Perseid meteor shower to brighten night sky on August 12-13

Perseid meteor shower to brighten night sky on August 12-13 Izvor: Nel Pavletic/PIXSELL

This year’s Perseid meteor shower display will peak in the night between Sunday and Monday, the Croatian Astronomy Association reported.

Croatians refer to the Perseids as the "Tears of St. Lawrence" since August 10 is the date of that saint's martyrdom.

Hundreds of fireballs and shooting stars will dart across the sky over the weekend, putting on a spectacular light show for stargazers.

The annual Perseid meteor shower is considered to be one of nature’s most dazzling celestial displays, occurring when the Earth passes through a trail of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Every year, beginning in July and peaking in August, the Perseid meteors sail into Earth's atmosphere. The shower is visible from mid-July each year, peaking between August 9 and 14, depending on the particular location of the stream.

Perseid meteors tend to be very fast – about 59 km/s. During the peak, the rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour. They can be seen all across the sky, but because of the path of Swift-Tuttle's orbit, Perseids are primarily visible in the northern hemisphere.

As with all meteor showers, the rate is greatest in the pre-dawn hours since the side of the Earth nearest to turning into the sun scoops up more meteors as the Earth moves through space.

Astronomers expect up to 200 meteors per hour in short bursts of up to 15 minutes or so, but many of the fainter meteors will simply not be visible due to moonlight, and rates will go down even more for those in urban areas. More likely a typical observer under reasonably dark skies might hope to see a meteor every couple minutes when the bursts come, and fewer during lulls.

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Tagovi: Meteor shower

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