How to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

How to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower

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The 2016 Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, Aug. 11-12. This composite of Perseid meteors was shot from Huntsville, Alabama, during the shower's 2011 peak. NASA/MSFC/Meteoroid Environment Office The 2016 Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, Aug. 11-12. This composite of Perseid meteors was shot from Huntsville, Alabama, during the shower's 2011 peak. NASA/MSFC/Meteoroid Environment Office

BY ALYSSA NEWCOMB, NBC News

(NBC News) - The Perseid Meteor Shower is set to reach its peak early Friday morning when as many as 200 meteors per hour are expected to streak across the night sky.

With an outburst of meteors forecast — double the usual rate — the annual meteor shower is one no sky gazer will want to miss.

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The clearest view will be in the western states, from International Falls, Minnesota to El Paso, Texas. Fog will make viewing difficult along the California coast, but there will be clearer skies inland.

The best time is sometime after midnight but before dawn on Friday, according to NASA. The space agency recommends going outside for 45 minutes first, to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Bring a blanket, lie on your back and gaze at the sky as the meteors whizz across the sky at speeds of 132,000 miles per hour.

The Perseid Meteor Shower has been observed for at least 2,000 years. The meteors are the result of space debris from the tail of the Swift-Tittle comet striking the atmosphere. As the specks of dust disintegrate, they create the dazzling bright streaks.

The specks of dust can reach temperatures ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit as they move across the night sky.

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