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Perseid Meteor Shower on Utah Skies

Celestron Sky Portal App with permission

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the best and most reliable meteor showers of the year. This year the shower is predicted to peak Tuesday night August 11th after 10 PM and into the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning on August 12th. This meteor shower regularly produces 50 to 100 meteors an hour at its peak. A great feature of this meteor shower is that occurs on the warm nights of August each year.

The meteors of this shower are often bright and move quickly across the sky leaving streaks of color and light as they pass. Often fireballs are associated with this meteor shower. Fireballs are made of large particles that slam into the higher atmosphere, exploding and leaving long bright colorful trains behind them.

One factor to remember this year when viewing the meteor shower is the presence of a 3rd quarter moon which will rise before 1 am on Wednesday morning and will be visible until dawn. The moon will light up the sky somewhat and have the effect of making the fainter meteors harder to see. Enough meteors will be visible to make it worth your effort to observe this celestial show.

The small pieces of rock that create this meteor shower originate from Comet Swift-Tuttle which orbits the sun every 133 years. Each year in August the earth plows into the debris left behind by this periodic comet.

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