Perseid meteor shower begins: when, where to see it

Perseid meteor shower begins: when, where to see it

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The Perseids – one of the biggest meteor showers of the year – have returned this summer.

According to NASA, the evenings of August 12 and 13 are a great opportunity for skywatchers to see the show.

However, a full moon could negatively affect the outlook this year.

The agency notes that the Perseids are generally active from July 14 to August 24.

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INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA -- AUGUST 17, 2021 -- The Perseid meteor shower is seen over the Tengger Desert in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, August 17, 2020.

INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA — AUGUST 17, 2021 — The Perseid meteor shower is seen over the Tengger Desert in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, August 17, 2020.
(Photo credit should read Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

According to FOX Weather, storms could also be a negative factor, and the broadcaster said July 28 – when there’s a new moon – will also be an excellent time for stargazing.

The broadcaster noted that depending on where the viewer is located in the Northern Hemisphere, up to 40 meteors per hour could be seen during the shower’s peak.

The Perseids occur when Earth transits comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle’s debris stream and its meteors – most of which are pea-sized – produce bright “shooting stars” as they burn up in the planet’s atmosphere.

Photomontage taken on Aug. 13, 2021 shows the night sky during the Perseid meteor shower over an Engebei ecological demonstration zone in Kubuqi Desert, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Photomontage taken on Aug. 13, 2021 shows the night sky during the Perseid meteor shower over an Engebei ecological demonstration zone in Kubuqi Desert, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
(Photo by Lian Zhen/Xinhua via Getty Images)

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The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, or the shower’s “radiant one,” but can streak anywhere across the sky at speeds of 37 miles per second.

The shower is also known for its fireballs, which can last longer than your average meteor shower.

The Perseid meteor shower is seen over the Zhongtiao Mountains in Yuncheng city, north China's Shanxi province, 14 August 2021.

The Perseid meteor shower is seen over the Zhongtiao Mountains in Yuncheng city, north China’s Shanxi province, 14 August 2021.
(Photo credit should read Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Swift-Tuttle orbits between the Sun and beyond Pluto’s orbit every 133 years.

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Every year the Earth moves close to the comet’s orbit.

NASA says there’s no chance the planet will meet the comet anytime soon.

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