Perseid meteor shower: ESA capture peak of event
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Budding astronomers can catch the Perseid meteor shower, one of the most highly anticipated and observable stellar events, at its peak tonight. The shower started in midsummer this year and will last for more than a month in total as the Earth passes through the Swift-Tuttle comet trail. Meteor numbers and rates increase every night between July 16 and August 23.
The Perseids only reach their peak, known as a “maximum”, for two days.
In 2021, people can catch the Perseid maximum between August 12 and 13.
According to the Greenwich Observatory, clear skies will yield “bright and fast” meteors tonight.
The constituent Perseids will show up as streaks thanks to their light as they manifest “trains”.
And they will pass at a rate of roughly 150 per hour as they reach their peak.
Accounts suggest successful viewers will join 2,000 years of observation, despite the shower’s official discovery in the 19th century.
Not everyone will get to catch a glimpse, however, as they will need specific conditions to align.
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6.15pm update: What time will the Perseids reach ‘maximum’?
Dedicated astronomers will have been keeping their eyes peeled for the Perseids since last month.
They won’t reach their peak until tonight, however, and won’t be at their most visible until the night is darkest.
The Greenwich Observatory states the best time to watch is between “midnight and the early hours of the morning”.
They specified people will have the best opportunity around 12am to 5.30am.
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