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Watch the Meteor Shower Around Mendota Heights

Friday night and this weekend are peak times to watch the Perseids streak across the sky.

This NASA graphic shows the location of the Perseid Meteor Shower radiant in the night sky during 2013 peak on Aug. 12 and 13. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This NASA graphic shows the location of the Perseid Meteor Shower radiant in the night sky during 2013 peak on Aug. 12 and 13. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Original post by Danielle Cabot

Minnesota's summer sky is always beautiful, but the night holds a special treat for viewers this weekend.

The Perseid meteor shower, an annual show of celestial clockwork in early August, is set to peak predawn Aug. 10 through Aug. 13.

Mendota Heights residents should be able to see the phenomenon even though our backyards are just across the river from Minneapolis and St. Paul.

In fact, the Dodge Nature Center regularly hosts star-gazing nights with astronomers from the University of Minnesota, according to a Dodge spokesperson.

And while there are no events planned at Dodge or Fort Snelling State Park to view the Perseid meteor shower, a backyard or a field with a good view of the southeastern sky should do just fine.

The Perseids should come into view about 10-11 p.m., according to Minnesota Starwatch.

Those with a bit of patience willing to stay up late can catch the shooting meteors at a rate of up to 100 per hour, according to Space.com.

For the geeks among us, here's some trivia: The Perseids get their name from Perseus, the constellation from which they seem to emanate, but they can appear anywhere in the sky. Their only connection with Perseus is that, if you trace their path backward across the sky, eventually you get to Perseus.

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