Tags: meteor | shower | perseid | visible | dark | moon

Meteor Shower 2015: Perseids Should Be Highly Visible Due to Dark Moon

Image: Meteor Shower 2015: Perseids Should Be Highly Visible Due to Dark Moon
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By    |   Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 01:55 PM

The annual Perseid meteor shower is set to feature up to 100 shooting stars per hour in the early morning hours on Thursday, and this year the absence of moonlight should make for an especially great viewing experience.

"Moonlight is the bane of meteor watchers because bright moonlight washes out faint meteors," said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope, the Los Angeles Times reported. "It is nature's own light pollution."

On Thursday the moon will be in its new moon phase, the first time since 2007 that the new moon and Perseid meteor shower have coincided. That means that when Earth passes through the debris-ridden orbit of the Swift-Tuttle comet, the particles will be bright as they burn in the atmosphere.

For those on the Eastern Coast of the U.S., the shower is expected to peak around 4 a.m. Cloud cover should be minimal everywhere except, perhaps, in the Rockies and Upper Midwest.

"Look towards the familiar constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus in the northeast," NASA instructs would-be skygazers, The Washington Post reported. "They rise soon after sunset, but you’ll want to wait til they are higher in the sky to see the most meteors."

Unfortunately, for those near the abundant light pollution of urban areas, the shower will likely be mostly drowned out, so experts suggest enthusiasts travel to less densely populated areas before turning their eyes skyward. Once a dark area has been found, most will not need assistance from binoculars of telescopes to see the meteor pourdown.

For those unable to travel to watch the shower, live video feeds are often filmed by fellow stargazers, and broadcast to online platforms.

The comet Swift-Tuttle was first discovered by astronomer Horace P. Tuttle from the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1862.



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The annual Perseid meteor shower is set to feature up to 100 shooting stars per hour in the early morning hours on Thursday, and this year the absence of moonlight should make for an especially great viewing experience.
meteor, shower, perseid, visible, dark, moon
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2015-55-11
Tuesday, 11 Aug 2015 01:55 PM
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