The Perseids shower
credits: Lowell Observator
The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak August 12 and 13.
Last year, the moon was just a thin crescent and didn't obscure the view of the meteor shower too badly, but the moon's glow is a continuing concern for skywatchers looking for a clear view. Even though the Perseids are especially bright, moonlight can make viewing a bit tricky. This year, the peak of the Perseids will be affected by the full moon illuminating the sky.
Most of the Perseids are tiny, about the size of a sand grain. Almost none of the fragments hit the ground, but if one does, it's called a meteorite. This beloved, annual sky spectacle is caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle.
The Perseids generally appear to radiate from a point high in the north, called the "radiant." But you need only point yourself generally toward the north and look up.
And while we're talking meteors, did you know many of these "shooting stars" come from comets? Most of the annual meteor showers we observe take place as Earth passes through trails of debris left behind by active comets orbiting the Sun, casting off little bits of dusty debris in their long tails.
credits: Jim Scotti, University of Arizona
- Some information:
The Perseid meteors come from a comet called Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 133 years. This is also the reason for the formation of the annual Perseid meteor shower on Earth.
Every year from mid-July to late August, observers are able to admire burning cometary debris all over the sky. This year, the peak comes from the evening of August 12 until the morning of the 13th. The moon will enter a phase of the crescent, eliminating additional lighting. The sky will be perfectly dark for viewing the meteor shower.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London said: “As the bits of rock and dust in the stream of debris collide with the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up and create fiery streaks across the sky.”
A veritable ritual for summer stargazers, the Perseids are considered one of nature's best fireworks shows, with dozens of shooting stars an hour falling at peak times.
- How to see?
EarthSky: Perseid meteor shower: All you need to know
ESA/ Space for Kids : Here come the Perseids
Perseid meteor shower 2022: When, where and how to see it
Hope you will enjoy, as a sky watcher, admiring the beauty of this annual awesome event.
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