The Perseid Meteor Shower Is Happening This Month –– Here's What You Need to Know
Lovers of astronomy are in for a lovely time as the Perseid Meteor Shower is happening sometime this month. Here are things you need to know about the meteor shower.
There is joy and calmness that comes with looking up at the sky and seeing the beautiful night light. Lovers of the night sky and stargazers are in for an awesome time as the Perseid Meteor Shower is set to happen this month.
Geminid meteor shower seen from Pawna Lake near Lonavala, on December 14, 2017 in Mumbai, India. | Photo: Getty Images
The Perseids are the most popular meteor shower as they reach their peak on warm August nights, as seen from the northern hemisphere.
The Perseid meteor shower usually starts from the 17th of July to the 24th of August for any given year, but the shower reaches its peak around the 11th of August through to the 13th of August.
A meteor streaks across the night sky during the Geminid Meteor Shower over Harishchandra Fort on December 15, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images
During this peak period, those watching can expect to see as much as 75 meteors per hour. The meteors can first be spotted from 10 pm, but from midnight, it becomes more accessible and more evident.
This year, the Perseids meteor shower would be in competition, with the last quarter moon set to appear on the 11th of August.
The Perseids Meteor shower originates from Perseus.
Although the last quarter moon is not as bright as the full moon, it is still bright enough for its light to cast out that of the meteor to some extent, making them somewhat difficult to see before midnight.
Meteors occur when chunks of debris from space hit the eath's atmosphere and then burn up due to the friction between the debris and the air. This leaves a streak of light that is commonly referred to as "Shooting Stars" but is indeed meteors.
A meteor streaks across the night sky during the Geminid Meteor Shower over Harishchandra Fort on December 15, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images
Meteor showers happen when the earth passes through a trail of space left by a passing comet. The particles from the comets which are similar to grains of sand smack into the earth's atmosphere, thereby causing the showers.
The speed at which the grains smack into the atmosphere is up to 100,000 miles per hour. The Perseids Meteor shower originates from Perseus because that is the direction the earth would be moving towards in its orbit around the sun.
A meteor streaks across the night sky during the Geminid meteor shower over Turkey's Van on December 13, 2017. | Photo: Getty Images
To effectively enjoy the night and get a feel of the meteor shower, one should get a lounge chair, blankets, snacks, coffee, and open eyes. Also, it is advisable to get mosquito repellent as it can be somewhat difficult focusing on the sky with them buzzing around.
For an optimal view of the night sky, one can go to a rural area or an open field, as watching from the city can be difficult because of the numerous city lights.