Hi Everyone!

Next week on the nights of August 12th-13th should be the best time to see the Perseid meteor shower, which lights up the sky every summer. (Visible primarily in the Northern Hemisphere.) Did you know many of these “shooting stars” come from comets? Most of the annual meteor showers we observe take place as Earth passes through trails of debris left behind by active comets orbiting the Sun, casting off little bits of dusty debris in their long tails. The Perseid meteors, which have been around for thousands of years, come from a comet called Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 133 years. (NASA)

Here is a video about the Perseid Meteor Shower and best ways to see it from Secrets of the Universe:

A clear cloudless night would be ideal for viewing the star show, so best seen from the countryside or natural parks, in particular the Gülpe in the Westhavelland Nature Park which is considered the “darkest place in Germany.” (Source: I Am Expat) The last-quarter moon will interfere with visibility of most fainter Perseid meteors this year, but you’ll still be able to see a few brighter ones, including the occasional “fireball.” The best time to look is in the pre-dawn hours on Aug. 12, but midnight to dawn any morning the week before or after should produce a few meteors. The Perseids generally appear to radiate from a point high in the north, called the “radiant.” But you need only point yourself generally toward the north and look up.

The name comes from the Greek word Perseidai, or descendants of Perseus, the mythological greek hero who beheaded Medusa.

Find out the difference between an asteroid, a comet, a meteor, and a meteorite in this awesome animated video from the Royal Museums Greenwich:

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