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Perseids are returning to our night sky, when is the best time to watch?

What causes the annual Perseids Meteor Shower and when is the best time to view it?
Credit: WTLV

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For those who like observing the sky, an annual natural light show will be visible once again mid-August. 

That light show is the Perseid Meteor Shower and at it’s peak is August 11-12th. You could be able to see 50 to 60 meteors per hour!

But what creates the Perseid Meteor Shower? 

Find out if the weather will be good for viewing the sky here.

The short answer- It’s the left-over debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The dust particles that broke off the comet from the heat of the sun create a trail through Earth's orbit. So, once a year we “drive” through that trail, like a car on a highway hitting bugs and thus creating the meteor shower.

"What makes this meteor shower unique is it’s consistency. Every year from late July to mid-August," Eddie Whisler, from the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, explained.

Sometimes, how bright those meteors are can vary. 

"This year is going to be a full moon, that is going to effect your ability to see the more faint meteors as they come in. What we hope from year to year is a nice consistent meteor shower without any moon. But that’s what’s going to happen this year," Whisler said. 

With that said, you will still be able to see the brightest stars early in the morning, just prior to sunrise. There is no specific place to look in the night sky either, the best option is just have a full field of view so you can see as much of the dark sky as possible.

Always remember if you capture any photos of shooting stars or anything in the night sky, as well as anything weather related you can share your photos with us at the First Coast News Weather Watchers page or on the FCN app using the near me function.

For those interested in our night sky and who want to know more, Eddie Whisler is hosting the 'Planetarium Night Live' on August 19th, where he will be discussing planetary rings and how they form at MOSH.

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