Perseids meteor shower lights up the sky: What you need to know

One of the best meteor showers of the year is becoming increasingly visible this month!

Aug 4, 2021, 4:23 PM

Updated 1,037 days ago

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One of the best meteor showers of the year is set to light up our skies this month!
The Perseids are set to peak during the middle of August, though they are visible annually from mid-July to late August.
They consist of dust particles and debris from 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered back in 1862.
This meteor shower is one of the best for a few reasons. First, the meteors are plentiful; around 50-100 are visible during the shower's peak. The Perseids are also known for quality, not just quantity. The are very fast - up to 140,000 mph -  and very bright, often leaving long trails as they streak across the sky. These 'fireballs,' as they are known, occur because the debris consists of comet material. Finally, the fact that they occur on warm summer nights in the Northern Hemisphere means comfortable viewing conditions!
Meteors are visible after 10 p.m. through the pre-dawn hours. Look toward the northeast sky, toward the constellation Perseus. While not the source of the meteors, this is the constellation that the Perseids get their name from. This point in the sky from which the meteors appear to come from is known as the radiant.


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