Perseid meteor shower should be at peak tonight

The year’s best meteor shower should be tonight and in the wee hours of Wednesday – if a nearly full “supermoon” doesn’t overshadow it.

According to NASA, the Perseids should peak with up to 100 visible meteors per hour this evening and into tomorrow morning. NASA.gov will live stream the shower starting at 9:30 p.m. EDT. The website says the best viewing will likely be in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, though the meteors might be seenn starting around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

NASA.gov says, “The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers (50-100 meteors seen per hour) and occurs with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view the shower. Perseids are also known for their fireballs. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak.”

Even with the brighter than usual moon, fireballs may be visible.

NASA advises views to lie on their backs with feet facing to the northeast. Eyes should adapt to the darkness after about 30 minutes outside, and then the  fireballs may be visible.

Partly cloudy skies are forecast for Knoxville tonight with a low of 61 and a 20 percent chance of rain.

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