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August 13-22, 2002

SOURCE: MeteorShowers

2002 offers an excellent opportunity to view the Perseids. The Perseids, one of the most famous showers, will peak during the pre- dawn hours of August 13th, but some may be spotted now through August 22nd. The Perseids have a peak rate of 65 - 70 meteors per hour.

This year the Moon is being cooperative and will not interfere with this year's display. In the northern hemisphere the radiant of this shower rises in the Northeast in the early evening. While some may be seen as early as 10 PM your local time, the shower rates increase considerably after midnight.

North American observers have a choice of days as they can view during the pre-dawn hours on both August 12th and 13th. While Europe is favored for the actual peak, North America should see a very nice display in the pre-dawn hours on both days.

European observers will be favored for the actual peak and your rates will be highest between midnight and dawn on the 13th.

Unfortunately for southern hemisphere observers, the Perseids are not favored for viewing in your area as the radiant will not rise above your horizon. However it may be possible to observe a few earthgrazers rising from below your northern horizon as dawn approaches.

To view the Perseids, generally view toward the east, but remember Perseids can and will appear anywhere in your skies. So while the East is preferred, view upward toward the darkest, least obstructed portion of your sky. Find something comfortable to sit or lie upon in an area away from skyglow of urban areas if possible. Don't forget to dress appropriately and if you live in a hot, humid area as I do, you may want to have some insect repellant handy. :)

Perseid meteors are caused by the orbital debris left by comet Swift- Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle was discovered in 1862 and it has an orbital period of about 130 years. It last visited our solar system during the summer of 1992.

Note: A special thank you to John, list owner of MeteorShowers at YahooGroups

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