This week will be the peak viewing time for the annual 2015 Perseids Meteor Shower
, with predicted rates of up to 100 per hour. The last time the Perseids peak coincided with a new moon was in 2007, making this one of the best potential viewings in years. Perseids may be seen any time after dark, but rates increase throughout the night, with the best viewing in the pre-dawn hours of August 13.. The Perseids, is the most popular meteor shower of the year.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will broadcast a live program about this year’s Perseid meteor shower from 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 12 to 2 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. The event will highlight the science behind the Perseids, as well as NASA research related to meteors and comets. The program will air on NASA TV.
The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Every August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s orbital debris. This debris field — mostly created hundreds of years ago — consists of bits of ice and dust shed from the comet which burn up in Earth’s atmosphere to create one of the premier meteor showers of the year. .
The meteor shower radiates from the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast after sunset.
Just follow the Milky Way from the south to the north to find it. You’ll see some Perseids all month long, before and after midnight.