Perseid meteor shower 2017: How and where to watch on Saturday night

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Tiny dust particles from Comet Swift-Tuttle will streak across the sky this weekend for the 2017 Perseid meteor shower, among the most spectacular sky storms all year. 

The peak nights, including Aug. 12 will be among the best nights to view the display of shooting stars, according to NASA.

Astronomers generally recommend finding dark places to watch especially as fainter shooting stars won’t be visible because of the bright August moon

Where can I watch the Perseid meteor shower in New Jersey?

The United Astronomy Clubs of NJ will view the meteor shower Saturday night at their observatory at 333 State Park Road in Great Meadows.

The New Jersey Astronomical Association’s observatory will be open from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. Saturday. The Paul Robinson Observatory is in Vorhees State Park. 

Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine is a good site for those interested in camping and watching the meteor shower overnight, according to ObservingSites.com, compiled by amateur astronomers. 

Space.com is also offering a webcast of the meteor shower starting at 8 p.m. In New Jersey, astronomers recommend areas in Sussex, Warren, Atlantic or Burlington counties to get away from bright city lights

What is the best time to watch the Perseid meteor shower?

The shower is on display from July 13 to Aug. 26 but it peaks — or runs into a denser part of the comet — Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, this year, experts said.

Wait for the sun to set to watch the show although the moon is expected will dim the view. Look north to see the meteors appear to shoot out from a region inside the constellation Perseus. 

How clear will the Perseid meteor shower be in New Jersey?

Those watching in New Jersey may be able to see 40 to 50 meteors per hour. If the moon was in a darker phase, and you were in a dark location, that number would be as high as 80 to 100 meteors per hour, Amie Gallagher, director of the planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg previously told NJ Advance Media.

What do I need to see the Perseid meteor shower?

Bring something comfortable to sit on. It’ll take about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Make sure your back is to the moon, experts say.  

Karen Yi may be reached at kyi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook





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