Perseid meteor shower 2021 peak: How to watch the stunning fireball show

A Perseid meteor crosses the sky in 2016.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

One of the greatest meteor showers for the yr sees capturing stars blaze throughout the evening sky for a lot of August. The Perseid meteor shower, which is lively till Aug. 24, is a stunning show of celestial fireworks stargazers will not need to miss. Here’s precisely when you may see it for your self or how to observe alongside through livestream.

According to NASA, this actually is “considered the best meteor shower of the year.” Meteor exercise will peak on the evening of Aug. 11 and morning of Aug. 12, although NASA additionally calls out the evening of Aug. 12 and morning of Aug. 13 as one other nice skywatching alternative.

“The meteors are best viewed from the northern hemisphere, and in ideal conditions with no clouds observers could see up to 50 an hour,” the Royal Astronomical Society said in a statement about the peak, which will likely be on the evening of Aug. 12 for the UK and Europe. The moon will likely be staying low-key, giving watchers a pleasant darkish sky to work with.

The Perseids are in style 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. 

On July 26, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center shared an image of a streaking Perseid meteor noticed by a digital camera at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona.

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

Catch a capturing star

At its easiest, viewing the meteor shower is nearly heading out at evening and looking out up, however there are some steps you may take to enhance your probabilities at catching an excellent show. You’re in luck if you happen to’re a super-early riser. The pre-dawn hours are a main viewing time, however NASA additionally says you may see the meteors as early as 10 p.m. native time.

Some of the largest obstacles to good meteor viewing are cloudy climate and light-weight 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 loads of time to alter 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 assist you to find the constellation. Perseus is not the precise supply of the shower, however it may be useful in monitoring down the typically elusive streaks of sunshine.    

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,” mentioned VTP founder Gianluca Masi in an announcement.

NASA will supply a livestream hosted by the Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. The streams kicks off at 8 p.m. PT on Aug. 11 on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

You haven’t got to look forward to 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 capturing stars whilst you can.

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

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