Perseids meteor shower will be brighter than EVER this year

Perseids meteor shower will be brighter than EVER this year because is coincides with a new moon: Here’s how to get the best view, and when it starts

  • Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak with the annual event seeing up to 70 shooting stars an hour 
  • It coincides with a new moon, when the moon is invisible to the naked eye, making the meteors look brighter
  • The United States, Europe, and Canada will be able to witness the Perseids over the weekend
  • The meteor shower will be visible both north and south of equator, with the best views in mid-north latitudes 
  • People in the north of Australia will only be able to see between four and 20 meteors an hour
  • It will be visible to the naked eye to those fortunate enough to have clear skies and low levels of light pollution
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The Perseid meteor shower will stun stargazers around the world this weekend, with the annual event seeing up to 70 shooting stars etched across the night sky each hour.

Known as the ‘fiery tears of Saint Lawrence’, the celestial showcase takes place when the Earth ploughs through the galactic debris left discarded by the passing of the Swift-Tuttle Comet.

The event will originate in the night sky from the constellation Perseus and spread throughout the sky, with the shooting stars visible both north and south of the equator.

Despite being visible across the globe, those in mid-northern latitudes will be treated to the best views.

This means the United States, Europe, and Canada will be able to see the Perseids at their best, along with stellar views in Mexico and Central America, Asia, much of Africa, and parts of South America. 

Those south of the equator will catch the tail-end of the meteor shower, however, the vast majority of the event will happen below the horizon, diminishing the grandeur of the phenomenon somewhat.

Those in the north of Australia, for example, will only be able to see between four and 20 meteors an hour – a significant drop from the 70 stars visible in other countries in the northern hemisphere.

According to Nasa, the Perseid meteor shower will enjoy a prolonged spell of heightened activity from 4 pm ET (9 pm BST) on Sunday 12th until 4 am (9 am BST) on the 13th.

The Perseids will peak this weekend around 10pm BST on the 12th.

This year will see the event coincide with the new moon phase of the lunar cycle, which sees the moon emanating little to no light at all – creating perfect conditions in the sky for stargazing.

For those without clear skies, a live stream from the Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast the meteor shower to people around the world. 

Scroll down for video  


 At its peak, the Perseid meteor shower is expected to bring 60-70 shooting stars per hour. But in some years, it’s been known to produce more. And, stray shooting stars will likely be visible until the end of the month


The Perseid meteor shower takes place each year through July and August and is the result of particles falling from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years and was first seen in 1862. The trail of particles forms meteors, or shooting stars as they are also known, which heat up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere creating tails of light across the sky

For those in areas with low light pollution, smog and clear skies, the Perseids will be visible to the naked eye, with no specialist equipment needed.

The meteor shower happens around the same time each year as the Earth passes though a section of its orbit peppered with galactic space dust leftover from the last passing of the Swift-Tuttle Comet.

The name ‘Perseids meteor shower’ comes from the fact meteors appear to shoot out from the Perseus constellation – the 24th largest constellation in the sky.

The annual meteor shower is known for the sheer quantity, including the possibility of bright fireballs in the sky.

Most of the specks of material are tiny and flash across the night sky when they collide with Earth’s atmosphere at about 133,200 mph (214,365 km/h).

The Swift-Tuttle Comet, which spans 16-miles wide and is formed of ice and rock, ploughs through our Solar System once every 133 years, with the pass in 1992.

The comet will come within one million miles of Earth on August 5, 2126 and August 24, 2261.

During the meteor shower’s peak, skywatchers in the northern hemisphere can expect to see between 60 to 70 shooting stars cross the sky every hour, provided they’ve found some dark, clear skies for viewing.

For stargazers in the northern hemisphere, experts recommend watching for the meteor shower after 10 pm local time, but it will be at its best during the early hours of dawn. 

Light will be at a minimum as the moon will be almost invisible at the start of the meteor shower.

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‘This year the moon will be near new moon, it will be a crescent, which means it will set before the Perseid show gets underway after midnight,’ NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com. 

At its peak, the meteor shower is expected to bring 60-70 shooting stars per hour.

However, in previous years, it has been known to produce even more.

And, stray shooting stars will likely be visible until the end of the month.

According to NASA, the meteors will continue until August 24, though rates will drop after the peak on Monday.

‘Unlike most meteor showers, which have a short peak of high meteor rates,’ Nasa explains, ‘the Perseids have a very broad peak, as Earth takes more than three weeks to plow through the wide trail of cometary dust from comet Swift-Tuttle.’

Luckily, less than ten per cent of Britain is built up, leaving lots of places where the cityscape will not obscure natural beauty of the Perseids.  


