What is the best time to see the Perseids (and the best night to enjoy the meteor shower)?

As every year around this time, the August night sky is lit up by numerous meteors in the famous region Perseid meteor shower. The colloquially best known Tears of Saint Lawrence will allow observers to see up to 50 per hour and so chase after another wish.

Meteors are the result of small particles entering the Earth’s atmosphere at high speeds, generally around 60 km per second, and peaking at maximum activity within set dates. This year, the long-awaited Perseid meteor shower peaks at night 12-13 AugustThis offers a potentially impressive treat for skygazers as the lunar cycle allows for incredible observations unlike last year.

Those living in the northern hemisphere will be the most privileged, and among them are the people living in the peninsula and islands. Also, the moon will be a thin crescent rising just before dusk, so the moonlight won’t interfere, and being somewhere with dark skies and away from city lights is a real benefit.

When will the Perseids be better?

At night, the radiant in the sky is lower, so there are fewer meteors to be seen. Those that emerge are “ground skimmers,” where incoming debris can simply slide across Earth’s atmosphere, leaving long, bright trails. Later in the evening, the numbers pick up as radiation rises higher in the sky, probably offering the best views before 02:00 UTC, when the sky gets lighter before daybreak.

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