Outburst of shooting stars up to 200 mph - meteors per hour

FILE - In this early morning, Aug. 13, 2013 file photo, a meteor streaks past the faint band of the Milky Way galaxy above the Wyoming countryside north of Cheyenne, Wyo., during a Perseids meteor shower. On Thursday night, Aug. 11, 2016 into early Friday morning, the Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak with double the normal number of meteors. Scientists call this an outburst, and they say it could reach up to 200 meteors per hour. (AP Photo/The Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Blaine McCartney)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The heavens will be bursting with shooting stars this week.

Thursday night into early Friday, the annual Perseid (PUR'-see-ihd) meteor shower is expected to peak with double the normal number of meteors. Scientists call this an outburst, and they say it could reach up to 200 meteors per hour.

Prime viewing should be in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, after the moon sets.

The last Perseids outburst was in 2009. Thanks to a gravity nudge from Jupiter, debris from comet Swift-Tuttle could stray closer to Earth again. These scattered specks of dust — a trail in the comet's wake — are what flash as they enter the atmosphere at a mind-blowing 132,000 mph and burn up.

"Here's something to think about. The meteors you'll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago," NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said in a statement. "And they've traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth's atmosphere."

Scientists hope to capture the action with a new instrument at the International Space Station. The U.S.-Japanese experiment's name is appropriately named Meteor.

An August tradition, the Perseids are so named because the meteors appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus, the Medusa-killing hero of Greek mythology.

___

Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/

People also read these

RNC hires strategists to help woo...

Aug 9, 2016

The Republican National Committee has hired three new strategists to help increase its outreach to...

Germany: 2nd arrest in connection with attack...

Aug 10, 2016

German authorities have arrested a man suspected of involvement in violence in Syria, an arrest...

Delta struggles through third day of computer...

Aug 10, 2016

Delta Air Lines had more than 300 cancellations globally before operations return to normal later...

Complexity makes airline computer systems...

Aug 8, 2016

As airline IT get more complex and automated, breakdowns become increasingly common

FIFA confirms ethics probe into head of Brazilian...

Aug 10, 2016

FIFA ethics investigators have announced a formal case against the indicted head of Brazilian...

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!