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Annual meteor shower back for a show

Aug. 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Fans of meteors should head outdoors this Saturday, U.S. astronomers say, for the annual nighttime show known as the Perseid meteor shower.

The weekend will make for prime sky watching, with Saturday night the best time to see the meteor shower, TG Daily reported.

That's because the moon will be in a waning crescent phase, making the night sky darker than on the previous few days.

The Perseid shower is the gift of a comet called Swift-Tuttle, as small fragments of the comet break apart during its voyage through space, creating a cosmic light show.

Sky watchers should look northeast toward the Perseus constellation -- from which the shower takes it name -- for the best chance of spotting the streaking meteors, astronomers said.

During the shower's peak hours, observers under a dark rural sky should be able to count as many as 60 to 100 every hour.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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