In a few hours from now, the Perseid meteor shower will commence over Earth’s night sky. Skywatchers can observe the celestial event using their telescopes or join a free online live stream from their homes. What should you know about the Perseid meteor shower? How can you watch it live? Continue reading to find out.
What You Should Know About the Perseid meteor shower
The Perseid meteor shower (Perseids) is an active celestial event that occurs every year starting from July 17 and Aug. 24. Royal Museums Greenwich revealed that the meteor shower will reach its peak around midnight of August 12 and before dawn on August 13. The good news is that the Perseid meteor shower for 2023 will peak when the moon will be at about 10% illuminated.
Hence, skywatchers across the world can get a clearer view of the meteor shower if their view is not disrupted by light pollution. NASA revealed that you should expect to see up to 100 meteors per hour during the Perseid meteor shower tonight. When the Perseid peaked last year, the full moon illuminating the night’s sky disrupts the fascinating astronomical event. However, since the moon will be illuminated at only 10%, everyone watching the event can get a clearer view.
Astronomers reveal that a Perseid meteoroid travels at about 133,200 mph (214,365 kph) when it reaches Earth’s atmosphere. Since most of them are as tiny as a grain of sand, they may likely not hit the ground. Keep in mind that when Perseids are in space, they are referred to as meteoroids, when they hit our atmosphere, they are identified as meteors and when they finally hit the ground, they are called meteorites.
Scientists revealed that Perseids are hot space rocks with scorching temperatures exceeding 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 Celsius). As the meteoroids move through the atmosphere, they compress and heat the air before them. The reaction makes most of the meteors visible when they get to 60 miles (97 kilometers) from the Earth’s floor. As you watch the meteor shower tonight, you should endeavor to capture a detailed view of the event.
How to watch the Perseid meteor shower tonight
Every skywatcher interested in watching the celestial event tonight can use a telescope or binoculars to get a clearer view. However, if you live in a location with a cloudy sky, you can still be opportune to watch the event online for free. The Virtual Telescope Project will be livestreaming the event from its facility in Manciano, Italy.
The organization revealed that they will be providing a fascinating view of the Perseid meteor shower peak using their powerful all-sky camera. The Virtual Telescope Project watches the sky from a remote region in Italy.
“We will be covering the Perseid meteor shower, sharing it live on the night of its peak online!” Virtual Telescope Project founder and astronomer Gianluca Masi said in an email to Space.com. “This year, the sky conditions will be good, with almost no moon interference. We will be taking images from our facility in Manciano, in the Maremma countryside, under one of the darkest skies in Italy.”
The Virtual Telescope Project will commence its Livestream at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday (01:30 GMT on Sunday). You can watch it live from their website or YouTube Channel.
As you skywatch the astronomical event tonight, endeavor to capture the Perseid meteor shower with your telescope or binoculars. You can see the best telescopes and binoculars to watch celestial events like this one from below. What do you think about this upcoming event?