If you are a sky-watching enthusiast like me then you’re not gonna want to miss this year’s Perseid meteor shower. Astronomers are forecasting that, at its peak on August 11-12, we will get to see twice as many meteors that usual, about 200 meteors an hour. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environments Office said in a statement:
“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of August 11-12. Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”
For better perspective, in a normal year, we typically only get 80 meteors per hour during the Perseids. And this year we will witness at least 200 meteors per hour.
The Perseids Meteor shower occurs when Earth’s orbit gets us into the trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, and typically we only make it into the very boundaries the debris trail it sheds as it passes through space.
But this month it’s going to be different, as Eric Mack explains on CNet:
"[T]his could be the rare year where Jupiter's gravity tugs that stream a little closer, allowing our planet to plow right through the middle of it, where there's more junk and we see more meteors as a result."
Earth is already in the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, and is projected to continue shadowing it until August 24. And its peak is between August 11 and 12. So you get your calendars marked.
If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the meteors should initiate in the sky from the Perseus constellation, which appears on the horizon at about 10pm ET (7pm PT). For the best show it is recommended that you try to stay up until after midnight.