It’s not a blockbuster new movie, a hot series on Netflix or a playoff baseball game.

But starting this weekend, there’s a good show opening — for people who are willing to get up very early, go outside and stare into the night sky: Shooting stars. Lots of them.

The Perseid meteor shower, an annual event every August that astronomers consider among the most reliable and best-known meteor showers, is expected to peak after midnight on Monday and into Tuesday morning.

For people hoping to see waves of shooting stars streaking across the heavens, however, there’s one caveat this year. A nearly full moon early Tuesday morning will make the sky somewhat brighter than normal, and some of the more faint meteors won’t be visible.

So instead of roughly 60 an hour, as there have been in past years, there might be 20 or 30 shooting stars an hour this year, experts say. Going out one day early, on after midnight on Sunday, may work better. And stargazers out Saturday after midnight, into early Sunday morning, also will see some.

“There is a beautiful universe out there, a beautiful world of the night sky,” said Andrew Fraknoi, emeritus chairman of the astronomy department at …read more

Source:: East Bay – Science


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