Perseid Meteor Shower ‘Warm-Up Act’ For Total Solar Eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Consider this weekend’s Perseid meteor shower an opening act for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21.

Astronomers are projecting a slightly higher than normal rate of 150 meteors per hour across North America. But the bright moon will wash out the finer Perseids. So the viewing rate will be more like 30 to 40 meteors an hour. Peak viewing will be Friday night, early Saturday, Saturday night and early Sunday.

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower Friday, Aug. 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The real cosmic show will be the total solar eclipse – the first to cross the U.S. coast to coast in 99 years.

NASA’s meteor expert, Bill Cooke, says the Perseids “can be the warm-up act.”

Last year’s Perseids excelled with 200 meteors an hour.

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