UPDATED: Perused Meteor Shower Winding Down - KMSP-TV

UPDATED: Perseid Meteor Shower Winding Down

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We had some stubborn clouds this past weekend, but now the skies are totally clear and will be for the next several nights. A big thank you to that high pressure building in and a split jetstream that is taking storms to our north and our south.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is winding down after its peak early Monday morning, but still, with this gorgeous weather and low moonlight, you should still be able to take in quite the show. The Perseid will continue through August 24th, but the amount of streaks will be less and less each night. The best view times will be 2:30 - 4:30 am, but any time after dark will offer a chance to catch a few of them.


Get as far away from city and other artificial lights as possible. Meteor showers are best viewed in really dark skies. Also, be patient. It may take your eyes a few minutes to adjust to the light and see the meteors. No special equipment needed, such as binoculars or a telescope, as those will only limit the amount of sky you can see.

Good Luck and have fun everyone,







Minnesotans are known for taking advantage of as many outdoor activities as possible during our brief encounter with summer. Here is another event to add to your list of must dos this weekend. The Perseid Meteor shower peaks every August, and this weekend is the height of that peak. To be exact, the pinnacle of this astronomical display will be just before dawn on Monday morning, August 12th.

Snowy Range in Wyoming on Aug 12 2012

Here is a little background on the Perseids meteor shower. The annual event occurs when the Earth passes through debris left over from the tail of comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 130 years. The streaks of light that we see, aka shooting stars, are illuminated because of the friction they encounter when they enter into the Earth's atmosphere. Although these meteors look like huge chunks of flaming rocks, most of them are actually smaller than a dime. Now, that's a powerful reaction. I think that is enough of the scientific jargon, now onto the best times to see this spectacular display from the heavens.

The weather is usually the biggest obstacle to a clear view of any meteor shower. This weekend we have several chances to get out and star gaze. Clear skies are in the forecast for most of the weekend and into the start of next week. The only fly in the ointment will be a chance of showers and rumblers in the afternoon and evening on Sunday. However, the skies could cloud up in advance of these showers overnight Saturday and not clear until overnight Sunday into Monday. Another advantage that we will have will be the fact that there is no bright moonlight to steal Perseid's thunder. Here in Minnesota, the waxing crescent Moon sets between 9 and 11 in the evening during the meteor shower's peak. Also, no special tools are needed. Telescopes and binoculars can narrow your field of vision and you need to take in as much of the sky as possible. Also, don't worry about mapping out certain directions in which to look as the meteors can be seen across the entire sky. The best viewing position is lying down, so you can see as much of the sky as possible. Wow, does it get any easier than that?



Look up now through this Wednesday, with the peak occurring Monday morning before dawn.


From 9 PM through dawn, with the best time just before dawn, or around 4 am.


Friday Night – CLEAR

Saturday Morning – CLEAR


Sunday Morning -  SHOWERS


Monday Morning – CLEARING SKIES

Its a great weekend for star gazing here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The temperatures are almost perfect and for the most part the sky will be mostly clear, especially Friday night. If your out and about this weekend and you get some great photos of the meteors, we would love to see them! Email them to Photos@Fox9.com. Also I hope you will LIKE my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/SteveFrazierFox9Kmsp and follow me on twitter @frazierfox9. FRAZIER






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