Why This Year’s Perseid Meteor Could be the Best Ever

For all those stargazers out there, astronomers are promising the Perseid meteor shower this August will be more exceptional than ever. 

While the meteor shower is an annual event peaking around Aug 12, it usually garners about 80 meteors per hour. But for those with their eyes peeled to the sky this year, it could be anywhere from 150 to 200 meters. You should already be able to see more meteors than usual on a clear night.

The reason for the especially exciting show is that the meteors will be in what’s called “outburst” as a result of material left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The results are that rates this year will double, NASA meteorologist Bill Cooke told Space.com.

The Perseid meteor show occurs when the earth’s orbit moves through dust and debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle and the debris burns up in the atmosphere creating streaks of light. The particles, which move around 60 kilometers per second, are about the size of a grain of sand.

Photo credit: Flickr