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Perseid Meteor Showers Poised for show in Philly Skies
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/11/11 3:15 pm | updated: 08/11/11 3:15 pm
Every August as the Earth's orbit takes it through the remains of the comet Swift-Tuttle, we are treated to a dramatic show of meteors streaking through the sky called the Perseids. Named because they seem to radiate from the constellation Perseus, these meteors will peak as always in the early morning hours of Friday August 12th and Saturday August 13th.

It is not uncommon to see up to 50 meteors an hour with the Perseids, unfortunately however this year, the moon will be waxing full and rising during the peak of the shower obscuring many of the dimmer meteors with its light. Don't worry though, you should still be able to catch 10-20 an hour, and those that are bright enough to see are sure to be spectacular fireballs.

Both nights are forecast to be clear skies in the Philadelphia area and comfortable temperatures will make viewing late at night even better. The best times to look are after midnight until close to dawn, with the peak happening late Friday into early Saturday morning. The constellation Perseus will rise in the northeast skies so focusing your attention there is a good place to start, but meteors can fly across any point in the sky. And of course, as far away from the city lights as you can get the better.

If you are keen, you may also witness the night's special guest. The International Space Station's flight pattern has been taken it over our area the past few days. Here are some times it will fly by the next two nights during the best meteor viewing times:

Fri Aug 12/03:53 AM 4min 17 above NNW to 11 above E
Fri Aug 12/05:29 AM 5min 11 above WNW to 11 above SSE
Sat Aug 13/04:32 AM 4min 37 above WNW to 10 above SE

Have fun looking out at space's fireworks!
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