Clouds Could Black Annual Celestial Event

A telescope perched at a viewing location on North Padre Island awaiting the passage of the International Space Station in 2018 (Matt Briscoe) 

Flour Bluff, Texas--This weekend will feature one of the best meteor showers of the year, boasting over 50 meteors an hour. However, clouds and Saharn dust may spoil the show for many across the Coastal Bend.

“This shower is routinely one of the best and most popular meteor showers of the year and is known for very bright and long-lasting meteors,” Corpus Christi sky watcher Lee Campbell.

This year will be a particularly good year for the Perseids as the shower’s peak falls around the same time as the new moon. The absence of moonlight will allow many of the fainter meteors to be seen according to experienced gazers.

Viewing the Perseid meteor shower will take a small amount of planning and cloud-free conditions around the shower’s peak.

“Unlike most meteor showers which have a short peak of high meteor rates, the Perseids have a very broad peak as Earth plows through the wide trail of cometary dust from comet Swift-Tuttle,” NASA said.

This broad peak will focus around the weekend with both Saturday night and Sunday night being the best nights to view the Perseids.

Around our little corner of the world, the best places to watch the celestial event will out at Padre Island National Seashore and the further back you can get, the better off you will be. Another great viewing spot will be out near Petronilla, if you can find a quiet and cozy little place to go out there. But the magic about the annual Perseid's is that given a little bit of darkness and some decent atmospheric conditions, they are moderately visible right from many backyards.

Another star gazer from Corpus Christi, Daniel Gonzalez says that if you go that route, grab you some sodas, pop some popcorn, toss a blanket and cut off the lights and you should be able to catch at least a decent glimpse, even right here in the city.

If the clouds do give way this evening, you will likely still have to contend with some haze, which could dampen the viewing. But don't let that get you down because if you can't catch a glimpse this year, you can bet they will be around next year, and the year after that just like they have for centuries.

It ought to be worth at least trying to check out for sure.