A good chance of clear skies for this weekend's meteor shower

2012-08-10T16:00:00Z A good chance of clear skies for this weekend's meteor showerBy Tom Beal, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 10, 2012 4:00 pm  • 

The National Weather Service says we will have mostly clear skies overnight  for the next few days.

That's good news if you'll be outside town in the dark skies where viewing will be best for the annual Perseid meteor showers.

Even if you're in town, you should be able to spot meteors streaking across the sky. The moon is a waning crescent and shouldn't cast too much light when it's up.

Tim Hunter, who writes the Sky Spy column, has this to say in Thursday's Caliente section:

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak in the early morning hours Sunday and Monday, and if the monsoon cooperates, the viewing should be good.

The crescent moon won't rise until 1 a.m. Sunday, leaving a dark sky for a shower that usually has 60 to 70 meteors visible per hour.

During a meteor shower, most of the meteors appear to come from a point in the sky. This point, or "radiant," is in the constellation for which the shower is named.

Even though the Perseids radiate from Perseus, they can be seen all over the sky, and it is not necessary to look at Perseus to see meteors. Perseus is well above the horizon by 1 a.m. By 3:30 a.m. on both Sunday and Monday mornings, you can enjoy not only the Perseids but the crescent moon halfway between ever-brilliant Venus along the eastern horizon and bright Jupiter farther up from the horizon.

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