How to watch the 2018 Perseid meter shower

Terry Joseph
August 12, 2018

During the Perseid meteor showers, most visible across the US on Sunday, Aug. 12, and Monday, Aug. 13, people may witness 50 to 100 meteors per hour in clear, summer night skies.

Perseid meteors flame across the sky as the Earth passes through vast ribbons (streams) of scattered sand and small rock-size debris once shed by Comet Swift-Tuttle as it orbits through the solar system every 133 years.

It gets its name became the meteors appear to be coming from the constellation Perseus. Known as the best meteor shower of the year, The Perseid meteors tend to be brighter, lengthier, and more spectacular due to their origin from Comet Swift-Tuttle.

This happens because all meteors associated with the Perseid shower radiate from one point in the sky, known as the radiant. While the Perseid meteor shower will be visible on Saturday night, the real show comes on Sunday, with peak shooting star activity happening the night of August 12 to 13. The meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but they look the brightest against the darkest sky, which is straight up.

During the maximum, or peak, Sunday night and early Monday morning, it could be possible to catch as many as 110 meteors in an hour, or almost two per minute on average. "This is how we know the Perseids always put on the best show of the year in August for many years".

The good news is you will be able to see them with the naked eye.

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While stars and star clusters are Twarog's specialty, he said he appreciates how the meteor showers light up the summer sky and anyone can appreciate the celestial wonder.

Dr. Auld says that if you have several people together, a lot of the times two people will say oh there's one, but they're pointing in completely separate directions because there's more than one at the same moment. The comet was independently discovered by Lewis Swift and Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1862.

Meteor showers are typically visible with the naked eye, and so no special equipment is needed (Photo: Shutterstock)How regular will the meteors be?

The best time to see those meteors is at around 11 p.m. ET until dawn the next morning.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is set to light up the night sky this weekend.

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