Perseid meteor shower – a starry spectacle

  • August 25, 2015

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.

Photo courtesy of slworking2

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.

Photo courtesy of nate2b

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.

Photo courtesy of David Kingham

The source of the Perseid meteor shower is the Comet Swift-Tuttle – the largest object known to make repeated passes near Earth.

Photo courtesy of mLu.fotos

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.

Photo courtesy of Sean Molin

 

The denser the comet rubble (meteoroids) the more meteors you’ll see shooting across the sky.

blog comments powered by Disqus