HomePOPULARThe best meteor shower of the year 2023 peaks this weekend

The best meteor shower of the year 2023 peaks this weekend

NASA’s All Sky Fireball Network is already detecting the first meteors of this year’s Perseid meteor shower! The meteor shower peaks on the night of August 12 as Earth passes through the dustiest debris in Comet Swift-Tuttle’s trail.

A bright white stripe is in the lower left corner on a dark gray almost black background.

The Perseid meteor shower is often considered the best meteor shower of the year due to its high speed and pleasant late summer temperatures. Unlike last year’s shower, which coincides with the full moon, this year’s moon will be a waning crescent, allowing some fainter meteors to be seen.

So, how many can you see?

“People in the US can reasonably expect to see around 40 Perseids per hour just before dawn on peak nights.” That’s about one every few minutes, which isn’t bad,” said Bill Cooke, who heads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. “However, we assume you are in the countryside, away from cities and suburbs.

Clearer skies in suburban areas reduce the frequency significantly, with 10 or fewer expected per hour.

You can best see the Perseid meteor shower in the Northern Hemisphere. All you need to catch the show is a clear sky, darkness and a little patience. You don’t have to look in any particular direction; meteors can generally be seen all over the sky.

The Perseids appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus, and each meteor has a similar path. Meteor showers are named after their point of origin, or what is known as the radiant.

Fun fact:

The Perseid meteor shower is the only meteor shower that delays a shuttle launch. In 1993, NASA’s STS-51 launch was delayed due to concerns that Perseid meteor shower activity was predicted to be extremely intense, increasing the chance that a piece of debris could damage the spacecraft in Earth orbit.

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