What time does the Perseids meteor shower start tonight?
For the next five weeks, the PERSEIDS meteor shower will be visible in the UK, giving stargazers the opportunity to watch some of the brightest shooting stars of 2021. If you wanted to observe the meteor shower tonight, what time should you peek into the night sky?
This week, the Perseids meteor shower returns, providing stargazers the perfect opportunity to break out their deckchairs and watch the sky’s light show. However, if you want to see meteors in the next five weeks or so, you’ll have to get up very early…
The Perseid meteor shower is caused by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle debris.
When a comet gets too close to the sun, it heats up and disintegrates, forming countless bits known as meteors.
People on the ground will be able to view a meteor shower if the Earth passes through the debris’ path during its rotation around the sun.
The Earth passes through the Perseids’ path every year between July and August, and they’ll be back in 2021.
Anyone expecting to see the meteor shower will have to get up very early – or stay up late.
When it’s absolutely dark outside, which is effectively the middle of the night, is the greatest time to observe them.
The Perseids will most likely be seen in the UK between midnight and 5.30 a.m.
Thankfully, you might be able to catch a glimpse of them when the sun sets.
“The optimum time to see anything in the night sky is when the sky is darkest and the target is at its highest point in the sky,” according to the Royal Museums Greenwich.
“Meteor showers normally happen between the hours of midnight and the wee hours of the morning.
“As observed from the UK, the radiant of the Perseids is always above the horizon, thus watchers in the UK should be able to see some meteors as soon as the Sun sets. As a result, it is worthwhile to glance up in the early evening.
“It is usually preferable to try to identify meteors when the Moon is below the horizon or in its crescent phase, because otherwise the Moon would function as natural light pollution, obscuring the fainter meteors.
This year’s Perseids will begin on Friday, July 16 and will run till, according to “Brinkwire Summary News.”