Perseid Meteor Shower 2013 Peak: The Show is Just Beginning

Of all the meteor showers way, way out there, the Perseids is a real star. Here's where to watch in August in Herndon.

Where to watch the Perseid meteor shower.
Where to watch the Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseid meteor shower 2013 peak doesn't arrive until Aug. 11-12, but the show is already underway.  

A favorite of stargazers, 2013 should be a spectacular year, with no pesky moonlight to wash out the streaks.

Want to know what to expect? Get an idea from this video of the Perseid meteor shower. Or check out these pictures of the Perseids.

How spectacular is the show? NASA says Perseid rates can get as high as 100 visible meteors per hour, with many of them appearing not just as bright streaks but as fireballs hurtling through the sky.

The Perseids are the offspring of the comet Swift-Tuttle. We see the meteors when the Earth passes through the comet's orbit and sweeps up some of this debris. We see shooting stars -- rapid streaks of light -- as the tiny rocks encounter the thin upper atmosphere of the Earth and the air is heated to incandescence.

You can see the shower anywhere in the sky, but look toward the southeastern sky to see the meteors at their brightest and longest.

Where to watch? The darker the area the better. 

  • Gather some friends and head to the top floor of the parking garage at Kohls. It's a great place to watch the skies and where many watched the Discovery shuttle come in to DC. 
  • Head to the track and field behind Herndon Middle School. It's a nice dark spot for stargazing.
  • Kick your feet up in your own backyard if you have a clear view of the moon.
As always, check for posted hours of public places before setting up shop.
Where do you watch in Herndon? Tell us in the comments below.


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