AUSTIN (KXAN) — While the Perseid Meteor Shower began on July 14, we are almost at the peak viewing of this yearly celestial event.
According to NASA, the peak is the night of Wednesday, Aug. 11 into the pre-dawn hours of Thursday, Aug. 12. During the peak of the meteor shower you can see up to 100 meteors per hour which makes it the “best meteor shower of the year,” NASA reports.
The meteors come from the comet known as 109P/Swift-Tuttle that brings this yearly meteor shower each summer. Swift-Tuttle orbits the sun every 133 years and was last in our inner solar system back in 1992.
Every year, the Earth goes around the sun, it passes through a dusty trail left behind from this comet. Those particles in the trail then collide with our atmosphere and disintegrate to create the beautiful meteor shower and fireballs that we see in the summer night sky.
The meteor shower is named after the constellation Perseus, which is the area in the sky where the meteors appear to come from when looking from the Northern Hemisphere.
According to NASA, the Perseids meteor shower is known for the fireballs which “are large explosions of light and color that persist longer than an average meteor streak.” These fireballs come from some of the comets larger particles.
For the best viewing of the meteor shower, get away from buildings and city lights and look to the sky. While you can view the meteors as early as 10 p.m., the best viewing isn’t until the early morning hours before dawn.
The Perseid Meteor Shower continues through Aug. 24.