Where to look: Perseid Meteor Shower peaks this week

Posted at 9:00 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 09:00:30-04

CLEVELAND — August brings the best-known meteor shower of the year, the Perseids. This is an annual meteor shower as Earth crosses the debris trail of comet Swift-Tuttle. Most of these meteors are grains of dust up to the size of a pea and they create fabulous "shooting stars" as they burn up an Earth's atmosphere.


Although Perseids can be seen through late August, the most likely time to see any meteors is a couple of days on either side of the peak. This year the peak falls on the night of Aug. 11 and into the predawn hours of Aug. 12. This is "prime time" for the Perseids. Under really dark skies, you could see almost one per minute near the time of maximum activity! This year's peak night for the Perseids benefits from a moon that sets early in the evening, so it won't interfere with the faint meteors, but before it sets that evening, be sure to check out that gorgeous crescent moon in the west after sunset brilliant planet Venus.


To enjoy the Perseid meteor shower, just find a safe, dark location away from bright city lights, lie down or recline with your feet facing roughly towards the north, and look up. The meteors appear to radiate from around the constellation Perseus, but they can streak across the sky anywhere above you.


NASA also has a way for you to catch some Perseids online. NASA's Meteor Watch team plans a livestream overnight on Aug. 11. Visit the link on the screen for more details.