Meteor shower of the year coming up

Christopher Davidson
August 8, 2018

The meteors are bits and pieces of space rubble broken off from the speeding Comet Swift-Tuttle.

This year the meteor shower will peak on the night of August 12, going into August 13.

Perseid meteors tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn.

By around mid-August, the Earth crosses paths with the comet's orbital debris trail which spectacularly intensifies the meteor shower.

Skygazers can witness up to a whopping 60 and 70 meteors every hours.

Every year stargazers look to the sky mid-August to see a spectacular display. Best of all, constellations and the Milky Way should be highly visible due to a New Moon on August 11, meaning there will not be as much light to drown out the stars.

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In 2018, the peak night of this shower will be totally free of moonlight.

"The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, visible in the northern sky soon after sunset this time of year". So you can definitely catch them in advance.

The higher the Perseids' radiant during the peak, the more meteors you will see.

The fireballs can and will appear in the sky randomly, so the best thing to do is to lie back comfortably and absorb as much of the open sky as possible. You can tell if a meteor is a Perseid by following its direction backwards and, if it's coming from the direction of Perseus, it's a Perseid.

The meteors are incredibly fast moving and trying to spot them with a telescope or high-powered binoculars would only complicate matters. Just make sure you have a clear view of a large swathe of the sky and be patient.

While you'll get the best meteor rates in a rural area, far from light pollution, you still might be able to see some meteors from a city or suburb.

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