PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Earth is entering a stream of debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. International observers are now reporting more than 20 Perseids per hour, a number that will increase as the shower reaches its peak on August 12-13.
“Last night I witnessed a large and colorful Perseid over my home in Silkeborg, Denmark,” reports photographer Jesper Grønne. A close-up of the meteor shows its vivid color.
John Chumack of Dayton, Ohio, adds this report: “Last night between 10 pm and 6 am I recorded more than 100 meteors using various sky cameras mounted on top of my home and backyard observatory. Moonlight is not preventing us from seeing the bright ones!” He compiled a timelapse slideshowof highlights. “Note how my dome rotates during the observing session,” he points out.
The best time to look is Saturday morning, Aug. 13, just before dawn when the Moon is low and meteor rates are peaking. Some observers will also see the International Space Station, which coincidentally flies over many US towns and cities during the shower’s peak: ISS tracker. Also, be sure to tune intoSpace Weather Radio to hear the ghostly pings of Perseids disintegrating over the US Air Force’s Space Surveillance Radar. It makes a great soundtrack for any meteor watch.