This year’s Perseid Meteor Shower is at its peak tonight on Tuesday, August 11 into Wednesday, August 12. This is a highly anticipated event for star watchers across the country, who just recently said goodbye to Comet NEOWISE. Many consider this the best meteor shower of the year, so you don’t want to miss out. If you can’t watch it because of the weather or because there’s just too much light where you live, you can watch the meteor shower online.
NASA recommends watching late August 11 or early in the morning on August 12, between 2 a.m. local time and dawn where you live. The moon is also rising around midnight, so the brightness of the moon may interfere with your viewing. But there will still be a meteor nearly every minute, so you’ll likely still see something. This is the best time to go out, but if it’s too late for you, then try watching around 9 p.m. local time.
For those of you affected by the cloud cover, bad weather, or city lights, you can watch live streams of the meteor shower below.
Perseid Meteor Shower Live Streams
NASA Meteor Watch is hosting a Facebook live stream from about 8 p.m. Central (9 p.m. Eastern) to sunrise on August 12. You can watch the stream at this link or below.
At its peak, we’ll be able to see 50 to 75 meteors an hour in dark skies, Accuweather predicts. The hourly rates will be lower south of the equator.
The Lowell Observatory has a live stream of the Perseids starting at 9 p.m. Pacific tonight (11 p.m. Central/12 a.m. Eastern.) You can watch it here or below.
The American Meteor Society has a stream below.This stream is rotating through several different feeds from different locations.
If you want to try again tomorrow, Slooh is hosting an online meteor watching party that starts at 7 p.m. Eastern on August 12, even though the peak is August 11 in North America:
Virtual Telescope already streamed the Perseids earlier tonight. You can watch those in the video here or below.
The Perseids occur as Earth passes through the debris trail left by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, according to Space.com. NASA reports that Comet Swift-Tuttle is the largest solar system object that repeatedly passes close to Earth, and it completes a full orbit every 133 years. They are called the Perseids because their radiant – otherwise known as the area of the sky where meteors appear to originate from – is located near the constellation Perseus, according to the American Meteor Society.
The Perseids is especially popular because it boasts an impressive amount of meteors. They’re beautiful too, making the meteor shower a must-see among starwatching enthusiasts.
If you enjoy the Perseids tonight, don’t forget to watch the Geminids in December. The Perseids usually brings better weather, which is why it’s often more popular, but both can boast the same number of meteors, Accuweather noted.
According to the American Meteor Society, the following meteor showers are happening in the near future:
- Aquariids – Active through August 23 (but peak was July 28-29)
- Capricornids – Active through August 15 (but peak was July 28-29)
- Perseids – Active through August 26, but peak is August 11-12.
- Orionids – Active October 2-November 7, with the peak October 20-21
- Taurids – Active September 10-November 20, with the peak October 29-30
- Leonids – November 6-30, with peak November 16-17
- Geminids – December 4-17, with peak December 13-14
- Ursids – December 17-26, with peak December 21-22
- Quadrantids – December 27-January 10, with peak January 2-3, 2021
- Lyrids – April 16-April 30, 2021 with peak April 21-22, 2021