Perseid Meteor Shower to Light Up Czech Skies

This weekend will offer prime viewing opportunities for one of the most radiant celestial events in years

The annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the most impressive celestial events to light up the night sky, with dozens of meteors visible at peak times each summer.

In 2016, the Earth will pass through the trail left by the Swift-Tuttle comet from July 17 to August 24.

Remnant of the comet, known as the Perseids because they appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, will be visible in high numbers during peak nights.

In the Czech Republic, those nights will be this weekend from Thursday, August 11 to Saturday, August 13, with prime viewing opportunities just after midnight on Friday, August 12.

Typically, around 60 meteors per hour can be seen at peak Perseid times. This year, however, features an “outburst” event, according to Space.com, meaning up to 200 meteors per hour can be seen at peak hours.

“This year, instead of seeing about 80 Perseids per hour, the rate could top 150 and even approach 200 meteors per hour,” said NASA’s Bill Cooke.

Best spots to see the shower? Obviously, low-light locales away from major cities; if you find yourself in the Czech countryside this weekend, be sure to keep an eye on the night sky on Friday.

Over at Dark Site Finder, you can check out a great map of areas with the least light pollution (in the Czech Republic, that’s mostly in Western and Southern Bohemia.)

Screengrab: Darksitefinder.com
Screengrab: Darksitefinder.com

Trivia: John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High, which the chorus “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky,” was written in reference to watching the Perseid shower in Colorado.

Check out some unreal photos of the 2013 Perseid shower from stargazers on Space.com here.


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