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Clear skies in the forecast for Perseid meteor shower's peak

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Greg Redfern
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A Perseid meteorite streaks overtop Big Meadows in the Shenandoah National Park

The Perseid meteor shower will peak this Friday night. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi got some viewing tips from WTOP's space reporter.

The Perseids come around once every year – or, better put, we come around to them.

GREG REDFERN: A meteor shower is what occurs when the Earth, in its travel around the sun … encounters debris streams that come from comets, which are icy snowballs shedding stuff into space, and one asteroid comet.

GIR & eV @ Omni 7321.jpg
Greg Redfern
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Astronomy educator Greg Redfern with a Unistellar telescope.

Greg Redfern, a.k.a. Sky Guy Greg, is an author and astronomy educator.

REDFERN: So the Earth passes through these well-established debris streams, and we get to see what people call falling stars, shooting stars … a great sky spectacle.

The shower is set to peak on Friday at 9 p.m., and even though it'll be a full moon that night, Redfern said there will still be plenty of meteorites to see through Saturday morning.

REDFERN: So, yes, we'll have the numbers reduced perhaps by 50%, to maybe where we see 25 instead of maybe 50 an hour, but it's still worth getting out and seeing.

Clear skies are in the forecast for our area that night. Another piece of good news is, even if you live in a city, you'll still be able to see the shower.

REDFERN: The nice thing about getting away from the city is you can kind of relax. It might be a little bit quieter. But, hey – [sings] up on the roof – in the city, if you have access to that, or a parking garage on the top, something that gives you a clear, unfettered view … is your best bet.

Redfern will be at the Shenandoah National Park as a presenter during the annual Night Sky Festival August 19th through the 21st.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.