Perseid Peak

2:14 pm in Astronomy by Ted Keller


The Perseid meteor shower should peak tonight as the earth passes through the most dense portion of the wide comet trail of Swift-Tuttle.

The peak could be as high as 100 meteors per hour although this can never be accurately known and certainly can’t be pinned down to the specific hour.

Clouds in the Ozarks this afternoon are turning into showers and storms and what typically happens is the lower portion of these storms will vanish but will leave “debris” or leftover clouds up high.  I doubt these will cause any serious obstructions to viewing.

Another aid will be the lack of a moon tonight, helping to make the sky as dark as possible.  You will what to help yourself in this regard by getting as far away from city lights or local light sources as possible.

Lots of people have been asking when and where to look.  The when is easy, the darkest time of the night so if you are too close to sunrise or sunset, your chances are limited.  Only the very largest meteors will be visible during let’s say twilight and since many people will be awake still during this part of the evening, these meteors often obtain a lot of attention when and if they occur!

Where?  The radiant direction is the point in the sky where meteors will appear to be coming from and in this case it is the constellation Perseus which at around midnight will be in the northeastern sky.  Of course, the constellation rises the later it becomes.  I really think just looking up and watching carefully will do just fine.