It's Your Last Chance To Turn Your Eyes To The Skies For The 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower This Week
Every year around this time, at least since 36CE, a light show has commanded the attention of skywatchers around the world. Named after the constellation that appears to be their starting point (which in turn is named after the children of the Greek God, Perseus), the Perseids are a meteor shower that are visible for just over a month beginning in July. If you haven't seen them in the past couple of weeks or if you have and want more, here's everything you need to know: including some awesome timelapse footage of the free show.
According to National Geographic, the Perseids are visible from July 17 to August 24. During the peak of the showers this week (August 12-13), around 90 meteors were seen streaking across the night sky every hour. Visibility was increased because the shower only had the light of a thin crescent moon to compete with. They were best seen from the northern hemisphere, with watchers in Macedonia, Las Vegas – you probably had to be away from the light pollution of the casinos – Italy, Colorado, and Greece sharing beautiful photographs of the event with Space.com. The AvTur Cruising YouTube channel shared this 4K timelapse of the event as seen from the cockpit of a plane flying north from Sardinia, over Corsica and Nice, and towards Paris.
So how do you see the Perseids now that you've missed the peak? Just look up! The moon is still pretty thin, and according to Space.com the showers are best seen in a dark sky. Get away from the bright lights of the city (if you can) and scan the skies, as the meteors can come from any direction (while still originating in the same radiant of the constellation Perseus). There are mobile apps like SkySafari that will give detailed information on the location of the comet (Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle) that is the source of the Perseids. If that sounds like too much work, you can always put a pin in it until next year and watch the peak via a livestream, like the one below that was presented by Slooh on August 12.