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There’s still time (and a way) to see Perseid meteor shower

In this 30-second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid shower early Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Spruce Knob, W.Va. Scientists call this an outburst, and they say it could reach up to 200 meteors per hour. Spruce Knob has the highest elevation in West Virginia and one of the darkest night skies in the eastern U.S.
In this 30-second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid shower early Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Spruce Knob, W.Va. Scientists call this an outburst, and they say it could reach up to 200 meteors per hour. Spruce Knob has the highest elevation in West Virginia and one of the darkest night skies in the eastern U.S. AP

Even though clouds and rain kept Coast stargazers from seeing the peak of this year’s Perseid meteor shower, all is not lost.

Some sites, including spaceweather.com, say the show could be visible between Friday night and dawn Saturday. However, South Mississippians will probably need to catch a glimpse of the action by computer or another device.

“Their best bet is to catch a link and see what you can,” said Rob Knight, chief meteorologist for WXXV-TV.

According to NASA, a live broadcast of the Perseid meteor shower will be available from 9 p.m. Friday until dawn Saturday.

NASA and other sites are sharing some photos from the Thursday-night outburst of shooting stars. See a view from the International Space Station.

“Unfortunately, the cloud coverage and the rain is blocking our view,” Knight said.

South Mississippi has seen more than its fair share of rain this week, bringing several inches of rain and flash-flood warnings.

Although Perseid meteors are a regular attraction in August, the last outburst was in 2009. Scientists consider it an outburst when the shower peaks with double the normal number of meteors.

According to NASA, the meteors are called Perseids because they appear to fly out of the constellation Perseus, the Medusa-killing hero of Greek mythology. The annual shower occurs as the Earth travels through a trail of debris left by an ancient comet, Swift-Tuttle.

“Here’s something to think about,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said in a statement. “The meteors you’ll see this year are from comet fly-bys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago.

“And they’ve traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth’s atmosphere.”

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