Perseids 

Meteor Shower

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The 2024 Perseids meteor shower, peaking on the night of August 12, offers a dazzling summer sky show with up to 100 meteors per hour. This guide helps you find the best viewing times and dark sky spots for an optimal experience, even with a half-illuminated moon setting by midnight. 

Perseids in 2024

The Perseids meteor shower, a highlight of the summer night sky, is one of the most anticipated celestial events of the year. Comparable to the vibrant August Perseids and the December Geminids, this annual shower boasts one of the highest predicted hourly rates among major meteor showers. 

The 2024 Perseids will be active from mid-July to late August, with its peak occurring on the night of August 12th through the early hours of August 13th. The peak of a meteor shower is the moment of maximum activity, offering the best chance to observe the shower.

What is the Perseids Meteor Shower?

The Perseids meteor shower, a highlight of the summer night sky, is one of the most anticipated celestial events of the year. Comparable to the vibrant August Perseids and the December Geminids, this annual shower boasts one of the highest predicted hourly rates among major meteor showers. The 2024 Perseids will be active from mid-July to late August, with its peak occurring on the night of August 12th through the early hours of August 13th. The peak of a meteor shower is the moment of maximum activity, offering the best chance to observe the most meteors.

A notable feature of the Perseids is their capacity to produce bright meteors, commonly known as fireballs, which can create long-lasting trails across the sky. Although the moon will be half-illuminated, it will set around midnight, providing dark skies for optimal viewing conditions.

The Perseids are best viewed from the northern hemisphere, where the constellation Perseus, from which the meteors appear to radiate, is prominently visible. This makes it an excellent event for observers in North America, Europe, and most of Asia. Conversely, viewers in the southern hemisphere, particularly in Australia and the lower regions of South America, may find it challenging to witness the shower. While higher latitudes offer better viewing opportunities, it’s important to consider potential cloud cover, which can obscure visibility during the peak season.

The Perseids meteor shower in 2024

This year, the First Quarter Moon (50% full) will accompany the peak of the Perseids meteor shower. This is a notable improvement compared to the Perseids of 2023, which coincided with a brighter Waxing Gibbous Moon. Although the moonlight may slightly diminish the visibility of the fainter meteors, the moon is set to retire for the night around midnight, providing darker skies for those eager to observe the celestial spectacle. The 2024 Perseids, peaking on the night of August 12th, promise a fine display for those willing to brave the summer night.

The radiant of the Perseids meteor shower is the point in the sky from where the meteors seem to emerge. It is located within the constellation Perseus, which is visible during the shower’s peak in August. Unlike other major showers named after extinct constellations, the Perseids are named after a still-existing constellation. The constellation Perseus is situated between the constellations Cassiopeia and Taurus, making it relatively easy to locate in the night sky. To find the radiant, it’s best to locate the constellation Cassiopeia and look nearby for the famed ‘shooting stars’ of the Perseids.

How do I know the sky is dark enough to see meteors?

To ensure the sky is dark enough to see the Perseids meteors, it’s best to move away from city lights. Find a secluded, dark location like a state or city park. Once there, face northeast to keep the Perseids’ radiant in view. If the Little Dipper’s stars are visible, your site is likely dark enough. For the Perseids, looking slightly toward the horizon rather than straight up may increase your chances of seeing more meteors. Remember, patience is key, and your efforts will be rewarded with a celestial show. 

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52
Days remaining until the Perseids peak.

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Moon phase on peak
Waxing Gibbous

Quadrantids gazing conditions may not be ideal. The Moon may obstruct all but the brightest meteors.

Moon Illumination50%
50%
Waxing Gibbous

The Quadrantids meteor shower is best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere.

Technical Perseids Facts

Perseids

The shower is named after the constellation Perseus, as the meteors appear to radiate from this point in the sky

The Perseids are one of the most plentiful showers with about 50 to 100 meteors seen per hour.

The pieces of space debris that interact with our atmosphere to create the Perseids originate from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle1.

The radiant – the point in the sky from which the Perseids appear to come – is the constellation Perseus.

