The Perseids Meteor Shower

Event Details

The Perseids Meteor Shower

Time: August 11, 2018 at 6pm to August 13, 2018 at 1am
Location: The Willows Observatory
Phone: 780 878-1214
Event Type: astronomy
Organized By: James and Roberta Baker
Latest Activity: Feb 22, 2018

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Event Description

August 12–13: The Perseids, Jupiter, Saturn & Mars

Even casual skywatchers know about the Perseid meteor shower, because it can deliver at least one meteor per minute under pleasant summer skies. But the shower's peak performance is relatively brief, so timing is important.

Perseid meteor

A bright Perseid meteor streaked down on August 7, 2010, over buildings at the Stellafane amateur astronomy convention in Springfield, Vermont. Click here for a larger image.
Dennis di Cicco

According to the International Meteor Organization, the shower's 2018 maximum should come between 20hUT on August 12th and 8h UT on the 13th. Fortunately, the midpoint of this range falls during the night of August 12-13 for North America. Moreover, the Moon will be new, so observing conditions are nearly perfect! Start watching on the evening of the 12th as soon as it's gotten dark and the radiant (near the Double Cluster in Perseus) clears the horizon. You might be rewarded with bright firefalls that skim Earth's atmosphere and create long, dramatic streaks in the sky.

These meteors are bits of debris shed by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 130 years. Careful observers first realized that the Perseids are an annual event in the 1830s.

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