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Perseid Meteor Showers set to light up Philadelphia skies this weekend. Aug 10-13
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/11/12 12:09 am | updated: 08/11/12 2:02 pm
Each and every August as the Earth's annual 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, this meteor shower will peak this weekend through August 13th.

It is not uncommon to see up to 60 meteors an hour with the Perseids. The moon is in a waning crescent phase, meaning is small, and getting smaller. Friday night, August 10th, the moon won't rise in the sky. August 11th and 12th the moon is expected to rise in the early morning hours after midnight.

Each night this weekend is forecast to have partly cloudy skies in the Philadelphia area and the comfortable temperatures will make viewing late at night or during the evening easy to take. The best times to look are after midnight until close to dawn, but you may also want to go out before midnight before the moon rises.

WEATHER UPDATE: Finally, clear skies are expected for Sunday night in Philadelphia! While Friday and Saturday were both cloudy, tonight the curtain should be pulled open to allow for meteor viewing.

Saturday night is expected to be mostly cloudy. Conditions may not be ideal for those in the Philadelphia area for watching. NASA will hold a live chat and video feed on Saturday night for those who might have overcast skies:

The height of the shower should be Saturday night into Sunday morning. The show will begin between 11 p.m. and midnight on Saturday night and continue until dawn Sunday. At that same night between 1:30 and 3am you'll be able to watch Jupiter, the moon, and then Venus rise in the Eastern sky.

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.

Have fun with nature's fireworks!

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