Peak of the 2023 Perseid meteor shower: How to watch this beautiful phenomenon online?

August 11, 2023  21:45

The 2023 Perseid meteor shower will peak this weekend, August 12-13. Peak activity from the Perseid meteor shower is expected around 0400 ET (0800 GMT) on Sunday, August 13.

Every year, the Earth passes through dust particles left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle (109P/Swift-Tuttle). The smallest particles, the size of a grain of sand, burn up in the earth's atmosphere, forming a "meteor shower".

This year, the Perseid activity will last from July 17 to August 24.

In good conditions, you can usually see up to 100 meteors per hour. The number of meteors to be seen this weekend could be even higher. With favorable weather and distance from light sources on Earth, observers at the peak of the Perseids on Sunday will be able to see up to 141 meteors per hour.

According to experts, the best time to watch the Perseid meteor shower is when the radiant in the constellation Perseus is above the horizon. For observers from New York, the Perseid radiant is high above the horizon, and meteors can be seen all night long after sunset.

In New York on Sunday, the Perseid radiant should be about 70⁰ above the horizon. The moon will be close to the new moon phase, so the night sky is almost devoid of moonlight, providing ideal conditions for observing meteors.

For all the people who want to see the Perseids at their peak but can't get away from the bright lights of the city to watch this phenomenon live, the Virtual Telescope Project will be broadcasting the event live using its special camera located in Italy.

The free online stream will begin on August 12 at 9:30 pm EST (01:30 GMT on Sunday) and can be viewed on the project's WebTV page, as well as on the project's YouTube channel.

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