Will weather ruin our shot to see the Perseid meteor shower? - WNEM TV 5

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Will weather ruin our shot to see the Perseid meteor shower?

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With this year's Perseid meteor shower promising to be a more active than usual one, many are looking forward to viewing the peak shows later this week. However, the weather may block out mid-Michigan from seeing the event.

What is Perseid:

Perseid is the yearly meteor shower that hits Earth as we pass through the trail following the comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet, which orbits the sun once every 133 years, leaves behind a trail of debris which causes our meteor showers on Earth. According to NASA scientist Bill Cooke “Forecasters are predicting a Perseid outburst this year with double normal rates on the night of Aug. 11-12”. A NASA article about the event also quoted Cooke as saying “Under perfect conditions, rates could soar to 200 meteors per hour.”

How to View:

While you can likely see some meteors from now through the 13th, the highest activity will be on the night of the 11th heading into the AM hours on the 12th. (Heightened levels of activity are also expected from the 12th into the 13th.) Go outside and look north between 11 pm and 4:30 am for the best views. Be sure to allow time for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. (More rural areas will have better views.)

Weather Closing the Window:

Now, if all goes perfectly, you should see some meteors, however the forecast is not looking good. We are currently expecting partly to mostly cloudy skies tonight, with scattered rain and storms possible, especially in the early evening hours. There may be some breaks in the clouds through the overnight hours, but the conditions for viewing tonight are not looking good. Personally, I would not plan my evening around being able to see much activity because of this. 

Heading into Friday things are looking even worse. Rain and storms are expected to be likely, in addition to the region staying under mostly cloudy skies. Due to this, seeing anything Friday night is looking doubtful.

Also making things difficult for viewing during this time, now counting the clouds, is that the moon is heading into a brighter period, which will make seeing the smaller streaks of light from meteors even more challenging. 

If you do happen to get lucky enough to see a break in the clouds and get any neat pictures or video, be sure to send them to TV 5! 

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