It's in the news: This weekend the annual Perseid meteor shower peaks! What does that mean? If you like seeing "shooting stars," this is your weekend. It's a shower that won't get you wet (or pelt you with space rocks, for that matter).
Go outside after 10:00 PM at a dark location. Look up (generally towards the east) and watch. If you are sharp-eyed and have good sky conditions you could see upwards of 60 meteors per hour when the Perseid shower reaches its peak! If you watch long enough you may even be treated to a "fireball" or two -- especially brilliant meteors -- flaring as they disintegrate in Earth's upper atmosphere.
The shower reaches its peak overnight Sunday, August 12 and into the wee hours of Monday. Weather forecasters are saying we can expect cloudy skies overnight Sunday. Don't despair!
The show is already going on nightly. So stay up late Saturday night, when clear skies are expected, and into Sunday morning to enjoy the show! You won't see as many meteors Saturday night as you would at the peak of the event, but you can't see 'em at all through clouds!
A patio lounge chair and a light cover will make it easy to lay back, look up, and comfortably count the "falling stars" while you enjoy the beauty of the night sky.
For more details visit Science@NASA.