USAK, TURKEY - AUGUST 13: Perseid meteors streak across the night sky over the ancient city of Mesotimolos in Esme district of Turkey's western Usak province on August 13, 2019. Visitors observed 60 to 80 meteors that were visible with the naked eye. (Photo by Soner Kilinc/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Photo by: Anadolu Agency

Anadolu Agency

The Perseid Meteor Shower Reaches its Peak

By: Discovery

Stargazers rejoice! The annual Perseid meteor shower is upon us. Here's what you need to know...

Stargazers rejoice! The annual Perseid meteor shower is upon us. Though the annual spectacle began in mid-July, Monday night into Tuesday marked the shower’s peak as Earth passes through debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The Comet Swift-Tuttle was last seen in 1992. It’s one of the largest objects to have repeatedly crossed paths with Earth, measuring approximately 16 miles across and flying through space at approximately 36 miles per second. That’s 150 times the speed of sound! Though we’re not scheduled to see the comet again until 2126, we’re reminded of our celestial guest each year as we pass through its trail of dust and debris, which creates the Perseid meteor shower.

Those in the Northern Hemisphere had the best views, with the ideal viewing times beginning 2 am Tuesday morning and continuing through dawn. Though sightings were down due to the brightness of a nearly full moon, stargazers across the globe were rewarded with spectacular views of the annual celestial phenomena.

If you missed last night’s show, don’t worry. The meteor shower is expected to continue through August 24th. To view, simply find a location away from bright city lights and light pollution, and allow your eyes to adjust to the night sky. If you’re lucky enough to see a meteor, don’t forget to make wish!

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Tonight is the peak of the Perseids, which is often considered the best meteor shower of the year. The Perseids are even known to produce a good amount of 'fireballs,' which are meteors that provide brighter and larger streaks. If you're in the Northern hemisphere, the best time to grab your blankets and binoculars and head toward dark skies will be between 2am and dawn (local time). Keep in mind that this year's peak meteor shower might be a bit outshined by the nearly-full moon. This means the skies won't be as dark as we'd ideally want them to be. Even still, you'll surely be able to catch a handful of brilliant, fiery slashes of light across the night sky. So, get your best stargazing snacks and enjoy a night of watching some meteors as you meditate on the fact that you're an ephemeral ape suspended on a spinning rock barreling through the vacuum of space at thousands of miles per hour. . . . Photo via @nasa . . . Follow @scientificphilosopher for more #science and #philosophy 🌌 🤔 Or read more on my blog via the link in my bio #perseidmeteorshower #theperseids #meteorshower #stargazing #starstuff #nasa #nasaphoto #space #spacephotography #physics #scienceteacher #astrophysics

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Are you shooting the meteor shower tonight? Although the moon’s glare will make it difficult to spot the smaller ones, it is still possible to enjoy a good show! Perseids are one of the most generous and abundant meteor showers, so grab your cameras and head out for a night under the stars. Image, Today’s APOD: Perseid Meteors over Slovakia by Petr Horálek @petrhoralek From NASA/APOD Explanation: Tonight is a good night to see meteors. Comet dust will rain down on planet Earth, streaking through dark skies during the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. The featured composite image was taken during last year's Perseids from the Poloniny Dark Sky Park in Slovakia. The unusual building in the foreground is a planetarium on the grounds of Kolonica Observatory. Although the comet dust particles travel parallel to each other, the resulting shower meteors clearly seem to radiate from a single point on the sky in the eponymous constellation Perseus. The radiant effect is due to perspective, as the parallel tracks appear to converge at a distance, like train tracks. The Perseid Meteor Shower is expected to peak after midnight tonight, although unfortunately this year the sky will be brightened by a near full Moon • Tag #TheNakedSingularity for a feature ✌🏻 Clear Skies 🌌 #Perseids #perseids2019 #perseidmeteorshower #astrophotography #astronomy #astropics #astrostuff #photography #nightphotography #longexposure #landscape #instalike #instagood #cosmos #stargazing #lookup

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