Perseid Meteor Shower 2018: When, Where & How to See It This Month


The 2017 Perseid meteor shower peaked around 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) on Aug. 12, so the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13 saw the highest rates. The meteors appear to radiate out of the constellation Perseus, from which they take their name. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, the Perseids are perhaps the most popular meteor shower of the year; and in 2018, they’ll be the best shower of the year. During the Perseids‘ peak this month, spectators should see about 60-70 meteors per hour, but in outburst years (such as in 2016) the rate can be between 150-200 meteors an hour.

By Sarah Lewin | SPACE.com

The meteor shower’s peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12 and Aug. 12-13, Cooke said, but he’s inclined this year to lean toward the night of Aug. 12-13 for the better show. (Both, however, should be spectacular.)

„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,“ Cooke told Space.com. „The moon is very favorable for the Perseids this year, and that’ll make the Perseids probably the best shower of 2018 for people who want to go out and view it.“ The Perseids are rich in fireballs, so the show should be even better.

Skywatchers looking out for the Perseids should also be able to see Mars (visible until about 4 a.m. local time) and Saturn (visible until about 2 a.m. local time); Venus and Jupiter both set before the Perseids are best viewed (9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively).

(Live in a big city? Find out how to see the Perseids from urban areas here from our sister site Active Junky.)

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