Perseid meteor shower – a starry spectacle
Extra dark skies are the optimal viewing backdrop when it comes to stargazing – and that’s exactly what you want when there’s a Perseid meteor shower. These meteor showers are visible in the northern hemisphere and on a clear, moonless night you can spot up to 70 meteors per hour during it’s peak around 9 to 13 August.
Since we are in the Southern Hemisphere and not able to view the Perseid meteor shower, we’ve decided to give you a glimpse of its beauty.
Perseid meteor showers, the shooting star spectacle that happens annually from mid-July to mid-August, is one of the most highly anticipated meteor showers of the year.
If you’re really lucky, you might even spot an Earth-grazing fireball (also known as an Earth-grazer), a long, slow and colourful meteor travelling horizontally across the night sky. Look out for Earth-grazers from early to mid-evening.
You don’t need any special equipment to watch the shower, just a comfortable spot under the dark, open, moonless nightsky, away from the artificial lights of the city.
The source of the Perseid meteor shower is the Comet Swift-Tuttle – the largest object known to make repeated passes near Earth.
Once a year, from mid-July to the end of August, Earth crosses the Comet Swift-Tuttle’s orbital path. When this happens bits and pieces slam into the Earth’s upper atmosphere, lighting up the night sky with fast-paced Perseid showers.
The denser the comet rubble (meteoroids) the more meteors you’ll see shooting across the sky.