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Friday, August 12, 2011

Best Ways to Watch Perseid Meteor Shower, Despite Full Moon Interference

Last year they were phenomenal, this year not so good maybe.
But well worth getting up a bit early for.

While the several nights before the peak give you better chances to observe the beauty of meteors on the dark sky, it is too early to give up on the full moon-lit sky this weekend.

Turn your back on the bright moon, and look mainly to the northwest, below the summer triangle of Vega, Deneb, and Altair. also advised stargazers to look away from the radiant, because the longest and brightest meteors will be about 90 degrees away. The radiant is now located in the constellation Cassiopeia, not Perseus, with its characteristic "W" shape.

The best hours for the meteor shower to monopolize the night sky is after the moon has set and before the sun rises. Following the best viewing nights on Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday night will also see a window of dark skies, while it's shorter. The meteor will be best seen from 3:29 a.m. to 3:56 a.m. in Boston, and 4:02 a.m. to 4:32 a.m. in Washington D.C. on Thursday, according to a table provided by

On the very night of Friday to Saturday, 2 a.m. will be the peak of the Perseids, when over 100 meteors per hour will light up the sky.

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