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Greetings, people of the earth!
It’s time to turn your eyes to the sky again because the Perseid meteor shower is upon us, which according to NASA is considered the “best meteor shower of the year.”
Not only do towering stars produce roughly 50 to 100 meteors per hour, but the ultra-fast, bright balls leave light and color “wake up” in their path as they travel through Earth’s atmosphere.
The Perseids are also famous for their fireballs, which make stars appear brighter and faster compared to the average streak of meteors due to their derivation from larger particles of comet matter.
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Like all meteor showers, fiery stars originate from their parent comet — and for the Perseids, that would be Comet Swift-Tuttle. The shower produces a gorgeous spectacle of stars when it reaches its climax.
“This is the moment when Earth passes through the heart of the dust stream left by Comet Swift-Tuttle,” said science photographer and astronomer Dr Darren Paskill. Science Focus.
From prime time to how to watch, here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Perseid meteor shower.
When does the Perseid meteor shower reach its peak?
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This year, the Perseid meteor shower is expected to reach its peak at 1:00 a.m. local time on August 13 — but the early hours of Saturday aren’t the only chance to try and catch a glimpse of the stars!
The Perseids began on July 17 and will remain active until August 24, giving stargazers many opportunities to view the celestial spectacle. In fact, it might be best to catch the meteor stars on a vacation night due to the full sturgeon moon that will be in effect.
For great views, it is best to look at the sky on a perfectly clear night away from any light pollution, allowing the stars to really shine.
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When do you watch the Perseid meteor shower?
Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images
Watching showers at their peak, stargazers expected to give off the most meteors, EarthSky.com suggests looking for Perseids from late evening through early dawn in early August.
“Also note that the Perseids increase in number as the late night deepens into the early hours of the morning,” the space outlet reports. “Watch many times in the morning, until the rising moon–brighter every night, and for more hours–brings you back inside.”
Viewers can expect to catch a meteor “every minute or two during peak hours – and they move fast!” Paskill said Science Focus.
Where does the meteor showers appear in the sky?
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Like all meteor showers, they seem to emanate from their own radiation – the point in the sky from which stars seem to come. Usually, they fly high near the corresponding constellation. To Farris, this star cluster is known as the constellation of Perseus, which “follows the brightest and most distinctive constellation of Cassiopeia,” according to Space.com.
Before you go and invest in a star map, meteor showers can often be seen all over the night sky, even though they appear to radiate from a constellation similar to them.
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What is the meteorite that comes after the Perseids?
After the Perseid meteor shower comes the Orionids, a medium-strength shower that can produce a maximum of 10-20 stars, according to the American Meteor Society. It is scheduled to start on September 26 and remain active until November 22. It is expected to reach its peak between the late night of October 20 and October 21 in the early morning.
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