The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, a celestial spectacle of the meteors beaming through a starlit galaxy. The Perseid meteor showers, which have been active for over a month, are set to peak in the dark hours before dawn on the morning of August 12. It’s four days after the new moon on August 8 which make for stellar sky-gazing conditions, according to Space.com
Viewable from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, the Perseid meteor shower will rain down from the heavens, peaking on the mornings of August 11,12, and 13. As per EarthSky, “the greatest number of meteors is most likely to fall in the predawn hours on August 12.
Although rates of Perseids will be highest from the early morning hours of August 12 until August 14, all told, the meteor shower will last about two weeks, from July 25 to August 18. The showers will also be active in evening hours, but at a much lower rate.
The Perseid meteor showers occur every year beginning in July. The first record of this phenomenon can be traced back to 36 AD. Since then, numerous references to the showers have been recorded throughout the millennia. The showers get their name from the Perseus constellation of their origin. The phenomenon occurs as a result of Earth colliding with the orbital path of the comet, Swift-Tuttle:
“Dusty debris left behind by this comet smashes into Earth’s upper atmosphere, lighting up the nighttime as fiery Perseid meteors.”
While you might have picture-perfect 20/20 vision, you’d do yourself one better by coming equipped with binoculars to get a closer look at the interstellar spectacle.
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