Perseid Meteor Shower Will Be In Full Glory On August 13

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The Perseid meteor shower will peak the morning of August 13 (Credit: NASA/JPL/ Public Domain)

There are over 30 meteor showers annually. But few can compare to the spectacular Perseids. The "shooting stars" have been blazing through the sky at a rate of about a dozen an hour since mid-July and will continue until the end of August. But the best time to view them is when Earth passes through the area with the densest comet dust. That's when the meteors' pace increases to between 50 and 100 an hour. This year that will be during the pre-dawn hours of August 13.

What is a meteor shower?

While often called "shooting stars," meteors are remains of cosmic dust and dirt shed by comets traveling through the area. When the debris collides with the Earth's atmosphere at high speeds, it burns, resulting in flashes across the skies, or a meteor shower.

From where do the Perseids come?

The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus, from which they appear to spurt. They are, however, the dust and rocks left behind by the Swift-Tuttle comet as it passes by Earth during its 133-year-long orbit. The meteor shower is visible worldwide. But, due to the Swift-Tuttle's orbital pattern, the best views are reserved for Northern Hemisphere residents.

(Credit: American Meteor Society/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

What makes the Perseid meteor shower unique?

The Perseid meteor shower is considered one of the best for several reasons. They are one of the most abundant showers, with as many as 100 "shooting stars" per hour. Also, the dust particles are large enough to create "fireballs" — meteors as bright as Jupiter and Venus. Most importantly, they occur during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Hence, the weather is warm enough for skywatchers to view them comfortably.

How can I view the Perseid meteor shower?

The cosmic show is best viewed from a dark, open space, away from city lights. Stargazers are advised to seek an area where the sky's entire dome is visible and be patient. It takes between 10 and 15 minutes for the eyes to adjust to the dark skies and then about as long to observe a flashing meteor.

Happy Viewing!



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  • brielle2011
    brielle2011about 2 months
    I am so mad, I did not get to see it. Was it cool?
    • skyward_flight
      skyward_flightabout 2 months
      We are in a good place to see the meteors. Can't wait to watch!
      • summer_beach
        summer_beachabout 2 months
        I love this! It has become kind of a tradition every year to go out and see them! Sadly, we probably will not get to see them this year because of the cloud cover lately. 🌟☄️🌠
        • melo-mint
          melo-mintabout 2 months
          You could see the showers until August 24 but the peak is August 13 :D Let's hope it isn't cloudy that day...
          • tybiduhifohe
            Hyeonjeong Kimabout 2 months
            Wow the comet's look so cool! I want to see the shooting stars on August 13th at 2am I really want to see the shooting stars at least once in my life. I wonder how hot the debris becomes. I wonder how many shooting stars will come to Vancouver, Canada because I want to watch to watch with my cousins and I will call my dad and video call him so he will see the shooting stars in the video and I wish he would enjoy the video.🌠💫☄️🌠💫☄️🌠☄️
            • elena_rose936
              elena_rose936about 2 months
              woah! I love meteor showers! I'm definitely watching it!
              • doggiechristmas
                doggiechristmasabout 2 months
                Um... I'm going to ask my mom/dad and ask if we can get up really early and watch it. I've only ever seen 1 shooting star, so this will be cool! I hope where I live it's a good viewing! It'll be soo cool!
              • book_addict
                book_addictabout 2 months
                Cool! I hope I get to see it. I’ve never seen a meteor shower before!
                • brielle2011
                  brielle2011about 2 months
                  Wow! This is so cool!
                  • bunbunxinyi
                    bunbunxinyiabout 2 months
                    I really want to see it! I've never seen a meteor shower before.