The Perseid meteor shower will be visible in New Jersey this month
One of the best meteor showers of the year, the Perseid meteor shower, will be peaking later this month.
The light show is expected to be especially bright this year due to a lack of a moon on the peak days of Aug. 11, 12, and 13. No special equipment is needed, just find a wide open dark sky.
EarthSky.org says that you can expect 60 meteors per hour at peak times, which are the early morning hours. They recommend that you get a comfortable chair, find a dark part of the sky and settle in to watch the show. Near dawn you should see the most activity.
There is a stargazer map on EarthSky that highlights three locations in New Jersey for optimal viewing: the Eastpointe Lighthouse in Cumberland County, Barnegat Light and Long Beach Island. That being said, virtually anywhere in New Jersey that’s away from city lights should provide a good vantage point.
Every year, Earth passes through the path of Comet Swift-Tuttle from July 17 to Aug. 24, with the shower's peak — when Earth passes through the densest, dustiest area — occurring Aug. 11-13. They’re called the Perseids because they seem to be coming out of the constellation Perseus (they’re not); while the constellation is light years away, the meteors are only about 60 miles away.
According to Space.com, most meteors are no bigger than a grain of sand and are traveling about 37 miles per second! Find a dark part of New Jersey and enjoy the show!
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.