The Perseid meteor shower that began July 17 is going to peak tonight. It is the most widely observed celestial event of the year. When it peaks in the overnight hours of Wednesday and Thursday, you will be able to see up to 90 meteors hitting our planet’s atmosphere per hour.
Get up early on Thursday
Though last year’s event was overshadowed by supermoon, this year’s Perseid meteor shower peaks just a day before the new moon. It means you will be able to see even fainter meteors in the dark sky. NASA has already released a video explaining how to see this year’s Perseid meteor shower. But what is the best time to watch?
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According to NASA, the best time to see the shooting stars is the pre-dawn hours Thursday morning. To be more precise, get up early and enjoy the event at its peak between 4am and 5am ET Thursday. Of course, you can also watch the spectacle between 11pm and 2am when the Sun is on the opposite side of our planet. The meteors appear to originate in the northeast near the constellation Perseus.
If the clouds are too thick in your area or you couldn’t watch it, the next best time to see it is 9pm on Thursday. The best thing is that you don’t need a telescope or any other instrument to enjoy the celestial fireworks. The Perseid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle. As the tiny debris enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up, leaving trails of light.
NASA, Slooh to stream Perseid meteor shower online
If you live in the glow of city lights, you will likely see only the brightest meteors. But that’s still worth it because the Perseids are among the brightest meteor showers of the year. If you still don’t get a chance to look out for the meteors, Slooh and NASA both will be streaming the Perseid meteor shower online, starting at 8pm and 10pm ET Wednesday, respectively.
After Thursday’s peak, the number of meteors will decline by 50% each night over the next couple of weeks. But you will still be able to see them until August 25.