The Perseid meteor shower is starting to happen right now! The Perseids are bits of ice and dust from the former comet Swift-Tuttle, and the Earth passes through the debris every August. This annual event takes place each Summer, and the overnights of August 11, 12, 13, and 14 are the best nights to take this in! The best night for viewing will be the early morning hours of August 13th. This year, the waning crescent moon comes up shortly before sunrise, so you are going to enjoy a great meteor show in the dark skies without the moonlight screwing things up. The best times to view the meteor shower will be after midnight until dusk in the morning.
You might see 100 or more meteors per hour during the early morning hours. And you don’t need any special equipment to enjoy the show. To see the meteor show the best, find a very dark place, and stay away from city lights. Give yourself a little time for your eyes to adjust to the nighttime sky. Also find a dark spot with nothing obscuring the view. But if you live in a city, or just cannot go out and watch for yourself, NASA has a great way to view the Perseids. On August 12th starting at 9 pm central, until 1 am central on August 13th, NASA will host a livestream online and on NASA TV. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville will host the livestream, and they will talk about the science of Swift-Tuttle and other NASA comet and meteor research, and show some meteors as well!
Want to ask a question, use the hashtag #askNASA!