Perseid meteor shower peaks August 12th

Pat Wise
August 13, 2019

Instead of being able to spot 60 meteors per hour at peak, it's estimated you might see less than 20 this year. When the Earth travels through its debris, each year, the night sky offers a spectacular show via the Perseids. So don't wait for the "peak" on Monday night.

"Perseids are not only numerous, they are attractive". Numerous meteors leave a glittering trail as they pass, according to AccuWeather Astronomy blogger Dave Samuhel.

Most of the time meteoroids burn up before they reach the ground, but if one manages to reach the planet's surface it is known as a meteorite. In some parts of the States, the viewing conditions can be interrupted by cloudiness.

While the peak time for viewing is technically Monday night into Tuesday there are two reasons this may not be the best time for viewing the night sky. Stand with the moon behind you for the best viewing experience.

Even though the peak is Monday, it might be better to try to catch a few meteors in the days leading up to peak. "There will still be plenty of meteors and you will not have to battle as much moonlight". If you trace back the origins of the meteors, you will point towards the constellation Perseus.

"The Perseids are most active after midnight through daybreak".

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The space agency said no special equipment is needed to view the meteor shower, which will be visible by the naked eye.

The Royal Astronomical Society in the United Kingdom said: "The Perseid meteors seem to come from a single point, the "radiant", situated in the constellation Perseus, giving the shower its name".

You may have already noticed a meteor or two streaking across the night sky if you've gone outdoors and looked up at night in the past two or three weeks. "The Perseids are rich in fireballs, so you'll still see Perseids; you just won't see the show you've seen on nights when the moon has not been around". As is the case with any celestial event, areas with low light pollution will offer the best views. This will help to increase the odds of seeing some meteors.

"If finding constellations isn't your forte, then note that Perseids are some of the fastest meteors you'll see".

As NASA explains, Meteor showers take their name from the location of the radiant.

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