Perseid meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere (and are then called meteors) at roughly 133,200 mph (60 kilometers per second) relative to the planet

The Perseids frequently leave long “wakes” of light and color behind them as they streak through Earth’s atmosphere.

The Perseids typically start around mid-July

The Perseids typically last through late-August.

The peak of the Perseids meteor shower typically occurs around August 12th every year

Meet Perseus, the Hero

Every meteor shower has a central point in the sky, known as the radiant. This is the spot where the meteors seem to originate. For the Perseids meteor shower, the radiant is located near the constellation of Perseus. Since a constellation is simply a pattern of stars, finding Perseus in the night sky will give you a better chance to see the Perseids meteor shower in all its glory.

Meteor Shower Calendar

Explore our comprehensive list of meteor showers for 2024. Click on each event for detailed information about peak dates, moon phases, and expected meteor rates. Don’t miss out on these celestial highlights! 

Quadrantids
Peak: January 3-4
40 meteors per hour
Moon: Waning crescent
Illumination50%
50%
Lyrids
Peak: April 21-22
10-20 meteors per hour
Moon: Waxing gibbous
Illumination98%
98%
Eta Aquariids
Peak: May 5-6
10 meteors per hour
Moon: Waning crescent
Illumination3%
3%
Northern Taurids
Peak: May 29-30
5 meteors per hour
Moon: Last quarter
Illumination50%
50%
Boötids
Peak: June 26-27
100 meteors per hour
Moon: Waning gibbous
Illumination64%
64%
Southern Delta Aquariids
Peak: July 27-29
25 meteors per hour
Moon: Waning crescent
Illumination44%
44%
Kappa Cygnids
Peak: August 16-20
20 meteors per hour
Moon: Waxing gibbous
Illumination98%
98%
Draconids
Peak: October 8-9
10 meteors per hour
Moon: New moon
Illumination50%
50%
Orionids
Peak: October 21-22
20 meteors per hour
Moon: Waning gibbous
Illumination67%
67%
Geminids
Peak: December 13-14
150 meteors per hour
Moon: Waxing gibbous
Illumination98%
98%
Ursids
Peak: December 21-22
10 meteors per hour
Moon: Last quarter
Illumination50%
50%

Perseids Skymap

Embark on a celestial journey with the Spacedex Skymap navigator, your visual gateway to the stars. Experience the Perseids meteor shower like never before, tracing the paths of meteors across the tapestry of the night sky. 

Glossary

Navigate through the terms used on the page, enhancing your knowledge and enjoyment of space observation. 

 

Front Side

A constellation is a group of stars that forms a pattern in the sky. People long ago thought these patterns looked like animals, objects, or people.
Constellation

Front Side

A meteor is a space rock—or meteoroid—that enters Earth’s atmosphere. As the space rock falls toward Earth, it burns due to resistance.” When Earth encounters many meteoroids at once, we call it a meteor shower.
Meteor

Front Side

A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Constellation

Front Side

A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Zenthial Hourly Rate

Front Side

A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Radiant

Front Side

A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Peak
A constellation is a group of stars that forms a pattern in the sky. People long ago thought these patterns looked like animals, objects, or people.
Constellation
A meteor is a space rock—or meteoroid—that enters Earth’s atmosphere. As the space rock falls toward Earth, it burns due to resistance.” When Earth encounters many meteoroids at once, we call it a meteor shower.
Meteor
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Constellation
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Zenthial Hourly Rate
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Radiant
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Peak
A constellation is a group of stars that forms a pattern in the sky. People long ago thought these patterns looked like animals, objects, or people.
Constellation
A meteor is a space rock—or meteoroid—that enters Earth’s atmosphere. As the space rock falls toward Earth, it burns due to resistance.” When Earth encounters many meteoroids at once, we call it a meteor shower.
Meteor
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Constellation
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Zenthial Hourly Rate
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Radiant
A constellation is a group of stars that form a particular pattern in the sky. Most of the constellations we know have been given names, for example Orion the Hunter and the Great Bear.
Peak

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