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  Sunday, July 12, 2020
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It will be possible to watch up to 100 meteors per hour at the height of the meteor shower season on August 12
Nikolai Zheleznov, a researcher at the Institute of Applied Astronomy under the Russian Academy of Sciences, said, "The shower started approximately on July 20 and will last until August 20. The peak this year falls on August 12, when it will be possible to watch up to 100 meteors per hour falling at the speed of about 60 kph." Meteor showers in August occur every year when the Earth passes through the tail of Swift-Tuttle Comet. Particles from the comet's tail enter the atmosphere and burn up, creating a "shooting star" effect. To observers on Earth, these "stars" appear to be coming from the constellation Perseus, after which the shower is named. According to Zheleznov, in recent years, the intensity of meteor showers has decreased significantly. In the early 1990s, meteor showers sometimes seemed like meteor downpours, with meteors numbering more than 400 per hour. This year, the shower occurs during the first quarter moon phase; therefore, the view will not be seriously affected by the Moon's illumination. "It is possible to watch a meteor shower anywhere on Earth, weather permitting... although it is best seen in the countryside because city lights do not interfere with observation," Zheleznov said According to Sergei Smirnov, a researcher at the Main Observatory under the Russian Academy of Sciences, it will be possible to observe yellow and white flashes in the sky produced by meteors burnt up in the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere. Meteor showers can be observed twice a year - the Perseids shower in August and the Leonids shower in November. Both showers are comparable, but because the Perseids shower occurs during summer it is perceived as the brighter one.
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