Eyes on the Skies to Catch a Glimpse of the Perseid Meteor Showers
The annual Perseid Meteor shower will be peaking tonight. The waning gibbous moon will keep the night sky lit up, and cloud cover will continue to linger across the Capital Area. Overall viewing conditions are not the best, but if you are optimistic I would suggest waiting to view until the early morning hours when it is the darkest. This might allow you to see between 15 to 20 meteors per hour.
Meteors will still be visible earlier, but activity tends to increase into the overnight hours. Those early evening hours, though, are the best time to see an "earthgrazer" which is a long-lived meteor that travels horizontally across the sky.
The Perseid Meteor Shower happens every year at about this time as the orbit of Earth crosses into the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. Dusty debris left behind from the comet crashes into Earth's atmosphere, lighting up the dark sky.
Although tonight is the peak of the meteor shower, Earth will be traveling through the debris field until September 1st. If you miss out on spotting it tonight due to unfavorable conditions, the next new moon will be happening on August 27th.
Expert photographers: we want your pictures (horizontal and focused please)! If you see any of the Perseid Meteor Showers and manage to snap a shot, send it to @WBRZweather on Twitter or email email@example.com so we can share it on the air!
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