Perseid Meteors: See A Light Show Tonight

Meteor

Tonight is one of the final nights to see the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which will be visible until August 14. In the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll be able to see as many as 50 meteors per hour, all with the naked eye.

Every year from mid July through mid August the Earth crosses through the path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle and the debris in the comet’s path creates the lightshow you can see tonight. According to EarthSky.org, the pieces of debris are crossing through the Earth’s upper atmosphere at 130,000 miles per hour. The more dense the area of debris is the more meteors you can see.

For the best view of the shower, you will need to make it a late night. A clear, dark sky is crucial for the best sightings. As EarthSky.org explains, an open sky is essential because the meteors will fly across the sky in various directions. The biggest key to creating the optimal viewing environment is to get away from ambient light. If you live in or around a major city you’ll need to make a late-night trek to a more rural area. Once the artificial light is removed, assuming a clear night, you’ll be able to see and identify the well-known constellations. The Perseid Meteors all originate from a point near the constellation Perseus, but you don’t need to find the constellation to see the shower. As EarthSky.org says, simply give your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness and then take at least an hour to observe the sky.  The odds are you will be treated to a great show.

Enjoying these natural phenomenon can be a great way to spend a night with friends and family. Grab a few outdoor chairs, some blankets, pack a picnic, maybe some wine, and watch a performance by the sky instead of seeing a movie tonight.

To learn more about the Perseid Meteor Shower click here.