The Perseid meteor shower is here! While the peak won’t be until August 12 2013 — any night until then should offer a great show. And early reports are that there seem to be a lot of bright fireballs this year. 🙂 If you can make the time — I highly recommend that you watch the perseids this year, with the combination of the Moon entering its darker phase towards the peak, and a high predicted peak rate, this year’s show should be great. The New Moon will be occurring exactly on August 6th — so the sky will be nice and dark from now until after the peak.
The Perseids are predicted to reach a peak rate of around 70-100 meteors an hour this year — though it’s possible that it may end up higher. The best time to watch will be sometime in the early morning — sometime around 2-3 am is probably our best bet. The meteors will seem to be radiating out of the constellation of Perseus — located in the northeastern portion of the night sky, as seen in August, in the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll see meteors regardless of which part of the sky you’re watching though. The meteor shower will reach peak rates between August 10 – 13, but they’re visible throughout most of August.
Make sure to check out all of the other great meteor showers of the year: Meteor Showers 2013, Dates and Times, Leonids, Perseids, Geminids, Draconids, Orionids, Taurids, Etc
Some things to note/clarify:
– The exact peak in 2013 will be during the early morning hours of August 12 (late-night on August 11).
– The Northern Hemisphere gets a somewhat better show than the Southern Hemisphere — but not by too much, both hemispheres are good to watch from.
– A tip: Get comfortable. A nice reclining chair, some warm clothes or blankets, coffee, etc, all help to make the experience much more enjoyable.
– Try to get as far from city as you can — bright city lights greatly cut down on how many meteors you can see. What you want is the darkest sky that you can find.
– You need to give your eyes time to adjust to the dark in order to see most meteors. So turn your mobile devices off. Or, at the very least, dim the screen to the lowest possible setting.