This Weekend Is The Perseid Meteor Show - Viewing Conditions Will Be Perfect

  • This Weekend Is The Perseid Meteor Show - Viewing Conditions Will Be Perfect

This Weekend Is The Perseid Meteor Show - Viewing Conditions Will Be Perfect

The best time to watch will be on the night of August 12 and the early morning of August 13, especially in the pre-dawn hours.

The Perseid meteor shower begins in late July and runs through mid-August, but this year the peak rates are expected to occur late on the night of Sunday, Aug. 12, and into the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 13, though both nights on either side of that date should also offer good opportunities. People can look directly overhead to see the meteors, as long as they are in a dark area without too much light pollution.

The moon will be in its crescent, "new moon", shape, and will set before the shower stars. But living in the Northwest means that many local elements are potentially conspiring against our view, including overcast skies, a bright moon, and smoke from surrounding wildfires.

The Perseid meteor shower is perhaps the most beloved meteor shower of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. Unfortunately, there's always the chance that bad weather like fog or rain will create unfavorable viewing conditions. The radiant point of the shower, which is the spot where the meteors tend to originate, is in the constellation Perseus. And if you want to know how to pronounce "Perseid" correctly, it sounds a little like "Purse-y-id", here's a video from NASA to help.

"Comets are dusty snowballs and when they come close to the sun they leave behind a trails of dust, and every year Earth's orbit has it sweeping through this dust trail", Pahud said.

But the meteor shower does not fully awaken until around mid-August when the Perseids peak in intensity.

You can still see meteors before and after the Perseid showers peak, and you dont need special equipment. The comet is the largest object known to repeatedly careen by Earth, with a nucleus of 16 miles wide.

When observed from the Earth the meteors only appear to be bursting out from the constellation but in reality the Perseus has no bearing on the Swift-Tuttle debris. Go there and give your eyes 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness.

"If you have seen a few of them you have seen them all", he said.

If you live in the glare of city lights, try watching the darkest portion of the sky from your backyard, a nearby park or school grounds. The longer you're outside in the dark, the better your vision of the meteors will be.