How to Catch the Best Meteor Show of the Year

Aug 11, 2019

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Every year during the summer, the earth passes through the trail of the comet Swift-Tuttle, causing one of the year’s best meteor showers. This year, the earth entered the debris left behind by the comet in late July, meaning the peak of the meteor shower is upon us in the early hours of the morning on August 12, according to NASA.

Photo by Getty Images
Photo by Getty Images

NASA is recommending that for best viewing head out after the moon sets at 3 a.m. on the night of the 11th. If you’re not willing to stay up that late, or wake up that early, you will still be able to view the meteor shower any time around 9 pm local time on the 11th.

Related: There Are Now 3 More Official ‘Dark Sky Parks’ in the US for Extraordinary Stargazing

Unfortunately, this year’s peak is coinciding with a full moon, which will impact how many meteors can be seen. With normal rates on most years hitting over 60 per hour, this year with the full moon you can expect a rate more between 15 and 20 per hour — still not too shabby.

While you’ll be able to see meteors all across the night sky, if you want to know if you saw a Perseid meteor, trace it back to where it came from. If the meteor’s origin takes you to the constellation Perseus — hence the Perseid name — then you managed to see a Perseid meteor.

For best viewing, pick a dark location devoid of bright lights or other light pollution. Also, remember that your eyes will need to adjust fully to the dark, which can take up to 30 minutes. As for the cellphone, leave it inside. The light from using your device will cause your eyes to readjust to the light, making it hard to see the meteors.

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Featured photo by Getty Images

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