Habersham County, GA
Last Updated on Sep 24 2017, 9:55 pm EDT
Current Conditions: Fair
Wind: NE at 4mph
It’s that time of year again, and if the weather will cooperate we’re in for a big show.
WHAT: From late July to mid-August each year the Earth passes through the debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle, producing the Perseid Meteor Shower. Generally this shower produces around 60 to 100 meteor per hour in good dark-sky conditions, but this year is expected to be even better.
Since the comet’s furthest point from the sun is well beyond Jupiter, occasionally the gravity of Jupiter can help tug the debris stream closer to the Earth, causing us to pass through a denser area. This is the case this year, and scientists say up to 200+ meteors per hour will be possible. This number will only be realized in the darkest skies, however even decently dark skies could approach this rate at times during the peak overnight tonight and Friday.
WHERE: Anywhere! You can view the meteor shower from anywhere, but the farther way you are from the light pollution of cities the better the show will be. The radiant of this shower (where all the meteors trace back to) is the constellation Perseus. Perseus is located in the northeast sky, but you don’t have to look there to see meteors. They will occur anywhere and everywhere across the sky, so don’t be disappointed if you have trees blocking part of your sky. Just grab a blanket or a lawn chair, sit out in the yard and watch the show.
WHEN: The shower is expected to peak overnight on August 11th and 12th, so Thursday and Friday night. Unfortunately, the moon will be out until midnight on Thursday and 1AM on Friday, and this will obscure some of the meteors. The best time to look both days will be from midnight to dawn, after the moon sets and as the constellation Perseus begins to rise higher in the NE sky.
WEATHER: While the shower will rage on regardless, weather is definitely a major concern again this year. Current modeling indicates partly to mostly cloudy skies, but the clouds will be moving so while we won’t see completely clear conditions, some areas will almost certainly see mostly clear skies at times, especially Friday night. I’ll be monitoring this and update as necessary.
Get out and enjoy this shower, and cross your fingers the weather cooperates!