The Annual Perseid Meteor Shower is now underway and is predicted to reach its peak on the early morning of Tuesday, August 13. During the meteor shower an average of 60 meteors per hour can be seen. Many of them are bright, leaving trails across the sky. They can be seen radiating like spokes of a wheel from a central point in the constellation Perseus. Fireballs are often associated with this meteor shower.
This year, the Perseid’s will be compromised somewhat by the presence of a nearly full moon. The light from the moon will outshine some of the dimmer meteors but after the moon sets around 4:30 am more meteors will become visible.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is associated with the periodic comet Swift-Tuttle. It is called a periodic comet because it returns again and again every 133 years. Comet Swift-Tuttle has left a cloud of debris that follows it around the sun. Each August the earth plows through this cloud of debris causing this regular major meteor shower.
To see it, look to the northeast after 10:00 pm on August 12 and in the early morning hours of August 13 for the best views. A reclining lawn chair facing the northeast will afford you a relaxing and comfortable way to observe this wonderful celestial event.