Science

How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend

How to see the Perseid meteor shower peak this weekend

This makes the summertime display one of only three annual showers that produce this many.

The Perseid meteor shower usually dominates the sky in mid-August.

Although the shower peaks on August 12, you'll be able to see a good deal of shooting stars all weekend and into Monday.

Perhaps you might remember an unbelievable meteor show back in the early 1990s? The meteor shower's peak is expected to occur the night of Sunday, Aug. 12 into the wee hours of Monday morning.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the dust and debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, bringing pieces of the comet into the upper atmosphere that light up the sky as they burn up. It orbits the sun every 133 years and was last seen in 1992 - so it won't be back again until 2126. "Comets and asteroids leave tiny bits of themselves in the orbital path that they take around the sun".

Meteors streak across the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower on October 23, 2016. Observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views.




If you want to catch the Perseids in all their glory, a drive to the darkest place near your home should suffice.

Where do the Perseids come from?

The best time to be outside to catch the peak is between midnight and dawn.

The particles that cause the Perseids are travelling at around 60 km per second, which is why the meteors we see are typically very fast and bright.

"Even in towns or cities observed rates may still be around 10 to 20 an hour in the early morning hours when the radiant is high". However, this year there will be a New Moon the night before the meteor shower peaks, making an appearance just after sunset as a thin crescent, according to The Weather Network.

Spectators in the Northern Hemisphere will have the best view of the Perseid meteor shower, as the meteors will appear to radiate out from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky.

For optimal meteor-spotting chances be sure to stay away from bright lights and sources of urban pollution like street lamps, cars and buildings.