Excellent Prospects For August’s Perseid Meteors
The Perseid meteor shower, an annual celestial event beloved by millions of skywatchers around the world, returns to the night sky this week. And because the Moon will be just past new, no moonlight will hinder the view.
Sky & Telescope magazine predicts that the Perseid shower will be at or near its peak late on Sunday night (late on August 11th and early morning on the 12th) and on Monday night (August 12-13). “The nearly moonless sky this year means the viewing will be excellent,” notes Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope.
Although an occasional Perseid meteor might catch your attention shortly after evening twilight ends, the prime viewing hours are from about 11 p.m. or midnight (local time) until the first light of dawn. This is when the shower’s “radiant,” its perspective point of origin, is high up in your sky. The higher the radiant, the more meteors appear all over the sky.