Perseid meteor shower 2021: How to watch the best show of the year

A Perseid meteor crosses the sky in 2016.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

It’s one of the most dazzling celestial shows seen on Earth: The Perseid meteor shower. So-called “shooting stars” will blaze over the Earth in July and August, thanks to particles from massive comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle slamming into Earth’s ambiance. You don’t desire to miss it — and this is how one can see the shower because it ramps up.

According to NASA, the annual Perseids are lively from now by Aug. 24, with the peak coming in mid-August. The house company says it is “considered the best meteor shower of the year.”

The Perseids are common for his or her reliability and the potential for spectacular fireballs. “The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers (50 to 100 meteors seen per hour) and occur with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view them,” said NASA in a Perseids explainer geared for the Northern Hemisphere. 

Fireballs occur when bigger items of comet particles strike the ambiance, creating lengthy, brilliant streaks, the variety that make you say “Whoa!” Ready to get excited? Check out these images from final year’s shower:

Catch a taking pictures star

At its easiest, viewing the meteor shower is nearly heading out at evening and looking out up, however there are some steps you possibly can take to enhance your probabilities at catching a very good show. You’re in luck for those who’re a super-early riser. The pre-dawn hours are a first-rate viewing time, however NASA additionally says you possibly can see the meteors as early as 10 p.m. native time.

Some of the greatest obstacles to good meteor viewing are cloudy climate and lightweight air pollution. Aim for a transparent evening and take a look at to get away from metropolis lights. A hammock, blanket or a chair that leans again will prevent from craning your neck. Give your eyes a lot of time to regulate to the darkness.

You can spot the meteors wherever in the sky, although they get their identify as a result of they seem to be radiating from the constellation Perseus. To discover Perseus, check out a stargazing app that may enable you find the constellation. Perseus is not the precise supply of the shower, however it may be useful in monitoring down the generally elusive streaks of gentle.    

Watch a livestream

The Virtual Telescope Project will host a livestreamed Perseids viewing session on Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. PT. “This year, the sky conditions will be perfect, with no moon interference,” stated VTP founder Gianluca Masi in an announcement.

You haven’t got to watch for the mid-August peak to get pleasure from the motion. A darkish spot on a transparent evening can ship a worthwhile viewing expertise all through the Perseids’ go to. Catch these taking pictures stars whilst you can.

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to keep up to date with all the newest house information this year. You may even add it to your individual Google Calendar.      

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