The Perseid Meteor Shower Will Reach Its Pinnacle Tonight: Here's How to See It

Monday, 12 August 2019 - 12:41PM
Solar System
Monday, 12 August 2019 - 12:41PM
The Perseid Meteor Shower Will Reach Its Pinnacle Tonight: Here's How to See It
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Whether you've been hoping to catch a fireball this year or you just want a better way to spend a Monday night than drinking yourself into the cradle of Lethean forgetfulness that only alcohol can offer the living, look no further: the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks tonight, promising a glimpse of the universe's love of blowing things up and sending their fragments hurtling through the sky.


The best time to watch, according to Forbes (where we get all of our information on astronomy) is from midnight to 5am, wherever you are (assuming that you are outside and it is dark). Urbanites and others afflicted by light pollution may find themselves additionally vexed by the evening's full moon, but don't let that stop you. Just get as far away from city lights (and your cell phone) as possible and look Heavenward. 


The Perseids become visible every year when Earth passes through the tail of comet 109p/Swift-Tuttle, which leaves a massive, multi-billion mile swath of debris that is vaporized in our atmosphere. The shower gets its name because it appears to originate from the constellation Perseus, which is visible in the northern sky. According to NASA, the Perseids are well-known for their fireballs, which, as their name suggests, tend to be bright, colorful, and long-lasting. Ambient light conditions not withstanding, seasoned skywatchers can expect to see up to 100 meteors an hour during tonight's peak, so be to sure take frequent breaks from staring at the sky.


In case you missed it, here's a pilot's-eye view of last years shower.  

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