Science

The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Back

The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Back

The Perseid meteor shower is almost here, meaning that it's nearly time to head outside and lift your eyes toward the heavens, where you can gaze upon hundreds of shooting stars lighting up the night sky.

The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere.

The Perseids are perhaps the most beloved of all meteor showers due to their predictability.

The Perseids meteor shower will peak this weekend between the night of Saturday, August 11, and the morning of Monday, August 13.

The Perseid's shooting stars are caused by debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet (Photo: Shutterstock)What are the Perseids? However, they can be seen clearest after sunset. The meteors will appear to streak away from and out of the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia.




The Perseids reach their peak in the early hours of August 13 when up to 70 per hour should be visible. 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.

Since the Perseids always show up in August, they often coincide with warm summer nights - flawless weather for viewing if you can avoid rain or clouds and get to a dark spot.

If you want to catch the Perseids in all their glory, a drive to the darkest place near your home should suffice. "As long as you have clear skies and you're away from the city, you should have a good show".

To make the best of the meteors, observers should avoid built-up areas and try to find an unobstructed view to the east. Since the earth passes through that trail of comet detritus every year, we get a pretty little show. Annual meteor showers are created when Earth's orbit around the sun intersects with the wake of a comet's orbit, and debris thrown off from the tail hits our atmosphere and burns up upon entry.

What else should I look out for in the sky?

Venus will be the first to appear after the sun sets and will be best viewed on the western horizon at around 9:30 p.m. local time. The number of Perseids zipping across the sky should increase steadily through the night, peaking just before sunrise. Here are the peak times to see the meteor shower in your area.