Martha’s Vineyard’s dark sky favors view of Perseid meteor shower

Look to the night sky this weekend for a celestial display. — Photo by Fred Bruenjes,

Martha’s Vineyard is famous for its beaches, but residents and visitors also treasure the dark night sky filled with stars. From Saturday, August 10, to Tuesday, August 13, weather permitting, star-gazers will be treated to one of the heavens’ best shows, the annual Perseid meteor shower.

The Perseids often produce 50 to 100 meteors per hour in a dark sky at the peak, according to The showers tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. They are typically fast and bright meteors.

The source of the meteor shower is the Earth’s passage through the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, the parent of the Perseid meteor shower. The bits and pieces from Comet Swift-Tuttle slam into the Earth’s upper atmosphere at about 130,000 miles per hour, lighting up the nighttime with fast-moving Perseid meteors, according to earthsky.