NASA is advising the world to go hiking on the night of August 11-12 to watch a shooting star show as the annual Perseid meteor shower is forecast to beat all records this year.
“Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of August 11-12,” Bill Cooke, from NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office in Huntsville, Alabama.
Cooke noted that we will be treated to up to 200 meteors every hour if under perfect conditions.
— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) August 1, 2016
A Perseid meteor is a small piece of debris left in the wake of the ancient Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years. Despite of its rare visits into the inner solar system, each of them gives off trillions of comet particles, as when the Earth passes through the this trail of debris, such particles will enter the planet’s atmosphere and break up in bright specs of light.
“Here’s something to think about: The meteors you’ll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago. And they’ve traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth’s atmosphere,” Cooke said.
According to NASA, it will be best to watch the Perseids between midnight and dawn on the morning of Aug 12. The agency also promised a live broadcast of the shooting star display on its Ustream channel at 2am GMT.