Annual Perseid Meteor Shower: How And When To Watch It

Stars Above: Moonlit meteors and Mercury mornings

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the most-anticipated meteor showers of 2019, peaks on Monday night, but the nearly-full moon might put a damper on things this year.

Dubbed the Persied meteor shower, the mesmerising light show occurs every August as the Swift-Tuttle comet shoots past Earth. That means the sky is very bright with light reflected off the Moon, which will make any Perseid meteors more hard to see.

When viewed from Melbourne for instance, the shower will be best seen after midnight local time. "Those in southern latitudes can look toward the northeast to see more meteors", the article explains. Find a secluded viewing spot away from city lights. NASA reports the Perseids are best seen between about 2 a.m. and dawn. The Perseids are known for providing many of these types of meteors who leave trains that last a second or so. According to NASA, in years with no moonlight, the Perseids usually produce around 60 meteors per hour. The meteors fly across the sky in multiple directions and in front of many constellations.

Due to the moon, spectators this year should try to keep the moon out of their sight and look to the darkest part of the sky. "Just know that you won't see almost as many as you would had you gone out during the early morning hours". When Earth passes through the debris, specks of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 miles per hour and disintegrate in flashes of light, according to NASA. According to the NASA website, the space agency plans to have a live broadcast from a camera in Huntsville, Alambama.

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Actually, avoiding all light sources is the best way to ensure you can see the meteors.

NASA said telescopes and binoculars are not recommended.

Were there no bright moon to interfere, a single observer in a location free of any bright lights and with a wide-open view of the sky would see anywhere from 50 to 100 meteors per hour.

"They are called Perseids since the radiant-the area of the sky where the meteors seem to originate-is located near the prominent constellation of Perseus the hero when at maximum activity", a statement from the AMS read.

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