If you’ve been missing the Perseid Meteor shower, no worries, because there’s still a chance to see the best meteor shower of the year until 24th August! Can’t get outside? Watch the peak of the meteor shower tonight thanks to NASA’s live feed here.
The further away from light pollution you are, the better, so seek out dark skies. Fortunately the crescent moon is helping to darken our skies. After the moon sets around midnight is your best chance to spot these fireballs as they hurtle past the Perseus constellation at a velocity of 59 km per second. Under the best conditions, we might see up to 60 meteors streaking across the night sky every hour!
Curious about what causes these fleeting streams of light? Debris from the “Swift-Tuttle” (or 109P) comet is the source of the Perseid meteors, and was discovered by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle in 1862. The next time this comet will swing through our skies will be 2126 AD. Learn more from NASA’s ScienceCast:
Above photo by Dani Pozo, Getty Images: multiple exposure of Perseid meteor shower early morning 11th August, 2013 in the mountains of Sierra Norte de Madrid