Perseid meteors this weekend predicted to be 'the best shower of 2018'

Johnny Diaz
Contact ReporterSouth Florida Sun Sentinel

Here is one show that will light up the sky this weekend.

The much-anticipated Perseid meteor shower is coming back and can be viewed Saturday through Monday, according to Space.com.

The celestial show peaks each August when Earth passes through the debris trails of the comet Swift-Tuttle which passes near Earth every 133 years on its trip around the sun.

This year’s meteor viewing arrives with a good forecast.

“The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that'll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com. He added that the moon “will be a thin crescent and set early, leaving a dark canvas for the meteors’ bright streaks and fireballs.”

Viewing results tend to change year to year. This year’s viewing may make up for last year’s underwhelming showing when the glare of a full moon hampered people’s viewing of the shower.

Cooke told the website that sky-watchers could see 60 to 70 meteors per hour during its peak this year. The Perseids are known for “fireballs’’ which are grain-size pieces of dust that burn up and radiate as they travel through the atmosphere at 37 miles per second.

When is the best time to watch the shower?

After about 2 a.m. when the Perseus constellation is high in the sky. Star enthusiasts in the southern hemisphere will have to look toward the northeast horizon to best see the meteors.

But you don’t need any special equipment. It’s suggested that viewing is better with the naked eye than with binoculars or telescope because viewers can take in a wider view. Folks should head somewhere dark where they can lean back and marvel the sky.

You can also catch a live broadcast of the meteor shower via video stream service Ustream.

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