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Business News/ Science / News/  Perseid meteor shower 2023: What is it, when and where to watch. Details here

Perseid meteor shower 2023: What is it, when and where to watch. Details here

The Perseid meteor shower, one of the biggest, will reach its peak this weekend in the Northern Hemisphere.

Perseid meteor shower (File image: Reuters)Premium
Perseid meteor shower (File image: Reuters)

The Perseid meteor shower will be seen on 12 August as the Earth passes through the dustiest debris of comet Swift-Tuttle’s trails. “If you’ve got nice clear weather and a good dark sky, you go out just before dawn and you’ll see a Perseid per minute or so," said NASA meteor scientist Bill Cooke as reported quoted by Associated Press.

As per NASA, the Perseid meteor shower will have the best view in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Perseid meteor shower is often considered to be the best meteor shower of the year due to its high rates and pleasant late-summer temperatures, NASA states.

As per NASA, the Perseid meteor shower is the only meteor shower to delay a Space Shuttle launch. Giving one such example, it said that in 1993, NASA – STS-51 launch was delayed due to concerns about the Perseid meteor shower activity. An extremely heavy meteor shower was forecasted and as per NASA, a spacecraft in Earth orbit could be damaged by even a piece of the debris.

What are the Perseids?

The Perseids are one of the biggest meteor showers. It occurs every year in the late summer. Meteor showers happen when the Earth moves through fields of debris floating around in space. The Perseids come from comet Swift-Tuttle which is a big ball of ice and rock that sheds pieces of dusty debris as it orbits around the sun. When the earth passes by, those debris These captured in our atmosphere and ignite, producing the streaking lights. Because the meteors' courses seem to begin from this location in the sky, the Perseid meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus.

When and how to watch Perseid meteor shower?

Bill Cooke, who leads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office said, “People in the US can reasonably expect to see around 40 Perseids in the hour just before dawn on the peak nights. That’s about one every couple of minutes, which is not bad." He added that this can be visible in the country side away from cities and suburbs. As NASA states, the brighter skies of suburban areas greatly reduce the rates, with 10 or fewer expected in an hour.

The shower this year is already active, but the main event will be this weekend, when the shower reaches its peak from Saturday night into Sunday morning. Starting around 11 pm local time Saturday, a few meteors will start to show up, maybe one every 15 minutes, Cooke has estimated. Further adding, he said, "They’ll keep picking up the pace until before dawn on Sunday, when “you’ll see meteors appear all over the place," he said.

The Perseid meteor shower can be best seen in the Northern Hemisphere. For that, a clear sky, darkness is needed.

(With inputs from Associated Press and NASA)


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Published: 12 Aug 2023, 06:59 AM IST
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