Best METEOR SHOWER of the year PEAKS TONIGHT in Iowa!
The Perseids are often one of the strongest and brightest meteor showers, and unlike last year’s peak display, the bright moon won’t be in our way. Our satellite is just a few days past its new phase, so the sky will be perfect for ‘shooting stars.’
Even better --- the forecast calls for ‘Mostly Clear’ skies tonight.
The 2021 Perseid meteor shower will most likely produce the greatest number of meteors on the late night/mornings of August 11, 12, and 13. How many can you see? Perhaps up to 60 or more per hour. Sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to see over 100 /hour.
Another bonus for this annual display is that no special equipment is needed, other than a wide-open and dark area, away from city lights. It’s best to bring a blanket and lay down to get a wider view of the sky.
If you’re lucky enough to be watching at just the right time, you could see an earthgrazer; a long, slow, sometimes colorful meteor traveling horizontally across the sky. If you do happen to see one, they’ll appear before midnight, when the radiant point of the shower is close to the horizon.
Perseid meteors usually start streaking the sky around mid-July and always peak during the second week of August.
If you trace all the Perseid meteors backward, they all seem to come from the constellation Perseus.
The Perseids burn up about 60 miles above the Earth’s surface and hail from Comet Swift-Tuttle. Earth passes through the comet’s trail after the first week of August and the bits and pieces from the comet hit our atmosphere at around 130,000 miles per hour.
Patience is key -- find an area outside of bright city lights and allow your eyes at least 20 minutes (or longer) to adjust to the darkness. Even though the Perseids radiate near the constellation Cassiopeia, (looks like a sideways "W" or a "3") they will be zipping all over the sky.