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Seeing the Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteors will continue through Aug. 26, according to NASA. However, prime viewing time will coincide with a new moon with a new moon on Thursday between 3 a.m. and dawn.

Perseid meteors seem to originate from the constellation Perseus.

Pegasus

Cassiopeia

Triangulum

Perseus

Looking northeast

How well will

you be able

to see?

The last time the

Perseids peaked at

the same time as the

new moon (meaning

no moon in the sky)

was in 2007. This

means that even the

dimmest meteors will

be visible if viewed

far from man-made

light pollution. Below

is a comparison of

views from most to

least light pollution:

Inner city sky

Urban/

Suburban

transition

Suburban sky

Rural sky

Dark sky

Where does

the meteor

shower come

from?

As the Swift-Tuttle

comet flies through

space, it sheds bits

of material. Over

time, its orbit has

turned into a ring of

dusty debris. Each

August the Earth's

orbit takes it

through a small

section of this ring,

causing stray bits of

comet dust to slam

into our

atmosphere at 37

miles per second.

 

Current position of

Swift-Tuttle. One

orbit takes 133

years.

Earth

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto

Pegasus

Cassiopeia

Triangulum

Perseus

Looking northeast

How well will you be

able to see?

The last time the Perseids peaked at the same time as the new moon (meaning no

moon in the sky) was in 2007. This means that even the dimmest meteors will be visible if viewed far from man-made light pollution. Below is a comparison of views from most to least light pollution:

Inner city sky

Urban/Suburban

transition

Suburban sky

Rural sky

Dark sky

Where does the meteor

shower come from?

As the Swift-Tuttle comet flies

through space, it sheds bits of

material. Over time, its orbit

has turned into a ring of dusty

debris. Each August the

Earth's orbit takes it through a

small section of this ring,

causing stray bits of comet

dust to slam into our

atmosphere at 37 miles per

second.

 

Current position of

Swift-Tuttle. One orbit

takes 133 years.

Earth

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto

Pegasus

Cassiopeia

Triangulum

Perseus

Looking northeast

How well will you be able to see?

The last time the Perseids peaked at the same time as the new moon (meaning no moon in the sky) was in 2007. This means that even the dimmest meteors will be visible if viewed far from man-made light pollution. Below is a comparison of views from most to least light pollution:

Inner city sky

Urban/Suburban

transition

Suburban sky

Rural sky

Dark sky

Where does the meteor shower

come from?

As the Swift-Tuttle comet flies through

space, it sheds bits of material. Over

time, its orbit has turned into a ring of

dusty debris. Each August the Earth's

orbit takes it through a small section of

this ring, causing stray bits of comet

dust to slam into our atmosphere at 37

miles per second.

 

Current position of

Swift-Tuttle. One orbit takes

133 years.

Earth

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto

Cassiopeia

Pegasus

Triangulum

Perseus

Looking northeast

How well will you be able to see?

The last time the Perseids peaked at the same time as the new moon (meaning no moon in the sky) was in 2007. This means that even the dimmest meteors will be visible if viewed far from man-made light pollution. Below is a comparison of views from most to least light pollution:

Where does the meteor

shower come from?

As the Swift-Tuttle comet flies through space, it sheds bits of material. Over time, its orbit has turned into a ring of dusty debris. Each August the Earth's orbit takes it through a small section of this ring, causing stray bits of comet dust to slam into our atmosphere at 37 miles per second.

 

Current position of Swift-Tuttle. One orbit

takes 133 years.

Cassiopeia

Pegasus

Triangulum

Perseus

Looking northeast

How well will you be able to see?

The last time the Perseids peaked at the same time as the new moon (meaning no moon in the sky) was in 2007. This means that even the dimmest meteors will be visible if viewed far from man-made light pollution. Below is a comparison of views from most to least light pollution:

Where does the meteor shower come from?

As the Swift-Tuttle comet flies through space, it sheds bits of material. Over time, its orbit has turned into a ring of dusty debris. Each August the Earth's orbit takes it through a small section of this ring, causing stray bits of comet dust to slam into our atmosphere at 37 miles per second.

 

Current position of Swift-Tuttle. One orbit takes 133 years.

Earth

Sources: Swift-Tuttle orbit image courtesy of William J. Cooke, NASA; Light pollution image courtesy of John Barentine, International Dark-Sky Assn.; Alan MacRobert Sky and Telescope. Graphics reporting by Deborah Netburn and Raoul Ranoa. @latimesgraphics

Raoul Ranoa@latimesgraphics


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