Perseid meteor shower: ESA capture peak of event

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Budding astronomers will have weeks to catch one of the most stunning stellar spectacles of the year this month. The Perseid meteor shower, which debuts annually in the summer, will reach its peak in a matter of days. But people may not understand the best ways to watch the dazzling display unfold, and has a few tips.

How can you watch the Perseid meteor shower?

The Perseid meteor shower is the fourth of its kind people can catch in 2021.

They generate 150 meteors per hour in the night sky with bright light trails in tow for more than a month.

The Greenwich Observatory said the shower would show up in the night’s sky between July 16 and August 23, but it will only reach a “maximum” for roughly two days between August 12 and 13.

Wait for a clear night

Unfortunately for those living in most parts of the UK, it won’t be easy to see the Perseids without clear skies.

People should check the weather forecast ahead of their desired viewing date.

At present, the forecast suggests August 12 and 13 will be partially cloudy, reducing the chances people could see the meteors.

Avoid light pollution

A clear night will provide the best platform for stargazers this month.

But light pollution may dampen attempts to catch the Perseid shower at its most majestic.

The light produced en masse by cities will “cloud” the night’s sky, so anyone committed to the shower might want to consider a brief trip to the country.

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Wait for the dead of night

In the same vein as reducing light pollution, people should also consider watching the skies when the night is darkest.

Despite the old saying that the “night is darkest before the dawn”, the sky will hold the least light between 12am and 5.30am.

Early traces of the Perseids may start appearing as soon as the sky darkens, however, any time after sunset.

Broaden your horizons

Those who opt to travel outside of their area to find the best viewing spot will want to keep scope in mind.

Ideally, they should find a platform on higher ground, on top of a building or hill.

These will allow people to watch as much of the sky as possible, as the Perseids could pop up anywhere.

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