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The Perseid meteor shower is underway

09 August 2018

Look up! The Perseid Meteor Shower, one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year, will occur the evening of Saturday, Aug. 11. Go to the suburbs or the countryside away from the city lights. As a comet passes closer to the sun, its ice warms and begins to release particles of dust and rock into the atmosphere, which can result in a glowing trail of vapor. Bring a blanket to lay out under the stars and watch the Perseids Meteor Shower, known for its fast and bright meteors.

This week, the possibility of seeing shooting stars increases significantly, as we run up to the zenith of the annual Perseids meteor shower.

The Perseids are debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle.

How can I see them? Note that the rates listed below are for ideal conditions: very dark skies free of moonlight or light pollution.

Although the meteor shower is considered the best of the year in some parts of the country, it turns out Chicago is not the best place to catch glimpses of glittering showers of space matter.

"This year we'll be lucky the moon won't be shining most of the night, it will be a very thin crescent so it should be quite dark". This usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes - so get comfortable.

Between midnight and 5 a.m. on August 11 and 12. Though experts say this eclipse will not be as intense last summer's but if you're in the north, it's worth checking out. Most of the "shooting stars" will be coming in from upper right to lower left.

The meteors appear randomly everywhere in the sky, so you do not need to look in any particular direction as meteors appear randomly anywhere in the sky - just keep looking up, filling your gaze with as much of the sky as possible for as long as you can.

How easy will it be to see?

The Perseid meteor shower is underway