This weekend, watch for the Perseid Meteor Shower

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As long as you're willing to be patient and work with any clouds floating around, skies should start to clear out Saturday night.

To view it, look high in the northeastern sky to find the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia.

This weekend we'll have a new moon, and moonless nights are great for viewing another nighttime phenomenon - the Perseid Meteor Shower. This year it will be at its peak on the evenings of August 11 and 12.

This year, skies will be clear. The Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle anticipates we will see as many as 100 "shooting stars" per hour.


The Perseid meteor shower comes as Earth passes through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, causing bright streaks that appear as though they're radiating from the constellation Perseus. Cooke said he's included to lean toward the second night, Sunday going into Monday for the peak viewing. When the pieces of debris heat up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere.

Perseid meteors pose no threat to Earth, as many of them burn up in the atmosphere more than 50 miles above the surface.

The key to seeing a meteor is to take in as much sky as possible.

You'll need to let your eyes adjust to the darkness.


Get out of the city, away from street lights. If bad weather does spoil your view, you can also watch the Perseid meteor shower live here on Sunday (Aug. 12) starting at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), courtesy of the online observatory Slooh.com.

A number of planets will also be highly visible.

And don't forget to grab your camera before you head out. In contrast, clouds, showers and scattered thunderstorms will thwart prospective meteor watchers in a swath extending from the southern Great Plains northeast through the Carolinas, the Middle Atlantic states and on up into the so-called "Northeast Corridor", running from Washington and Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York and Boston.


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