This year’s Perseid meteor shower is expected to be spectacular

An outburst of Perseid meteors lights up the sky in August 2009 in this time-lapse image. Stargazers expect a similar outburst during next week’s Perseid meteor shower, which will be visible overnight on Aug. 11 and 12. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – You might want to make plans to stay up late or set the alarm early Thursday. The Perseid meteor shower is coming!

According to NASA, the annual shower is known for its bright and fast meteors. It’s expected to be one of the best potential meteor viewing opportunities this year.

PHOTOS: Perseid meteor shower facts

The Perseuids show up every August when Earth “ventures through trails of debris left behind by an ancient comet.”

NASA says Earth may be in for a closer encounter than usual this year.

“Every Perseid meteor is a tiny piece of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years,” officials said. “Each swing through the inner solar system can leave trillions of small particles in its wake. When Earth crosses paths with Swift-Tuttle’s debris, specks of comet-stuff hit Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate in flashes of light. These meteors are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus.”

How to watch the Perseids

Go outside between midnight and dawn overnight Thursday into Friday.

Allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Lie on your back and look straight up!

NASA says there could be increased activity overnight Friday into Saturday.

There will also be a live broadcast of the Perseid meteor shower on NASA’s Ustream page overnight Aug. 11 to 12 and Aug. 12 to 13 beginning at 9 p.m. Central. Click here or the livestream.

Comments are closed.