Starlight, starbright, first fireball champion I see tonight…
The Perseid meteor shower will peak Sunday and Monday, and researchers at NASA have officially declared the celestial show the ‘fireball champion’ of annual meteor showers.
In a written release, NASA declared new research “has just identified the most magical nights of all.”
"We have found that one meteor shower produces more fireballs than any other," explains Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "It's the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks on August 12th and 13th."
Researchers stationed cameras around the nation to track fireball activity since 2008. After analyzing hundreds of meteor events, researchers concluded that Perseid meteor shower offers the brightest fireballs (the term for very bright meteors).
According to NASA, “The Perseid meteor shower comes from
Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year in early- to mid-August, Earth passes
through a cloud of dust sputtered off the comet as it approaches the sun. Perseid
meteoroids hitting our atmosphere at 132,000 mph produce an annual light show
that is a favorite of many backyard sky watchers.”
NASA recommends stargazing on the nights of August 12th and
13th between the hours of 10:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. However, residents in coastal
Orange County can expect cloud cover, and fog is forecast for inland Orange
County during the meteor shower’s peak.
The best place to catch the show is in the desert. There isn’t a cloud in the forecast for Joshua Tree, according to the National Weather Service.