The first total eclipse of the sun in 99 years that will cover parts of the nation from the Pacific to Atlantic is on Aug. 21, but for space buffs, tonight brings a different kind of awe.
The Perseids meteor shower was to start Friday and continue through Sunday but the peak night for viewing is tonight, says Jay Elliott from the Florida Keys Astronomy Club.
According to Space.com, “Typical rates are about 80 meteors an hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016), the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said.
“The night before and the night after will both have good rates; Cooke said the show would be slightly better in the predawn hours of Aug. 12, but that there’d be a decent show both nights,” according to Space.com
However, “The Perseids will be a little more difficult to see due to the presence of the moon, which will be three-quarters full and will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak,” Space.com quoted Cooke.
In Monroe County, the Florida Keys Astronomy Club is heading to Long Key State Park, mile marker 67.4 oceanside, to view the Perseids. The park usually closes at sunset but members of the club will be there from 7 to 10:30 p.m. to take in the spectacle.
But you don’t have to me a club member to watch the meteors at the park. If you enter the park before closing time, you hang around after and watch it. Admission is $6 per auto with two people in it and 50 cents for each additional passenger.
Larry Kahn: 305-440-3218