Peak-viewing for Perseid meteor shower this weekend

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"At best, they outburst from a normal rate of 80 to 100 meteors per hour to a few hundred per hour", not all of which can be seen.

To see the meteor shower, you don't need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment; all you need is your eyes. But if they are located anywhere near the Jamaica Bay of the Long Island, which is about two-hours away from the city, they can watch the meteor shower on the Ruffle Bar Island of the Cedar Point County Park.

The Perseids can be seen every year when Earth passes through the trail of the ancient comet Swift-Tuttle.

Named after the Perseus constellation, the Perseid meteor shower comprises celestial debris falling from space through the Earth's atmosphere. According to the International Meteor Organization (IMO), a bright moon can obstruct the shower and this year, the moon will have waned to around 80% illumination by 12 August. "Don't look down, don't look at the person next to you, just keep watching the sky". He further added, "The best Perseid performance of which we are aware occurred back in 1993 when the peak Perseid rate topped 300 meteors per hour".

"The increased number will be cancelled out by the bright Moon, the light of which will wash out the fainter Perseids", according to a NASA blog post. "This bright moon will obliterate all but the brightest Perseid meteors". "This major shower takes place during the lazy, hazy days of summer, when many families are on vacation", EarthSky.org Bruce McClure said.

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Greenwich's Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2013 David Kingham combined 23 individual stills over several hours to depict a Perseid meteor shower. Both Friday night and Saturday night between midnight and dawn are the times to watch, although there's a question as to if enough clouds will move out in time Friday night.

He noted that Comet SwiftTuttle is the source of Perseid as astronomers discovered that it leaves a river of dust around the sun as it approaches it every 130 years.

Scattered thunderstorms are possible in the D.C. area into Saturday evening, but there's a good chance they diminish and at least partial clearing begins after sunset. Saturday night - closest to this peak - presents the best opportunity for viewing.

"The meteors can be seen from Friday until the early hours of Sunday".

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