Annually, between July 17 and August 24, the Perseid meteor shower kicks off one of the brightest cosmic events of the year.
This year, the meteor shower is expected to peak on the night of August 13, as Earth passes through the densest part of the Nile River. Comet 109 / Swift Tuttlepath.
What is the Perseid meteor shower?
The meteor shower consists of particles that collapsed away from the 16-mile-wide (26-kilometer) comet as it zoomed in and out of the inner solar system.
Comet Swift-Tuttle It last ventured into our territory in 1992 and will next swing by in the year 2126, but the dusty trail still lingers and the debris manages to put up a beautiful display as it burns through our atmosphere as it passes Earth.
During the peak meteor shower, northern hemisphere skywatchers can expect to see up to 60 to 70 bright stars per hour, provided they find some dark and clear skies to watch.
The 2016 shower was energetic, with nearly 200 meteors an hour lighting up the sky thanks to Jupiter pulling at the comet’s dust trail, allowing Earth to slide deeper into the stream.
When will the Perseids meteor shower peak?
For northern hemisphere skywatchers, meteor showers are often at their best during the early hours before dawn.
How and where to watch the Perseids meteor shower
Remember, it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to the dark, and don’t worry about buying any fancy equipment – you’ll be able to see everything easily with the naked eye, especially if you can get out of town and away from smog and light pollution.
You can help find enough dark spot near you, by using this Artificial sky brightness atlas.
Unfortunately, the event is below the horizon for those in most parts of the Southern Hemisphere.
An earlier version of this article was published in 2017.
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