Perseids meteor shower 2017: Date time, when and where to watch

The Perseids will begin to appear in the summer night sky between July 17 and and August 24 as Earth passes trough the path of Comet Swift-Tutle.

As many as 80 meteors an hour will dash through the sky and last year this figure peaked at 150 to 200 an hour.

The shower will reach its peak on August 12, when the planet drifts through the densest part of Swift-Tutle’s trail.

When is the best the time to watch the Perseids shower?

The bets outburst will take place in the pre-dawn hours of August 12 and 13.

It will take time for the shower to build in intensity, but you will still be able to catch some of the action in the run-up.

The meteors will start to streak around mid-to-late evening north of the equator and around midnight south of the line.

If you are lucky you might even observe an Earth-grazer, a very bright and slow-burning meteor that drifts through the atmosphere in the early evening hours. 

Coinciding with the Perseids are the Delta Aquariids which will also peak around July 27 and 28 as well.

Where best to watch the Perseids showers?

Astronomy enthusiasts located in the Northern Hemisphere will have the best view of the night-time show. 

When going out to watch the shower remember to stay away from urban light pollution and to look for complete darkness in areas such as the countryside.

Once you find a suitable spot, load up on snacks and cozy blankets and lie down on your back to take in as much of the sky as possible.

Patience is the key to spotting the meteors and your eyes will take anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness.

Keep in mind that the meteors will fly in all directions but they will burst from a single point in front of the Perseus constellation.

This year it could be a bit trickier to see the falling stars because the moon will be three-quarters full during the peak, but you should still be able to see the meteors despite the moon’s glare.

What are the Perseids meteors?

The Perseids are bits and pieces of cosmic dust and debris left in the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Earth passes through this trail every year with the debris slamming into the upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 130,000 miles an hour (210,000 km).

Swift-Tuttle itself is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 133 years. It is next expected to fly past Earth on August 5, 2126.

It has an impressive 16 mile (26 km) wide nucleus and is the largest object in the solar system to repeatedly pass close to Earth.

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Daily Express :: Science Feed

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