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The Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak

August 12, 2019; 2:09 PM

final perseid graphic

The peak of the best meteor shower of the year is here! Monday night into Tuesday morning, the meteor shower will produce around 100 meteors per hour! The moon will be very bright, washing out many of the meteors. However, Perseid meteors are known for being bright.

Perseid meteors can come in clumps. You may go a few minutes without seeing any, and then three or four will whisk by in just a few seconds.

2019-08-12-0300 Perseus (1).jpg

The best way to view the meteor shower is to lie flat and look up at as much of the sky as possible. Give yourself at the very minimum 30 minutes of uninterrupted viewing. Try to avoid looking at the moon or any other light source, including phones!

The shower is most active in the hours before dawn. The moon will be setting during the wee hours of the morning. So, that time before dawn will be even more beneficial for stargazers.

Facts about the Perseids 2019 (1).jpg

The Perseids are most active after midnight through daybreak. But, don't hesitate to view during the evening. My five-year-old daughter saw more than a handful right after sunset last year. So, get the kids out during the evening!

The Colors of a Meteor HD.jpg

Perseids are not only numerous, they are beautiful. Most of the meteors leave a glittering trail as they pass. They are multi-colored and many are bright! The reason the Perseids produce so many meteors each and every year can be traced back to the trigger of the shower. Comet Swift-Tuttle is a huge comet. It measures about 16 miles across, much larger than the comet believed to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Due to the enormous size of the comet, it leaves a lot of debris in its wake, and the debris becomes meteors as the Earth passes through the debris field. There was some concern in recent years that the comet would come perilously close to the Earth during the next century. However, the orbit has been recalculated and it poses no threat to Earth for the next 2,000 years.

Viewing Conditions:

final perseid graphic


Low pressure tracking from the Great Lakes will produce a large area of clouds. There will be heavy rain as well. The shower will still be very active Tuesday, so if your sky is overcast tonight, look Tuesday night.


Europe:

Perseids 8/12

Asia early Tuesday morning:

graphic-1.png


If you cannot be outside for the meteor shower, you can stream it live online! NASA will start a live feed at 9 p.m. Click to be directed to the page. Also, there will be a live feed from northern Africa starting around 7 p.m.

Good luck meteor spotting! If you want to share any images, send them in to the AccuWeather Astronomy Facebook Page and we can share them with our 75,000 friends.

Thanks for reading. Just look up, you never know what you will see!

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

More Dave Samuhel

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