The August 2020 Perseid Meteor Shower is visible every night for about two weeks before and after its peak which occurs tonight, August 11th, until dawn on August 12th.
The Perseid Meteor Shower produces more fireballs than any other meteor shower.
A fireball is a very bright meteor, at least as bright as the planets Jupiter or Venus.
Although the Perseids meteor produces between 60 and 70 per hour at the peak, skywatchers will only be able to see 15 to 20 of those meteors because the night sky will be slighted washed out by a half-moon.
The Perseids meteor shower will be visible almost all over the world – but will be best seen in the northern hemisphere.
A major determining factor on where a good place is to watch the Perseids meteor shower is local cloud cover and artificial light pollution. Lie on your back and look straight up. Allow about 45 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.
The Perseids appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus which is visible in the northeastern sky 3 hours before sunrise this time of year.
The best way to see the Perseids is to go outside between midnight and dawn on the morning of August 13th.
According to NASA, the Perseids have been observed for about 2,000 years.
The source of the annual meteor shower is the debris trail left behind comet Swift-Tuttle.
Each year in August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s debris.
These bits of ice and dust burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Most of the Perseid meteors that we observe now were ejected from Swift-Tuttle about 1,000 years ago.