- This event has passed.
August 11, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - August 14, 2016 @ 7:00 am UTC-5
Meteor showers are amazing to witness and watch! Opportunities to see many shooting stars in short periods of time in a location of the sky that is relatively determined. The Perseid Shower will peek starting tomorrow the 11th and will continue through Saturday the 13th. The Perseid meteor shower is the most anticipated annual celestial event worldwide. Every August, when Earth crosses the orbit of Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, bits of dusty debris scattered along its orbit slam into Earth’s atmosphere at 37 miles (60 km) per second. Each of these creates a quick, white-hot streak of super-heated air — a meteor.
Best time to start viewing is in twilight just as its getting dark. These meteors will leave the most spectacular trails. The peek should offer an average of 1 shooting star for every minute. Meteor showers come from a radiant point, a central location to which it seems all the meteors are shooting away from. This is an aberration due to that point being the spot in the sky they are originating from, though expect to find these shooting stars shooting anywhere in the sky, though they will all be shooting away from the radiant point.
The radiant point will not rise until around 11pm eastern time, this just means that the shower can be viewed from sunset to sunrise typically with the best night being from the 11th to the 12th and the 12th to the 13th. After those two nights of celestial fireworks the peek of the Perseid Meteor shower will have concluded.
The radiant point Kenneth Oxsalida says is just below the constellation Cassiopeia, which may look like a big “W” or an “M” depending on your opinion. Looking directly at the radiant point is not where you will see the shooting stars, but the location to which they will all seem to be shooting away from. For best viewings Kenneth Oxsalida suggests looking in the darkest parts of your sky, usually right over head is best. You will know it was a Perseid Meteor when its trail leads you away from the radiant point.