Your Viewing Guide To The Best Meteor Shower In Years: 2018’s Perseids
“The Perseids originate from Comet Swift-Tuttle, which itself is the single most dangerous object known to humanity. The nucleus of the comet is 26 kilometers across, and it takes 133 years to make a complete ellipse in its orbit. It contains nearly 30 times the kinetic energy of the asteroid strike that wiped out the dinosaurs, and based on an upcoming interaction with Jupiter, has about a 1-in-a-million chance of colliding with Earth in the year 4479.
But this comet has been orbiting for thousands of years, making the Perseids the most reliable meteor shower year-after-year. This year, 2018, there are four factors that will come together to make it the greatest astronomical show on Earth.”
This year, 2018, the Perseid meteor shower peaks on the nights of August 11-12 and 12-13, which happen to coincide with Friday and Saturday nights. The night of the 11th also coincides with a new Moon, meaning that conditions will be ideal for dark skies, which means the best viewing for meteors. We very frequently say, “the best things in life are free,” but we rarely feel that it’s true. The second weekend of August, it really is true.