Perseids meteor shower to light up night skies in August. When and how to watch

  • First spotted by Nasa’s meteor-tracking cameras this year on July 26, the Perseids will peak on August 11, giving the best chance to witness one of the biggest meteor showers of the year.
A meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.(Nasa/Bill Ingalls)
A meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.(Nasa/Bill Ingalls)
Updated on Jul 31, 2021 11:01 PM IST
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By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Perseids are set to provide one of the most impressive skywatching opportunities in mid-August when the meteor shower will light up our night skies. First spotted by Nasa’s meteor-tracking cameras this year on July 26, the Perseids will peak on August 11, giving the best chance to witness one of the biggest meteor showers of the year.

Every year, the Earth passes near the path of the comet Swift-Tuttle which orbits between the Sun and beyond the orbit of Pluto. The fragments left behind by the comet show up as meteor showers in the sky. These meteor showers are called the Perseids because they appear to hail from a point that lies in the constellation Perseus.

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When and how to watch the Perseids?

In the United States, the peak viewing hours will be from midnight to dawn of August 12. Nasa said in a blog post that people in the Northern Hemisphere living far away from light pollution may spot more than 40 Perseids an hour. Those in the city may see only a few every hour. The intervening night of Aug 12 will also be a great opportunity to witness the meteor shower.

To watch the Perseids, people should avoid bright lights and give time to their eyes to adjust to the dark, said Nasa.

The meteor shower will appear as quick, small streaks of light and those unable to see it with their naked eyes can tune in to Nasa’s live streaming on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The live stream will start at 10pm CDT (8.30am IST) and end at 5am CDT (3.30pm IST) overnight August 11-12. If skies are cloudy, Nasa will try live streaming, hosted by the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, at the same time on August 12-13.

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Monday, October 25, 2021