1161449834

1161449834

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!


View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Science & Such | 📚 (@the.scientific.philosopher) on


View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Astronomy & Astrophotography (@thenakedsingularity) on


Next Up

SpaceX vs. the Universe

Fans of space are having a tough time picking sides over a recent controversy between SpaceX and astronomers. But what's the big debate all about? Astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter digs into both perspectives.

Welcome to the Surface of Mars

Through the use of cutting-edge instruments, scientists finally have the opportunity to probe deep beneath the surface and ascertain exactly how the terrestrial planet formed.

Let’s Look for Water on the Moon

NASA is headed to the moon, but this time it's in search of water. Astrophysicist Paul M Sutter shares what this means and why it's important.

Last Call for the King of Planets

This month Jupiter is entering conjunction which means it's the last chance this year to catch a glimpse of the largest planet in our solar system.

Where should we go? The Moon or Mars?

There’s been a lot of excitement around space exploration recently. Astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter discusses the viability between the Moon and Mars.

Check out the Earth’s 800,000 Year Old Battle Wound

Scientists may have discovered the location of an ancient buried crater, a result of a meteorite that barreled into the Earth some 800,000 years ago.

Today Mercury Crossed the Face of the Sun

Today, from 7:35 am to 1:04 pm ET, Mercury lined up with the sun, which is called a transit. But what does this mean? Why is it rare? Read on.

Thanksgiving Snooze: Is it the Bird or the Booze?

There’s a reason for your post-Thanksgiving-meal “itis,” but don’t blame it on the turkey.

Following Blue Origin’s NS-12 Rocket Launch

Blue Origin, Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ spaceflight company, is rescheduled to launch its NS-12 reusable spacecraft on Wednesday, December 11. Watch it LIVE.

Voyager 2 is Really Far Out There, Man

Currently Voyager 2 is about 11 billion miles from the Earth, and has been traveling at speeds of tens of thousands of miles per hour since its launch in 1977. Read more to see where it is now and what we've learned.