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EarthSky // Science Wire, Space Release Date: Jul 27, 2014

Perseid meteor shower kicks off! Fireballs detected this weekend

Earth has just entered the stream of debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, the parent comet of the Perseids. Now is the time to start watching for meteors.

NASA cameras in New Mexico caught this Perseid fireball on July 27, 2014

NASA cameras in New Mexico caught this Perseid fireball on July 27, 2014.

Spaceweather.com is reporting that NASA cameras detected some Perseid fireballs, or very bright meteors, this weekend. This favorite among meteor showers is just getting started, with Earth now entering the stream of debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower typically builds gradually to a peak (this year on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13), and NASA detected at least five Perseid fireballs over the weekend. Spaceweather.com said it was:

… a “mini-flurry” that signals the beginning of the annual display. Normally the best time to watch would be during the shower’s peak: August 11 through 13. This year, however, the supermoon will cast an interfering glare across the nights of maximum activity, reducing visibility from 120 meteors per hour (the typical Perseid peak rate) to less than 30.

That’s why you should watch meteors this year late July and early August, before the moon waxes toward full and begins to obscure the view. Click here to learn more about the Perseid and Delta Aquarid meteor showers – both going on now – here.