NASA Chat: Stay 'Up All Night' to Watch the Perseids!

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Stay 'Up All Night' to Watch the Perseids!

Editor's note: This event is closed.

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaked on the night of Aug. 11-12. Rates can get as high as 100 per hour, with many fireballs visible in the night sky. Early in the evening, a waxing crescent moon will interfere slightly with this year's show, but it will have set by the time of the best viewing, just before dawn. The best opportunity to see Perseids is during the dark, pre-dawn hours of Aug. 12.

› View chat transcript (.pdf, 310 Kb)

How to See Perseid Meteors
For optimal viewing, find an open sky  because Perseid meteors come across the sky from all directions. Lie on the ground and look straight up into the dark sky. Again, it is important to be far away from artificial lights. Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so allow plenty of time for your eyes to dark-adapt.

About the Perseids
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. Each year in August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet's debris. These bits of ice and dust -- most over 1,000 years old -- burn up in the Earth's atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere. Those with sharp eyes will see that the meteors radiate from the direction of the constellation Perseus.

Do You Have Photos of Perseid Meteors?
If you have some stellar  images of the Perseid meteor shower, please consider adding them to the Perseid Meteors group in Flickr. Who knows - your images may attract interest from the media and receive international exposure.

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Page Last Updated: September 30th, 2013
Page Editor: Brooke Boen