Perseid meter shower to peak this Saturday

The best summertime meteor shower - the Perseids - will be coming to a sky near you, weather permitting. Earthsky.org has suggestions for minimizing the moon's influence and catch glimpses of some of the year's brightest shooting stars.

The International Space Station (ISS) - if you live in or are close to the United Kingdom you will be in for a treat during the Perseid meteor shower in 2013 as the International Space Station is visible over United Kingdom skies.

"This is not much better than a full moon and will certainly pose a challenge in viewing the Perseids this year".

However, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke believes the Perseids will be a little more hard to see than expected.

Every year as Earth orbits around the sun and through the wake of the Swift-Tuttle Comet, bits of debris from the 17-mile-wide icy space ball enter the Earth's atmosphere at 133,000 miles per hour, reaching temperatures of 3,000 to 10,000 degrees and creating the meteors stargazers see in the sky. The moon is about three-quarters full and its light may block out some of meteors, but despite that there should still be a pretty good showing.

Cooke said the show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of August 12, but that there'd be a decent show both nights.

The meteors can be seen as early as late July, but they often peak in the middle of August.

The best time to see meteor showers is after midnight until dawn.

"Rates will be about half what they would be normally, because of the bright moonlight", Cooke told Space.com.

If you live around downtown Cleveland and have plans to camp out and watch the meteor shower, try and get as far away from the city's light pollution as possible.

"It's hard to predict for sure, but they are thinking about 150 meteors an hour". "This bright moon will obliterate all but the brightest Perseid meteors".

The annual Perseid meteor shower is popular among local amateur stargazers as it is visible to the naked eye from anywhere in the country.

What causes the Perseid meteor shower? .

"When the comet gets close to the sun - not that close, but in the inner solar system - it melts a little and leaves a lot of debris behind", explained Cathy Cox, Ph.D., a physics professor at Lake Tahoe Community College. And that's only if you're in a really dark place.

  • Joe Gonzales