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How To Watch The Perseid Meteor Shower This Weekend In Texas?

Texas skywatchers new and old have the chance to catch a glimpse of the annual Perseid meteor, the spectacular event NASA describes as the “best meteor shower of the year.” This annual celestial marvel is a perfect weekend activity for families and friends, whether you’re a lifelong stargazer or interested amid news that San Antonio’s exciting front row view for two major eclipses in the coming months.

The Perseid meteor shower has actually been active since July 14 and NASA says it will remain active until September 1. The meteor shower will peak this weekend, with its most spectacular show expected to be late Saturday, August 12, into Sunday, August 13, according to a report by NASA. The report says that there could be up to 40 meteors per hour in the night sky during the peak for stargazers in areas with low light pollution.

NASA reports that this year’s showing of the Perseid takes place during a waning crescent moon, unlike last year’s full moon, which means that more meteors should be visible.

The meteors seen during the Perseids originate from 109P/Swift-Tuttle, a large comet that boasts a nucleus of 16 miles across and takes 133 years to orbit the sin once, according to NASA. The Swift-Tuttle comet last reached perihelion, its closest approach to the sun, in 1992 and is expected to return in 2125.

When comets pass the sun, NASA reports they leaves dust that spreads into a “dusty trail” around the orbit. The Perseid meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through the dusty trail, now 31 years old, causing the debris to enter the atmosphere “where they disintegrate to create fiery and colorful streaks in the sky.”

A number of Texas State Parks are holding star parties, night hikes, and other activities to celebrate the annual spectacular in the sky, including Lockhart State Park, Martin Dies Jr. State Park, Copper Breaks State Park, and Dinosaur Valley State Park.

There are a number of Texas State Parks that are less than 100 miles away from San Antonio that are open overnight and perfect to do some stargazing, including Bastrop State Park, Blanco State Park, Buescher State Park, Choke Canyon State Park, Enchanted Rock State Nature Area, Garner State Park, Goliad State Park, Government Canyon State Nature Area, Guadalupe River State Park, Hill Country State Nature Area, Inks Lake State Park, Lockhart State Park, Lost Maples State Nature Area, McKinney Falls State Park, Palmetto State Park, and Pedernales Falls State Park.

Where does the Perseid meteor shower get its name from? The meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus. It is the Perseid’s radiant, which NASA describes as the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to enter the atmosphere.

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