A lovely enhanced photograph caught during a meteor shower. You will have this chance tonight during the meteor shower astronomical event of November. Credit: Shutterstock

The Perseid meteor shower is about to put on a cosmic show

Are you ready?


Plan your weekend for a cosmic display as the Perseid meteor shower is about to put on a cosmic show you wouldn’t want to miss. Here’s everything you need to know for a stellar experience.

The Perseid meteor shower, an astronomical spectacle that enthralls millions across the globe, is preparing for its yearly debut. With the peak arriving before sunrise on Sunday, August 13, enthusiasts are advised to begin their stargazing at dusk on Saturday, August 12. During its climax, observers may witness up to a meteor a minute at dark locations, far from urban glare.

Perfect Conditions for Viewing

“This year’s conditions are beyond perfect,” announces Diana Hannikainen, Observing Editor at Sky & Telescope. Thanks to a mere 8% illuminated waning crescent moon, rising in the early morning of August 13, lunar interference will be minimal. Plus, the convenience of the weekend allows for extended viewing without the burden of work or school commitments the next day. “Clouds or light pollution are the only potential obstacles,” warns Hannikainen.

How to Watch the Meteor Shower

Starting after the evening twilight on August 12, viewers can expect a mesmerizing display of “earthgrazers”—long meteors skimming the atmosphere’s edge. More meteors will gradually appear across the sky as Perseus ascends in the northeast, especially past midnight. The Perseids endure over several nights, affording numerous opportunities to witness the celestial dance.


No need for telescopes or binoculars; your eyes are enough. Just find a secluded spot with an expansive view, recline on a comfortable chair or blanket, and savor the show. Dress warmly and patiently let your eyes acclimatize to the darkness. Look up, where the sky is darkest, and you’ll witness faint quick streaks, with occasional bright ones illuminating the sky.

Meteor Identification

Meteors can appear from any direction. If you trace their path back to the constellation Perseus, you have spotted a Perseid. Other meteor showers may also be active, but tracing their paths to different origins will differentiate them from the Perseids.

Though light pollution and clouds may diminish visibility, the most luminous meteors can shine through, making the Perseids the most vibrant annual meteor shower, as per a NASA study.

The Science Behind the Perseids

These “shooting stars” are created by small debris, akin to sand grains, colliding with Earth’s atmosphere at 37 miles per second, generating bright, fleeting trails. The debris, resembling Grape Nuts cereal in size and texture, originate from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Named after its discoverers, Lewis Swift and Horace Parnell Tuttle, in July 1862, the comet has left a “river of rubble” that Earth traverses every mid-August.


The Perseid meteor shower is a yearly reminder of the cosmic beauty that surrounds us. With conditions ideal for viewing, this year’s event promises to be especially captivating. Make your preparations, find a cozy spot, and let the celestial show transport you to the stars.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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