By Andy Orf, Northern Door Astronomy Club
The Perseid meteor shower is caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet takes 133 years to make a highly elliptical orbit around the Sun. It returns again in the year 2125.
As the Swift-Tuttle comet travels around the Sun, it leaves a trail of dust and debris in its tail. Every August the Earth passes through this debris. When the debris collides with our atmosphere it burns up, leaving a streak in the evening sky. 2021 will be an exceptional year in which to observe this meteor shower. During the peak dates of August 11-13, you can expect to see 50 or more meteors (shooting stars) per hour when looking northeast toward the Perseus constellation.
We will hosting Universe in the Park on Thursday, August 12 to offer opportunities to learn about and view the meteor shower event. Information in the flyer below.
Photo credit: Three Meteors © Denny Moutray