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Science and Innovations

Perseid Meteors Peak This Week

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Any night this week is a good time to hunt for shooting stars, as the annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

This year’s shower is expected to be especially good, because the moon will be just a thin sliver in the sky, setting in the west in the early evening. In an open place with a dark sky, you might see a meteor every minute. The best time to look is between midnight and dawn. Earlier in the night, stargazers will see fewer meteors but might catch a few stunning, slow shooting stars called “earthgrazers.” The meteors will radiate from the constellation of Perseus in the northeast, but they’ll cross every part of the sky. They’re formed from tiny bits of dust left in the wake of a comet. The shower’s peak ends on Friday morning.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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