2013 Perseid Meteor Shower to Dazzle

Viewers should be able to observe around 60 "shooting stars" per hour during this year's Perseid Meteor Shower. The peak viewing will be Aug. 11 – 12.

Meteor streaking across the sky. Photo Credit: NASA
Meteor streaking across the sky. Photo Credit: NASA

Written by Beatrice Karnes

The Perseid meteor shower is already underway and will continue thru Aug. 24. The peak viewing will be Aug. 11 – 12. Stargazers could see upward of 60 meteorites flash before them per hour.

According to Astronomy.com, the Perseid Meteor shower has some added bonuses this year: It will occur on a night when the moon is in its waning crescent phase, which means the moonlight will interfere only slightly with your view of the meteors.

You don't even need a telescope. Just spread out a blanket, perhaps a late-night picnic, lay back and enjoy!  

Perseid Meteor Trivia:

  • Mankind has looked up at the Perseids for nearly 2,000 years.
  • The Perseids are remnants of the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the sun every 133 years.
  • These bits of comet "ice and dust" are more than 1,000 years old.
  • These meteors travel 37 miles per second.
  • The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere.
  • Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus, which forms an inverted "Y" shape and is in the northeast.
  • Some of the meteorites are as small as a grain of sand, but they have the kinetic energy of a nuclear bomb!
  • If you see a very slow, bright object sailing across the sky, it's either a satellite or a Space Station.

Where and how to view:

  • The best time to view will be Aug. 11 and 12.
  • Avoid city lights. The further you get from town, the better your view will be.
stephanie August 12, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Would have been nice to see the article BEFORE the peak viewing times, rather than after.
Brent Champaco August 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM
Hey stephanie - thanks for the input. Just FYI, tonight is the second of two peak viewing nights, so you haven't missed anything. The shower actually lasts through the 24th, and we did originally post about this in July. This was just a reminder for tonight. If you're watching, we'd love for you to send us any pictures if you photograph any of the spectacle tonight. Hope that addresses your concerns. Thanks for using Patch!
stephanie September 13, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Thanks Brent. I missed it anyway and I missed the July post (or forgot about it, lol). I look forward to it every year and always manage to remember AFTER. I bet people got some great photos! At least we have the Leonids in November, if the weather clears for us! :)


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