A Perseid meteor crosses the sky in 2016.


NASA/Bill Ingalls

One of the finest celestial shows in the photo voltaic system has kicked into gear with the Perseid meteor shower. We can thank giant comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle for the little items of house particles that hit Earth’s environment and switch into the distinctive “shooting stars” of the meteor shower.

According to NASA, the annual Perseids shall be active from now by Aug. 24, with the peak coming in mid-August. The house company says it is “considered the best meteor shower of the year.”

The Perseids are in style for his or her reliability and the potential for spectacular fireballs. “The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers (50 to 100 meteors seen per hour) and occur with warm summer nighttime weather, allowing sky watchers to easily view them,” stated NASA in a Perseids explainer geared for the Northern Hemisphere. 

Fireballs occur when bigger items of comet particles strike the environment, creating lengthy, shiny streaks, the form that make you say “Whoa!” Ready to get excited? Check out these photographs from final 12 months’s shower:

Catch a taking pictures star

At its easiest, viewing the meteor shower is nearly heading out at evening and searching up, however there are some steps you possibly can take to enhance your possibilities at catching a great show. You’re in luck should you’re a super-early riser. The pre-dawn hours are a first-rate viewing time, however NASA additionally says you possibly can see the meteors as early as 10 p.m. native time.

Some of the greatest obstacles to good meteor viewing are cloudy climate and lightweight air pollution. Aim for a transparent evening and take a look at to get away from metropolis lights. A hammock, blanket or a chair that leans again will prevent from craning your neck. Give your eyes loads of time to regulate to the darkness.

You can spot the meteors wherever in the sky, although they get their title as a result of they seem to be radiating from the constellation Perseus. To discover Perseus, take a look at a stargazing app that can assist you find the constellation. Perseus is not the precise supply of the shower, however it may be useful in monitoring down the typically elusive streaks of sunshine.    

You do not have to anticipate the mid-August peak to get pleasure from the motion. A darkish spot on a transparent evening can ship a worthwhile viewing expertise all through the Perseids’ go to. Catch these taking pictures stars whilst you can.

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to keep up to date with all the newest house information this 12 months. You may even add it to your individual Google Calendar.      

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