Perseid Shower Tonight
Tonight could be the best night for the annual Perseid meteor shower and as Charles Fishburne reports, you won’t need any special equipment to see a spectacular show.
Just like clockwork, the tail of the comet passes through our skies.
Hagen: The comet is long gone, but it leaves a trail of dust and bits of rock, and our orbit plows through the orbit of the comet.
David Hagen is Staff Scientist at the Science Museum of Virginia.
Hagen: We see what we call 'shooting stars,' which are tiny bits of dust or rock maybe the size of a grain of sand.
Some are larger; a golfball-size chunk would produce a fireball, but that is rare. What is more likely tonight…
Hagen: A typical Perseid shower would be about 50 per minute, about one a second.
Tonight’s crescent moon sets at 9:30, so you’ll have a dark sky, especially after midnight. Northeast is the best direction, but astronomers say look anywhere that it's darkest, and don’t blink, they’re fast.
Hagen: Yes, coming in at 30 miles a second.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News