Claim: A meteor shower will be visible in North America in mid-August 2012.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, August 2012]
Is this true?
During the night of Aug 12 - 13 2012 people on earth will have a chance to see one of the rarest meteor showers. During the night you will be able to see thousands of these falling stars until Aug 23 2012. These meteors will have the best visibility during the night from the 12th to the 13th of Aug 2012. There is a predicted number of about 100 meteors an hour.
Origins: The gist of this item is true, although the phenomenon described is neither new nor rare.
The Perseids, so named because they appear to originate in the constellation Perseus, are an annual meteor shower first observed about 2,000 years ago. The Perseids shower is generally visible in the northern hemisphere from mid-July onwards each year, reaching its peak around the second week of August (typically between the 9th and the 14th of that month). In 2012, the primary viewing time for the Perseids will be the nights of August 11 and 12:
Those in the northern hemisphere will have the opportunity to see the Perseid meteor shower between Aug. 11 and 13. The shower will peak on the night of August 12, according to the International Meteor Organization and The American Meteor Society.
The best times to watch are Friday night-Saturday morning, and Saturday night-Sunday morning.
The Perseids are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which has been observed for the last 2,000 years.
According to NASA, the comet orbits the sun once every 133 years. The Earth tends to pass through cloud debris — composed of ice and dust — during the August month.
Dr. Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, suggested in a previous blog to find a dark location with clear skies in the early morning hours in order to see the shower.
According to an Astronomy.com article on the annual Perseid show:
If you ask most skygazers to name their favorite meteor shower, the odds are good that “Perseid” will be the first word out of their mouths. This annual shower seemingly has it all: It offers a consistently high rate of meteors year after year; it produces a higher percentage of bright ones than most other showers; it occurs in August when many people take summer vacation; and it happens at a time when nice weather and reasonable nighttime temperatures are common north of the equator. No other major shower can boast all four of these attributes.