Perseid meteor shower in South Florida peaks

Posted at 2:42 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 00:40:03-04


The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks Thursday night  and it could be an extra action packed show thanks to the gravitational pull of Jupiter pulling the comet particles a little closer to earth this year. 

You could see up to 200 meteors per hour (3-4 every minute) in ideal locations. 

An ideal location would be far away from any city lights, after the moon sets, and with clear skies.

The Grape Nuts-size particles burn up in the earths mesosphere, about 50 miles up.  The tiny particles are left behind in the path of comet Swift-Tuttle, which the earth crosses through every summer producing the annual show.

When the little pieces, made mostly of nickel and iron, hit the upper atmosphere, friction with the air molecules heats them up to more than 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, vaporizing them in a second or less.  The meteors will be traveling almost as fast as a speeding bullet (130,000 mph)

Tonight across South Florida the sky will have some clouds, but generally they will be thinning as it gets later in the night..  Also the moon sets at 1:43 a.m., so anytime after that will be ideal viewing, (say 2-5 a.m.)  Just head out far away from city lights (either in the ocean on a boat, or go way west until you can't see the urban glow to the east).  If you're heading west, douse yourself in bug spray, let your eyes adjust for 30-45 minutes and look up, slightly east-northeast and watch the show!

Temps will hover in the upper 70s and the wind will be light. Good luck and make sure you have a lot of wishes, you may see quite the show!

If you can't make it outside, you can watch the live streaming feed!

If you are lucky and talented enough to snap a photo of a meteor, post them on our WPTV FACEBOOK PAGE