The Perseid meteors appear to stream away from the shower’s “radiant” point near the border of Perseus and Cassiopeia. Image credit: Sky & Telescope
The Perseid meteor shower, an annual celestial event beloved by millions of skywatchers around the world, is about to make its annual return to the night sky. And thanks to a new Moon, there’ll be no bright moonlight to hinder the view.
This year’s Perseid shower will reach its peak on Sunday night, 12 August 2018, and early morning on the 13 August. You can also see some Perseids, though fewer in number, for several nights before and after that date.
Although an occasional Perseid meteor might catch your attention shortly after evening twilight ends, the prime viewing hours are from about 23:00 or midnight (local time) until the first light of dawn. This is when the shower’s “radiant,” its perspective point of origin, is high up in your sky. The higher the radiant, the more meteors appear all over the sky.
To enjoy the Perseids, you need no equipment but your eyes. Find a dark spot with a wide-open view overhead. Bring a reclining lawn chair or a ground cloth so you can lie back ...