Sky and Telescope News
So why don't we call these meteors the "Swift-Tuttlids"? Great question! It's known instead as the Perseids because the meteors all seem to radiate across the sky from the direction of the constellation Perseus. This apparent point of origin, called the radiant, is actually just a trick of perspective.
But you don't need to look at the radiant to spot a Perseid meteor because they can appear anywhere and everywhere in the sky. So the best direction to watch is wherever your sky is darkest, and that's usually straight up. Faint Perseids appear as tiny, quick streaks. Occasional brighter ones may sail across the heavens for several seconds and leave a brief train of glowing smoke.
Begin watching for them soon after evening twilight ends. By then the shower's radiant has risen above the northeastern horizon. The few Perseids that appear this early will be spectacularly long "Earthgrazers" that skim along the top of the atmosphere.
The higher the radiant is in the sky, the more meteors you'll see, and it's highest in the hours before dawn. Typically you can see about 1 Perseid per minute near the peak if you have a dark, Moonless sky.
Speaking of the Moon, another reason to stay up late is that light from the waxing gibbous Moon, just one day past first-quarter phase, will hinder the viewing slightly. But it should set about 1 a.m.
A Bonus Year for the Perseids?
Comet Swift-Tuttle's orbit extends way out, far beyond the orbit of Pluto, and about every 12 years Jupiter passes near it. Each time that happens (most recently in November 2014), the giant planet's gravity tugs the particles passing by at the time, pushing them closer to Earth's orbit than they otherwise would. Those perturbed particles are due to arrive in Earth's vicinity this year — so get ready for what might be a bumper crop of shooting stars.
Dynamicist Mikhail Maslov predicts that the maximum Perseid rate will be roughly double the usual — but that the peak will come during daylight hours for North America. He suggests that other strands of debris, some ejected by the comet as long ago as 1479, might also collide with Earth. The upshot is that in the hours just before and after 23 UT on August 11th (well placed for Europe but only 7 p.m. EDT) we might get a secondary boost of 10 to 20 meteors per hour above the background rate.
Meanwhile, French meteor expert Jérémie Vaubaillon predicts an enhanced peak around 1 a.m. EDT on August 12th — generally good for North America and ideal for those on the East Coast.
No Equipment Needed
To enjoy the Perseid meteors, you need no equipment but your eyes. Find a dark spot with a wide-open view overhead. Bring a reclining lawn chair or a ground cloth so you can lie back and watch the sky in comfort. Bundle up in blankets or a sleeping bag, both for mosquito shielding and for warmth; clear nights can grow surprisingly chilly under the open stars (due to radiational cooling).
If you're planning to try your hand at photographing the Perseids, all you really need is a camera. Get advice from S&T contributing editor Jerry Lodriguss here: "How to Photograph a Meteor Shower".
Occasionally you might spot an interloper. The weaker Delta Aquariid and Kappa Cygnid showers are also active during Perseid season, and there are always a few random, “sporadic” meteors. All of these track back to other parts of the sky. Any light pollution will cut down the numbers visible. But the brightest few meteors shine right through light pollution. So enjoy the show!
And if it's cloudy on the night of August 11–12? Don't fret. First of all, the shower produces plenty of meteors for at least a week before and after this date. Second, you can always tune in to a webcast provided by someone in the clear. For example, the astronomers at Bareket Observatory in Israel invite you to join them on both August 11th and 12th beginning at 19:00 UT (3 p.m. EDT). The team at Slooh is also webcasting live, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT on August 11th.Tips on how to cook healthy meals what does cybersecurity do How to make 100k a year what does skim mean what are utility bills How to do tricks in fifa 22 ps4 what does rt mean what does godspeed mean Tips on how to memorize a script Tricks to tell what door the pig is behind what does continental breakfast mean What tips for andromeda jupiter what does 100 hairs look like How to build an ar15? what does demean mean How to combine photos on iphone? Tips when going to driving practice beginner Tips on how to be more musical what does avalon mean How long to bake sweet potatoes at 400? what does loki mean How to recover permanently deleted photos? what does interdependence mean How to buy safemoon crypto? if your ears itch what does it mean what does the ghost emoji mean sexually How to spell cancelled How to do tricks with a fushigi ball step by step what does flank mean How long to cook chicken breast in air fryer what does abnormal mean on a covid test what does the arrow mean on iphone what does expound mean How to whistle loud? Episode of new tricks where jack halford died How to use nail tips as full nails what are the covid symptoms what does skete mean what does intoxicated mean what does fragmented mean Tara kuther provides you with tips on how to overcome procrastination a what covid variant are we on How to take off tips at home What is the difference between team and tips certified How to make a gmail account How to make triple flange earbud tips How long to cook salmon at 350? what are rabies what does it mean to be pansexual what does it mean to be grounded How long does it take to boil potatoes? what apps are trump banned from How to write a song How long to become a nurse? what does adl stand for what does ta mean How to dye tips of short hair what does diversity and inclusion mean to you what does debridement mean what does loose mean what does abarrio mean what does encounter mean How to change privacy settings on twitter what percentage of colon polyps are cancerous what does mocking mean what does the name tucker mean what are draws How to flush your sinuses at home what does xyzbca mean which mean girls character are you what does the name chris mean 10 tips on how to stay safe online How to last long on bed? what are norms what does a male orgasm feel like Banks that are good for people who work for tips How to increase volume on iphone what does mirabel mean Cast of how to train your dragon what does it mean when laxatives don't work what does motif mean what does railing someone mean How to do your eyebrows what does charge off mean what does it mean to be a team player How to become an interior designer How to lower psa before test? Tips on how to use agar to make vegan cheese How to take oregano oil by mouth? what does rem sleep mean what does 3 mean How to suture? How to draw a shirt what are people from holland called How to write a follow up email? How to cast to tv? what does soliciting mean what does blasphemy against the spirit mean How to draw a owl? How to get rid of strawberry legs? what does uttering mean Video game speed running tips how to start How to track your tax return How to impress a girl? what time does bjs open today what does it mean when she calls you daddy what does epa stand for what does 33 mean in texting what does sound mean what are bon bons How to replace earbud tips How to draw anime comics tips and notes How to make corn tortillas what does antepartum mean How to make tamales? what are the disadvantages of a trust what does 637 mean what does persnickety mean