Perseid meteor shower: ESA capture peak of event
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Astronomers track several meteor showers as they light up the night’s skies every year. The most significant of them all is the Perseid shower, which people can watch during the summer. The stellar spectacle lasts for weeks but has two specific “peak” days when the comets are most visible.
Can you still watch the Perseid meteor shower tonight?
Budding astronomers can watch the Perseids during summer every year, around July and August.
The meteors come from the Perseus constellation and become visible when the Earth moves into position around the Swift-Tuttle tail.
Meteor hunters treasure the spectacular sighting due to their prominent place in the sky not shared by other showers.
The Perseid limit sits between July 16 and August 23, according to the Greenwich Observatory.
But they reach their “maximum” for just two days during this time.
The maximum typically lasts for one day, and this year was the night of August 12 to August 13.
During the maximum, roughly 150 comets will have passed through the sky every hour.
The best times to watch came yesterday night and early this morning, from 12am to 5.30am.
Although the shower isn’t at its peak anymore, people can still catch the tails of the remaining comet over the next week.
There are ten days left on the schedule provided by the Greenwich Observatory.
Chances of seeing the Perseids between now and August 13 are lower, but there are ways to increase them.
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People hoping to catch a glimpse of the display will want to make sure their sky is as dark as possible.
The best way to do this is by waiting until the darkest hours (the early morning) and getting out of the city.
Built-up areas such as London have chronic light pollution, meaning artificial light will obscure views of the stars.
Stargazers should also look for a vantage point that allows them to view as much of the sky as possible.
When is the next meteor shower?
Those who miss out on the Perseids this year may fear not, as other displays lie on the horizon.
The Greenwich Observatory states there are another six to come between October 7 and December 26.
The upcoming meteor showers include:
Draconids: October 7 to 11
Orionids: October 1 to November 6
Southern Hemisphere Taurids: September 10 to November 20
Northern Hemisphere Taurids: October 20 to December 10
Leonids: November 5 to 29
Geminids: December 3 to 16
Ursids: December 17 to 26
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