Life down on earth getting you down? Look up this week and you might spot a pretty awesome celestial distraction: one of the brightest meteor showers of the year.
The Perseids appear in the night’s sky at around the same time every year, peaking in mid-August. Created by debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids all seem to come from the constellation Perseus, hence their name, and are known for being particularly colourful.
This year, the sparklers are set to peak between Tuesday August 11 and Wednesday August 13. You might spy 50 meteors an hour at the height of the shower. If your local forecast is cloudy over the next few days, don’t give up: you can expect to secure a Perseid sighting any time until around August 23.
When’s the best time to see them? The hours before dawn are typically a good time to try, but a bright moon might limit your ability to catch them. If you can, try looking once the sun has set but before the moon has risen – or check for moon-free nights using this online calculator.
The Perseid meteors are visible all over the planet but are especially beloved in the Northern Hemisphere, where their appearance coincides with light, warm evenings and summer holidays. All you need is clear skies, darkness and patience. Good luck!
Did you know? August’s full moon is named after a fish.
Keep an eye out for a shooting star from the Delta Aquariid meteor shower as well.