The annual meteor shower can produce between 50 and 100 shooting stars per hour. As the event coincides with the new moon this year, observers will be treated to a dark, moonless sky for a clearer view of the meteors


Milky way and perseid meteor, over Teide Izana astronomical observatory in Tenerife. At its peak, the meteor shower is expected to bring 60-70 shooting stars per hour. But in some years, it’s been known to produce more. And, stray shooting stars will likely be visible until the end of the month

HOW CAN YOU SEE THE PERSEID METEOR SHOWER THIS YEAR?

Shooting stars will be visible north and south of the equator, though observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views, according to NASA.


Some Perseid meteors will even be visible during the early evening

The Perseid meteor shower will reach the beginning of its peak at 4pm (ET) on Sunday the 12th. This will last until 4am on the 13th.

As the event coincides with the new moon this year, observers will be treated to a dark, moonless sky for a clearer view of the meteors.  

North of the equator: 

Observers in the United States, Europe, and Canada should begin looking to the sky from a few hours after twilight until dawn.

The same goes for viewers in Mexico and Central America, Asia, much of Africa, and parts of South America.

South of the equator:

Meteors will be visible for those south of the equator, too, though not at the rate seen in more northern areas.

For viewers in Australia and other southern locations, meteors will start to appear in the sky around midnight and continue through the early hours of the morning.   

You won’t need binoculars to spot a shooting star this weekend, nor do you need to look directly at the constellation Perseus.

Instead, just look up. NASA says you ‘can look anywhere you want to,’ to see the Perseids, ‘even directly overhead.’


The event will originate in the night sky from the constellation Perseus and spread throughout the sky, with the shooting stars set to be visible both north and south of the equator, though observers in mid-northern latitudes will have the best views




 The Perseid meteor shower is said to be the best of the year. This annual meteor shower comes as Earth passes through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, causing bright streaks that appear as though they’re radiating from the constellation Perseus

WHAT ARE THE 11 DARK SKY RESERVES?  

  • Aoraki Mackenzie (New Zealand)
  • Brecon Beacons National Park (Wales)
  • Central Idaho (U.S.)
  • Exmoor National Park (England)
  • Kerry (Ireland)
  • Mont-Mégantic (Québec)
  • Moore’s Reserve (South Downs, England)
  • NamibRand Nature Reserve (Namibia)
  • Pic du Midi (France)
  • Rhön (Germany)
  • Snowdonia National Park (Wales)
  • Westhavelland (Germany)

There are just 11 Dark Sky Reserves in the world, and the UK is home to four: Brecon Beacons National Park (Wales), Moore’s Reserve (South Downs, England) Snowdonia National Park (Wales) and Exmoor National Park (England).

People in the UK can expect the peak shower to occur between 2 am and 4 am BST. 

The others are scattered around the world, with locations listed in Europe, the US, Africa and New Zealand. 

These locations, assuming the weather is clear and there are no clouds in the sky, provide an ‘exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment’.

Those not close enough to one of these locations to make it worth the night trip should head to an area with low-light pollution. For example, high vantage points in a built-up area, or ideally, a trip to the countryside should provide the best view.

The Dark Sky Atlas can be used to help people find their nearest dark spot as it maps the light pollution of areas around the world. 

Those unfortunate enough to have an overcast evening can still catch the beauty of the Peresids via a live stream that is being run by the Virtual Telescope Project. 

Nasa says the meteor shower will be accompanied with the parade of planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

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    This years Perseid meteor shower on August 12th is predicted to be the best in years as the moon is new and the skies will be dark. The Perseids will peak this weekend around 10pm BST on the 12th but the prolonged spell will see heightened activity throughout the weekend


     Those not close enough to one of these locations to make it worth the night time trip should head to an area with low-light pollution. For example, high vantage points in a built-up area, or ideally, a trip to the countryside should provide the best view


    The Perseid meteor shower occurs as Earth passes through the trail of cometary dust following comet Swift-Tuttle (illustrated above)

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      When asked about the best way to view the Perseids meteor shower Bill Cooke, head of Nasa’s Meteoroid Environments Office at the Marshall Space Flight Centre in Alabama simply said: ‘All you’ve got to do is go outside, find a nice dark spot, lie flat on your back and look up. 

      ‘You don’t want binoculars. You don’t want a telescope. You just use your eyes.’

      Speaking LiveScience, Cooke said stargazers should give their eyes around 30 minutes to adjust to the dark sky. 

      ‘Don’t expect to walk outside and see Perseids,’ Cooke said.

      Those who want to capture the celestial event with a camera should use a tripod to ensure their image is not blurred. For the best results, take a long-exposure shot, lasting from a few seconds to a minute.

      Nasa’s Bill Cooke warns against setting the exposure any longer than that, otherwise you’ll pick-up the rotation of the stars, which could block out streaks from shooting stars.

      https://youtube.com/watch?v=lR1tvPNoLxk%3Ffeature%3Doembed
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