The Perseids Meteor Shower has started and will peak around the 9th to 13th August 2017 and it could produce 50 to 100 meteors per hour as it passes through the dust trail created by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet orbits the Solar System every 133 years and as it does it leaves a trail of debris in its wake. When Earth crosses this debris trail, many of the dust particles enter Earths atmosphere and burn up, causing the familiar meteor trails. This particular shower is named Perseids because the meteors appear to come from a point in the sky in the constellation of Perseus, near the W-shape of Cassiopeia. The point from which they radiate is called the “radiant” and the shower takes its name from the constellation.
Based on NASA illustration
To see the Perseids, just go outside from midnight and scan the skies to the North-East, near Cassiopeia, and wait. Hopefully you will see a few. The best thing to do is wrap up warm and lie on a Sun bed with a hot flask of tea or coffee!
If it is cloudy, you can see live meteor hits here on our website.