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HomeNewsWhere and When To Look For Perseids, Facts and More

Where and When To Look For Perseids, Facts and More

The Perseid meteor shower sometimes referred to as the Perseids, welcomes astronomers each year between mid-July and late August. The American Meteor Society (AMS) predicts that the shower’s peak will occur between August 11 and 12. Due to the full moon lighting up the sky, the 2022 Perseids won’t be quite as beautiful as they were in 2021.

The Perseids are brought on by Earth traveling through ice and rock fragments left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which last came within striking distance of Earth in 1992. On August 11–12, as Earth passes through the region with the most dust and density, the Perseids reach their peak. There are more meteors per hour in years with no moonlight, and in years with outbursts (like 2016), there may be 150–200 meteors per hour or more.

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Preside Meteor Shower: Fast Facts

  •  Dates: July 14 through August 24
  • 11–12 August, peak
  •  Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which is its source.
  • ZHR (Zenithal Hourly Rate): 100

(The number of meteors that a single observer would view during an hour of maximum activity under conditions of a clear, dark sky with the radiant at the zenith.)

Where To Look For Perseids
Where To Look For Perseids

According to NASA

At the peak of the meteor shower, you can anticipate seeing up to 100 meteors per hour on a more typical year, according to NASA .

Although it didn’t significantly block the view of the meteor shower last year because the moon was only a thin crescent, the moon’s brightness is nevertheless a problem for skywatchers who want a good view. The Perseids are exceptionally bright, although moonlight might make viewing a little challenging. The full moon lighting up the sky will have an impact on this year’s Perseids peak.

When it enters Earth’s atmosphere, a typical Perseid meteoroid—which is what they are known as in space—travels at a speed of 133,200 mph (214,365 kph) (and then they are called meteors). The majority of Perseid meteors are small, around the size of a sand grain. Nearly none of the pieces fall to earth, but when they do, they are referred to as meteorites.

As each fragment of the Perseid meteor passes through the atmosphere, compressing and heating the air in front of it, the maximum temperatures for Perseids are above 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 degrees Celsius). When they are roughly 60 miles (97 kilometers) above the ground, the majority of the fragments become visible.

What is the Perseid Meteor Shower’s cause?

The Perseid meteor shower occurs when it travels through the region with the most dust. The comet Swift-Tuttle travels past Earth every year. The climax of the Perseid meteor shower happens as Earth travels through the dustiest, densest region.

This 30-second exposure was taken on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia, during the annual Perseid meteor shower. Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, two astronomers, independently discovered Swift-Tuttle in 1862. In 1992, it made its most recent trip past Earth, but it was too dim to be viewed with the unaided eye.

If forecasts are accurate, the comet’s brightness on the next visit in 2126 may be comparable to that of the Hale-Bopp comet from 1997. The nucleus of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which is around 16 miles (26 kilometers) across, is the biggest object known to continually pass past Earth. The next time it will come close to Earth during its orbit around the sun will be in 2126, after it last did so in 1992.

According to NASA, when you observe a meteor shower, what you are witnessing is cometary debris heated up as it enters the atmosphere and burning up in a dazzling burst of light, leaving a vivid trail across the sky as it moves at a speed of 37 miles (59 kilometers) per second.

Where can you see a Preside meteor shower?

The constellation from which a meteor shower appears to be coming is the source of the shower’s name. The Perseid meteor shower appears to be coming from about the location of the Perseus constellation in the Northern Hemisphere from Earth’s vantage point.

The Northern Hemisphere and mid-southern latitudes are the finest places to view the Perseid meteor shower, and all you need to watch the display is some patience, a comfortable place to relax, and darkness.

An excellent place to start looking for the Perseid meteor shower is radiant, which is the area of the sky where the meteors appear to come from. The Perseid meteor shower is located in the Perseus constellation, according to NASA. Despite not being the most visible, Perseus neatly follows the more noticeable and brighter constellation Cassiopeia across the night sky.

The constellation from which the meteor shower emanates is what gives it its name; the constellation itself is not the source of the meteors.
Go somewhere as dark as you can and sit back and relax for the best chance of seeing the Perseids. The key is to take in as much of the sky as you can and give yourself around 30 minutes for your observation, so you don’t need any telescopes or binoculars.

Check out our how-to photograph meteors and meteor showers guide for more tips on how to capture the Perseid meteor shower. If you need imaging equipment, take a look at our top cameras for astrophotography and the best lenses for astrophotography.

When is the best time to view the perseid meteor shower

Early in the morning is the optimum time to search for meteors. According to AMS, the meteors will be most active between August 11 and 12. The Perseids are scheduled to be active from July 14 to August 24. The peak viewing days are typically your best shot to see the sky speckled with bright meteors. To see the meteors, look up and to the north. Those in southern latitudes can look toward the northeast to see more meteors.

Skywatchers looking out for the Perseids might also be treated to some stray meteors from the southern delta Aquariid meteor shower which peaks in late July, according to AMS. Though the southern delta Aquariids are best viewed from the Southern Hemisphere, they can sometimes be visible to those in the mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.

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