The Perseid meteor shower is widely accepted to be the best in the bunch available throughout the year. With only the waxing crescent Moon setting early, 2010 is likely to be the best for many years.
The Zenith Hourly Rate (ZHR) predicted to be between 70 and 100 but only in dark cloud free skies. With luck we may even see some fireballs.
The shower is the result of the dust particles left in the path of the Earth’s orbit by comet Swift Tuttle burning up as they hit the atmosphere at 40 miles per second. The radiant (the constellation of Perseus, just below and to the the left of the “W” of Cassiopeia) reaches an altitude of 55 degrees at about 3am on Friday 13th. But that’s just the peak. There is lots of activity a few days either side.
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