is so minimal that visitors have a much easier time appreciating the wonders of the night sky.

If you're from Detroit or another big city, we suggest you go outside of town! Though Perseid meteors do not pose any threat to Earth, outbursts could pose threats to spacecrafts in the area.

The moon, which will be three-quarters full at the time of the peak, will rise around 11 p.m. "Looking outside, you would see something like 20 to 30 meteors per second", he wrote. It can be seen every year when Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris. The shooting stars will appear to come from the direction of the Perseus constellation in the north-eastern part of the sky. Instead, bring along a blanket or a lawn chair, so you can sit or lie down, and look straight up in to the night sky.

Make sure the place you to opt to view the display is as dark as possible.