Perseids 2019: When is the spectacular meteor shower this year? When will Perseids peak?

The Perseids are one of the most prolific showers of the year, peaking annually in August. The meteor shower is typically active between mid-July and the last week of August. During this period, the odd shooting star will dash across night skies. But on one night in particular, the meteor shower will peak in intensity, lighting up the night with hundreds of meteors.

When is the Perseid meteor shower this year?

The Perseids are active when the Earth flies through the cosmic trail of the comet Swift–Tuttle.

The stellar debris left in the wake of the hurtling space rock slams into our planet’s atmospheres at great speeds, producing streaks of light across the skies.

Earth passes through this cosmic minefield between July 17 and August 24 this year.

Throughout this period, the number of meteors visible will increase every night until the date of the shower’s peak.

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When will the Perseids meteor shower peak?

Astronomers expect the Perseids to peak around mid-August when Earth crosses the centre of Swift–Tuttle’s trail.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London said: “In 2019 the Perseid meteor shower is active between 17 July and 24 August, with the number of meteors increasing every night until it reaches a peak in mid-August, after which it will tail off.

“This year the peak falls on the night of the 12th and before dawn on 13 August.”

During the peak, the Observatory said the shower will likely produce about 80 meteors an hour.

The peak will be best seen from midnight to about 5.30am when the skies are darkest.

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How to best see the Perseid meteor shower?

Meteor-spotting is a game of patience and location-hunting.

Meteor showers are best viewed from dark and quiet places away from sources of light pollution like cities and cars.

Just give your eyes upwards of 15 minutes to adjust to the dark.

Wide open fields with unobstructed views of the horizon are ideal since they give a clear view of the whole sky at once.

The good news is, meteors are incredibly fast, meaning telescope and binoculars will not help you spot them.

The Observatory said: “The average speed for a Perseid meteor is 36 miles per second.

“The air in front of the meteor is squashed and heated to thousands of degrees Celsius.

“The smaller meteors vaporise and leave behind a bright trail of light. Larger meteors can explode as fireballs.”

Remember to dress warm and pack plenty of snacks and drinks to stay comfortable on the night.

Once you are all set, simply lie back and try to take in as much of the sky at once as possible.

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