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Everything you need to know about the 2022 Perseid meteor shower, including when it will peak and how to watch

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A photo montage taken August 13, 2021 shows the night sky during the Perseid meteor shower over the Engebei Ecological Demonstration Zone in the Kubutqi Desert, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China.

Ren Junchuan/Xinhua via Getty

Hello earthlings!

It’s time to once again turn our eyes to the sky, because the Perseid meteor shower, which according to NASA is considered the “best meteor shower of the year”, has hit us.

Not only do shooting stars produce an estimated 50 to 100 meteors per hour, the ultra-fast, bright orbs leave behind trails of light and color as they fly through Earth’s atmosphere.

The Perseids are also known for their fireballs, which make stars appear brighter and faster than the mean meteor band due to being formed from larger particles of cometary material.

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Like all meteor showers, fiery stars originate from their parent comet, and for the Perseids this would be Comet Swift-Tuttle. The showers produce an incredible stellar spectacle when they reach their peak.

“This is the moment when the Earth passes through the center of the dust stream left by Comet Swift-Tuttle,” said scientific astrophotographer and astronomer Dr. Darren Baskill. Journal “Scientific Focus”.

From when they peak to what to watch, here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Perseid meteor shower.

When is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower?

In this 30-second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

In this 30-second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty

This year’s Perseid meteor shower is expected to peak at 1:00 AM local time on August 13, but the early hour of Saturday morning isn’t your only chance to try and catch a glimpse of the stellar spectacle!

The Perseids began on July 17 and will be active until August 24, giving astronomers several chances to watch the celestial spectacle. In fact, it might be better to catch shooting stars after hours due to the full sturgeon moon that will be in effect.

For top-notch views, it’s best to look up at the sky on a crystal clear night away from any light pollution, allowing the stars to really flare.

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When to watch the Perseid meteor shower?

In this NASA story, a 30-second exposure of a meteor sweeps across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on August 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.  Known as the Perseid shower because the meteors appear to come from the constellation Perseus in the northeast sky, the annual phenomenon is the result of Earth's orbit passing through the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle.

In this NASA story, a 30-second exposure of a meteor sweeps across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on August 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia. Known as the Perseid shower because the meteors appear to come from the constellation Perseus in the northeast sky, the annual phenomenon is the result of Earth’s orbit passing through the debris of comet Swift-Tuttle.

Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty

While watching the showers at their peak is expected to give observers more meteors, EarthSky.com suggests looking for the Perseids from late evening until early dawn in early August.

“Also note that the number of Perseids increases as the late night passes into the wee hours,” according to the space publication. “Look several times in the morning until the waxing moon—brighter every night and rising for more hours—would drive you back inside.”

Viewers can expect to see a meteor “every minute or two during peak hours, and they’re moving fast!” Baskill said Journal “Scientific Focus”.

Where does the Perseid meteor shower appear in the sky?

The Perseid meteor shower is seen over a mountain range in Korle, Xinjiang province, China, in the early morning of August 13, 2021.

The Perseid meteor shower is seen over a mountain range in Korle, Xinjiang province, China, in the early morning of August 13, 2021.

Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty

Like all meteor showers, they seem to emanate from their radiant, a point in the sky from which the stars appear to emanate. As a rule, they fly high near the corresponding constellation. For the Perseids, this star cluster is known as the constellation Perseus, which “follows the brighter and more distinctive constellation Cassiopeia,” according to Space.com.

Before you go and invest in a star chart, meteor showers are most often seen throughout the night sky, despite the fact that they appear to be coming from their respective constellation.

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What meteor shower will come after the Perseids?

Everything you need to know about the Tau Herculid meteor shower

Everything you need to know about the Tau Herculid meteor shower

getty

According to the American Meteor Society, the Perseid meteor shower is followed by the Orionids, a meteor shower that can produce a maximum of 10-20 stars. They should start on September 26th and remain active until November 22nd. The Orionids are expected to peak between the late night of October 20 and the early morning of October 21.

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