BOSTON (CBS) – Just two weeks ago, hundreds of reports came in from Virginia to Vermont of a fireball streaking across the sky. This meteor was an isolated incident, but there is another show just around the corner!
The Perseid meteor shower has actually be active since July 17 but is going to peak early next week. This celestial event is a result of Earth passing through the debris field left over by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
Swift-Tuttle is a remarkable 16 miles and is considered the largest solar system object to pass Earth. It last made its pass in 1992…and won’t return for another 106 years. The comet has an orbital loop of 133 years.
While it will take its time returning towards Earth, our planet passes through its trail annually. From August 12-13, it’s estimated that 50 meteors will be seen per hour with some areas reaching 75 shooting stars.
To view the maximum activity you will have to find a place with low light pollution. City lights won’t be a total washout, but rural areas will have an easier time seeing the meteors. Something else of note: if you can drown out the moonlight, it will help.
The moon will be 92% illuminated on Monday. Don’t be alarmed if you aren’t on the east coast. This meteor shower can be viewed anywhere in the northern hemisphere.
Best news of all: the upcoming weekend and peak days (Monday and Tuesday) are looking great for southern New England! There is a chance of rain come Tuesday evening which may spoil some of the show. That being said, the Perseids will still be visible for 7-10 days after the peak.
Be sure to share your photos and videos of the Perseids with the WBZ Storm Watch Weather team. Happy viewing!