6 Storm Team Starwatch: Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week

6 Storm Team Starwatch

Welcome to the 91st edition of 6 Storm Team Starwatch! This is a blog that will be posted every week that will list events happening in the sky!

Monday, August 9th – Wednesday, August 11th 2021

The next few nights you will be able to see the crescent Moon near Venus (Sky & Telescope). Mars will also be visible low in the sky (Sky & Telescope). You will want to look West about 30 minutes after sunset to see these planets (Sky & Telescope). The image below shows what you can look for in the sky.

Image Courtesy of Sky & Telescope

Wednesday, August 11th – Thursday, August 12th 2021

The Perseid meteor shower peaks late Wednesday night (Sky & Telescope)! As the night goes on, the meteors are expected to become more abundant as the radiant rises higher in the sky and the meteors fall more directly downward (Sky & Telescope). The best time to view this shower will be from 11 PM until the first sight of dawn on Thursday morning (Sky & Telescope). This is one of the biggest meteor showers of the year and since the crescent Moon sets early, there will be very limited moonlight to interfere (NASA). In the Northern Hemisphere you may see more than 40 meteors per hour (NASA)! You want to make sure that you go somewhere away from light pollution and that you give your eyes ample time to adjust to the darkness (NASA). This meteor shower results from fragments from the comet Swift-Tuttle (NASA). Every year Earth comes near the path of Swift-Tuttle and it is the debris left behind from the comet that results in the meteors in our sky (NASA). The Perseids will be active until August 26th 2021 (American Meteor Society).

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