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Israel gears up for meteor shower

  |   Aug. 12, 2012 at 8:06 AM
TEL AVIV, Israel, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A Perseids meteor shower that scientists predict will peak on Monday may be watched by thousands, Israeli officials said.

The Perseids meteor shower began on July 17 and is expected to run until August 24, but peaks in Israel at approximately 3 a.m. Monday morning, the Tel Aviv Astronomy Club data said. Perseids meteors are considered to be the fastest and brightest of meteors. They tend to strengthen in numbers as the night deepens and produce the most meteors shortly before dawn.

A number of events are scheduled in the country to mark the event with the majority being held in the Negev area, The Jerusalem Post said.

"We are going to see between 30 and 50 shooting stars per hour," Dr. Diana Laufer, of the Geophysics and Planetary Sciences Department of Tel Aviv University told Ynetnews.com.

The Jerusalem Post said the Tel Aviv Astronomy Club estimates the public will observe 100 meteors per hour traveling at a velocity of 59 kilometers (36.6 miles) per second.

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