Tonight is the peak of the famous Perseid Meteor shower, but the shower
puts on a nice show from late September through August 24th, so don't
despair if you can't be at a dark sight on a Wednesday night!
If you want to see the most, get away from city lights, but if you can't
get away tonight, just find the darkest place in your own yard or
nearby, and face toward the darkest sky (or overhead).
Time - the peak is 2 hours on either side of 1 a.m. Pacific - so from 11
p.m. - 3 a. m. is primo, but you should see some before 11, too.
The radiant - Perseus, is in the NE sky beginning to rise after sunset,
but it is not necessary to look NE - in fact if you look that way, you
see meteors coming straight at you - meaning short streaks of light.
Instead, look 90 degrees away and you'll see more meteors passing
sideways -- with longer streaks -- flying past you instead of straight
at you. (don't worry, by the time you see the streak of light, the
meteoroid has burned up so nothing is really coming "at" you).
Best Astronomy location in LA
Next Sidewalk Astronomy is August 22 in Monrovia and August 21 and 22 in
Glacier Point, Yosemite. Find out more about upcoming events on our
Next Mojave Star Party is October 17th - details on the website above.
My What's Up video about the Perseids
Follow observers worldwide as they report their Perseid counts to the
International Meteor Organization. That's what I'm going to be doing
Where in the world are Perseid observers reporting from:
Jane Houston Jones
WhatÕs Up for August? Perseids + 12 planets