Perseids meteor shower is gearing up to be a spectacle in the nighttime sky

Shane McGlaun - Aug 2, 2021, 7:52am CDT
Perseids meteor shower is gearing up to be a spectacle in the nighttime sky

Each year, the Earth moves through the tail of a comet leading to the Perseid meteor showers that start in late July and peak by the middle of August. The first meteor of the shower for 2021 was observed on July 26. NASA says anyone wanting to look at the skies and see the meteor shower for themselves would find the best viewing on the night of August 11.

On August 11, the crescent moon will set early, and the skies will be dark for the peak viewing hours of midnight local time to dawn on August 12. Those in the northern hemisphere far enough away from light pollution might be able to see more than 40 Perseids per hour. However, those in the city may only see a few meteors per hour.

Those living in the southern hemisphere will see fewer Perseids with none visible below 30 degrees south latitude. For those in the southern hemisphere, the night of August 12 and 13, will be a good opportunity for viewing. For optimal viewing, NASA suggests that skywatchers find somewhere away from his many bright lights as possible and give their eyes up to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark.

Perseids will appear in the sky as quick small streaks of light. The meteor shower gets its name because they appear to come from the direction of the constellation Perseus. However, NASA notes that meteors in that area can be hard to see from Earth’s perspective, so just look at the sky and wait.

For those who live in the middle of a city or have too much nearby light pollution to be able to view for themselves, NASA will be streaming Perseids on social media. Users can tune in overnight on August 11 to the 12th via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to watch the skies with space fans around the world.


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