ROANOKE, Va. – It's that time of year again: The Perseid meteor shower peaks on the weekend of Aug. 12 and 13. This year, the moon is in its new phase, which means it won't cast too much distracting light. That is good news for those who want to gaze up into the night sky.
This year, astronomers estimate that 60 to 70 meteors can be seen per hour. That is, of course, under perfect conditions.
Looking ahead to next weekend, the overall weather pattern looks less than perfect. The jet stream dips into the eastern U.S., causing an increase in moisture and rain chances. This may cloud up our skies, as we try to view this annual shower.
We can always hope that, after scattered afternoon showers and storms, the clouds will dissipate and give way to a starlit sky.
The Perseid meteor shower is also an indication that we are coming down to the final stretch of summer. College football begins in less than four weeks for UVA, with the Hokies playing their first home game on Sep. 8. The first official day of fall is less than seven weeks away.