Maui News

Perseid Meteor Shower Comes on Heels of Super Moon

August 12, 2014, 10:31 AM HST
* Updated August 12, 3:59 PM
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Spectators gather atop Haleakalā on Maui for night time viewing of a meteor shower.  File photo 2012 by Wendy Osher.

Spectators often gather near the summit of Haleakalā on Maui for night time viewing of meteor showers. File photo 2012 by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

The nighttime sky will be the stage tonight for the Perseid Meteor Shower, an annual phenomenon that happens around mid-August each year.

According to information published by the Bishop Museum J. Watumull Planetarium, the meteor shower is created “as Earth wanders into the space debris of comet 109 P Swift Tuttle,” and will feature up to 80 meteors per hour.

The planetarium website states that, “little bits of the comet debris hit our air so fast that they burn up from the friction, causing shooting stars.”

Prime viewing is in an area where it is darker, away from city lights in the eastern sky. While the event was expected to peak on Aug. 11-12, activity is also expected tonight (Aug. 12-13), with viewing best between midnight and dawn in the eastern sky, according to the Bishop Museum Planetarium.

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The event comes on the heels of Sunday’s “super moon,” and with the moon still in a waning gibbous phase with more than 90% illumination, it could pose some interference for ideal viewing.

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Online viewing is available in a live stream via Slooh.com.

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