Sunday, 17 February, 2019


This Is the Best Time to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower

Kristine Garrett | 10 August, 2018, 15:28

The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, there's always the chance that bad weather like fog or rain will create unfavorable viewing conditions.

Where are the best places to go to see the Perseid meteor shower?

The Perseids are set to peak late Sunday, August 12 into the early morning of Monday, August 13, but the spectacle is already beginning to heat up in the dark, mostly moonless evenings. It's all because of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which zooms close to Earth during its 133-year journey around the sun. However, they can be seen clearest after sunset.

The Perseids appear to emanate from between the constellations Perseus and Cassiopeia, but to catch them there's really no need to worry about which direction you're looking. During the peak this weekend, up to 60-70 meteors may be seen per hour. Your meteor rates will be lower, but it's possible to see at least a few of the brightest meteors over the course of a few hours. Though the shower hasn't yet reached its peak, observers have already reported spotting short bursts of high meteor activity (15 meteors per minute) at times, as well as significant meteor activity (~100) over several hours.

Stargazers are hoping for clear skies this weekend so they can see the Perseids in all their glory. "You can look anywhere you want to-even directly overhead", explained Jones. The Slooh observatory will host a livestream of the shower starting at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Earth will pass through the densest part of the comet's trail on August 12th, meaning more meteors will be present during this event.

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12.

The 2018 Orionid meteor shower will be visible from October 2 to November 7 and is expected to peak on the night of Oct. 21-22.

Though the Perseids can be spotted between July 17 and August 24, the best views will be from Sunday at 4 p.m.to Monday at 4 a.m. EST, when the night is almost moonless.

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