A favorite meteor shower among stargazers is the Perseid meteor shower because they are the most active and brightest event of the year.
According to Space.com, the Perseids will peak on 11 and 12 August, but the best night is 12 August, says Bill Cooke, who is a NASA meteor expert:
“This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight. The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that’ll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it.”
The Perseids are so famous because in one hour there are almost 60-70 meteors that light the sky, meaning that stargazers can spot almost one every minute. At the same time, you can also spot Mars (that shiny red spot we’ve seen for a while in the night sky) until 4 a.m. local time, and until 2 a.m you can also see Saturn.
The Perseids come from the constellation Perseus, and each year, every August, our Earth gets through the debris left by a comet called Swift-Tuttle. The comet passed near our planet in 1992, and it will once again pass by in 2126. Swift-Tuttle is quite a large comet, so the Earth spends weeks inside the zone which is filled with debris as the comet passes by.
How to Watch the Perseids
NASA recommends everyone who wants to see the meteor shower to go to the outdoors and choose a dark area – the countryside or suburbs are great. After almost half an hour, your eyes will adjust to the dark, and you’ll start seeing a lot of meteors.
The best spot to see the meteors is one that has a clear view of the sky. Face northwest, sit on a lawn chair or a blanket, wear some mosquito repellent and start making wishes.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.