Party with the Perseids

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Party with the Perseids

This meteor shower is the most famous, and in 2018 it will again be one of amateur astronomy’s great social events.
Call your friends. It’s time once again for the annual Perseid meteor shower, typically the greatest shower of the year. This event occurs during the Northern Hemisphere summer, so even many people who don’t consider themselves astronomers venture outdoors to watch it.

The Perseids feature a slow (two-week) buildup to maximum (along with an equally slow decline to zero activity), and many bright meteors that leave luminous trails visible for several seconds. The trails form because Perseid meteors are fast — their speeds top 125,000 mph (200,000 km/h). Usually, Perseid meteors appear white or bluish white.

In 2018, the New Moon fortuitously occurs August 11, so our normally brilliant satellite will be absent during the shower’s peak, which falls on the…

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