Beyond the Weather: Perseid meteor shower peaks this weekend



It's one the best opportunities of the year for a celestial show, as the Perseids are known for producing dramatic meteors and even fireballs.

"The Perseid meteor shower is the best of the year", said Jane Houston Jones from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

People can view the meteors streaming across the sky anywhere away from downtown Lawrence.

The Perseids are perhaps the most beloved of all meteor showers due to their predictability.

The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning.

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"So every year when the Earth orbits the sun and passes through that debris field you get this stream of particles that pass into the atmosphere and gives you this meteor shower", Twarog said.

"Comets are spectacular and lovely and take months to go across the sky but every time they go near the sun they are melted down a little bit". That's fewer than the 150-200 meteors per hour that can be seen in years when the shower is in outburst, but will likely still make for quite the show.

The Perseids meteor shower occurs around mid-August. "You don't want binoculars". That means staying away from urban areas if possible, as light pollution can dominate in cities.

Active Junky, which is also the sister site of, has provided a list of the nation's top cities, and the best places they can go to watch the meteor show.

The meteors strike our atmosphere at around 134,000 miles per hour and create vivid streaks of light when they burn up.

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What else should I look out for in the sky?

This weekend will be the best time to view the event with its maximum peak on Sunday night and Monday morning. The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night, peaking just before sunrise. Mars and Saturn will also be visible at different points.

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016.

During the maximum, or peak, Sunday night and early Monday morning, it could be possible to catch as many as 110 meteors in an hour, or almost two per minute on average.

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