When Google was celebrating the Perseid meteor shower using its outstanding doodle appearing on your Google search homepage you probably asked yourself these questions: What is the Perseid meteor shower? When does it take place? And how and where can I see it? Here we answer your questions.1 What is the Perseid meteor shower?
It is one of the best meteor showers of the year, because of its fast and bright meteors that would reach up to 100 per hour. It is called the Perseids because the point in which it starts to appear, the radiant, is located in the constellation Perseus. The Perseids are mainly a stream of debris associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet, that moves around the Earth every 133 years. Particles start burning after they hit the atmosphere, creating shooting “stars” across the sky, when the Earth passes through the debris.
The Perseid meteor shower takes place in the Northern Hemisphere. You only need to look between the Perseid radiant that will be located in the north-east part of the sky and the zenith -an imaginary point in the sky that is directly above you- to watch it. If you’re not familiar with these astronomical calculations just relax and bring a comfy chair or a blanket, lie down and watch the sky with your eyes wide open.
3 When to watch it?
The Perseid meteor shower usually occurs around July 17 to August 24. You’d better start watching it in late July and early August, as the number of meteors will increase from early August until the peak night. They become more visible at late night.
4 How to watch it?
You don’t need special equipments, you can only watch it with your bare eyes. Be picky when it comes to the place, as it’s better to pick an open sky place because meteors move in the sky in different directions. It’s also better to pick a moonless night so you can see more of them. You need to give yourself at least 20 minutes staying in the dark so your eyes become adapted to the darkness.