Look up! Perseid Meteor Shower visible this weekend
This weekend many will turn their heads to the sky for an extraterrestrial show. The Perseid Meteor Shower is visible through August but peaks this weekend! Between midnight and 5 a.m. Sunday (the 12th) and Monday (the 13th) morning you can see up to 60 to 70 meteors per hour in the night sky.
Every year around August Earth passes through the comet Swift-Tuttle’s trail of dust and debris. When these sand-sized particles enter our atmosphere they heat up thousands of degrees before burning up and creating a stunning meteor shower. This spectacle is called the “Perseid Meteor Shower” because the meteors seem to come out of the Perseus constellation. This means you should look northeast to view the spectacle. Make sure you also stay outside long enough for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
Many in northeastern Oklahoma do have clouds and the chance for rain during the meteor shower peak, but if you find a clear sky away from city lights the view should be spectacular. August 11 is a new moon, so the sky will be dark allowing for excellent viewing. Our overnight lows are in the lower 70s, so it will be ideal to lay out a blanket and look to the sky.
Although the meteor shower is a beautiful spectacle, it also acts as a grim reminder of the space objects that come close to Earth. Every 133 years the comet Swift-Tuttle gets close to Earth and some scientists have speculated that Earth will one day be destroyed by this dirty snowball. But you don't have to worry about that any time soon.