Star Party Live! Spectacular Live Perseids Meteor Shower
Join our Perseids Meteor Shower Star Party Live on the night of Wednesday, August 12th, starting at 7 PM EDT.
Other timezones: 4 PM PDT ¦ 23:00UTC ¦ 4:30 AM IST
The Perseids Meteor Shower isn't the most prolific of the year, but it is one of the most popular and reliable. Warm August nights make meteor watching for Perseids a Summer celestial treat. Meteor watchers can expect rates up to 50-75 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.
Each Perseid meteor we see is a tiny particle released by a comet named 109P/Swift-Tuttle. The comet returns to the inner solar system every 133 years, and it's an absolute litterbug - leaving a trail of debris in its wake. When the Earth passes through this trail, some of the particles (meteoroids) enter Earth's atmosphere and vaporize in a breathtaking display often called a "shooting star".
Meteor showers are best seen with the naked eye - you need to see as much of the sky as possible. But Slooh uses specialist low-light video cameras to capture this fiery celestial event.
The comet particles, called meteoroids, are relatively tiny given the display they put on when they vaporize - most are the size of a sand grain, although a few are pea-sized. The debris field is sparse - very sparse. The meteoroids, drifting through space and gradually dispersing, are about 60-100 miles apart.
Slooh Astronomer, Paul Cox, said: "The Perseids are always the most popular meteor shower of the year. Slooh members gather together from around the globe to watch the live feeds in awe and wonder as fragments of comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle vaporize spectacularly as they enter Earth's atmosphere traveling at an astonishing 133,200 mph (60 km per second)!”
The shower is named after the constellation of Perseus, which is the shower's 'radiant'. All Perseid meteors will appear to be traveling away from the radiant, although they can appear anywhere in the sky.
Meteor watchers have been thwarted by bright moonlight on many occasions, and this year, the 37% Waning Crescent Moon will interfere a little during pre-dawn hours. However, we should still witness a fine display using Slooh's specialist ultra-sensitive video cameras.
Slooh members can join the Zoom Webinar to ask questions and interact with Slooh's experts!