COLUMN: Catch a glimpse of the Perseids

Hailey Hughes
Guest Columnist

   For years, people have always looked up to the night sky seeing the moon and millions of stars. However, if you are in the right spot at the right time, you may get the chance to see one of earth’s greatest natural light shows.

   According to the American Society of Meteors, meteor showers are usually an annual event that occur when the Earth passes through a region that has a large concentration of debris, such as particles left by a passing comet. This debris, or meteors, pass through the upper part of our atmosphere leaving a streak of light behind, and is commonly referred to as a shooting star.

   The Perseid meteor shower is one of these annual meteor showers, and it has already started! The Perseids could be viewed as early as July 14 and will go until Sept. 1. The Perseid is considered one of the best meteor showers for viewing since it occurs during the warm summer months and has one of the higher counts of meteors that appear, with an average of 50-75 meteors every hour.

   The peak time this year occurs Aug. 11-12. However, this year’s peak viewing time also falls around the same time as the August full moon; this makes viewing difficult since much of the moon’s light will block the light of the meteors. Therefore, the experts at NASA advise that if you wish to see the shower, plan to watch them between midnight and dawn during the mornings before the showers peak, so the moon will not be as bright.

   To learn more about the Perseid meteor shower, visit the Central Park Nature Center on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14. The “Perseid Meteor Shower” event is a come-and-go weekend theme occurring from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. Learn about how we are able to view meteor showers in the sky, the history of meteor showers, and be able to make your own mini-telescope. Hope to see you there, and happy sky gazing!



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