- When are the Perseids? Stargazers, every August the Perseids peak, usually on the nights of August 12 and 13, so find a dark sky to watch out for meteors and fireballs. In 2021, the Perseids will peak the night of August 11.
- What is a meteor shower? A meteor shower is caused by the Earth passing through dust and debris left behind from a comet. Each August, the Earth passes through debris left from the orbit of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. You'll see a meteor when it burns up in the atmosphere, traveling at 37 miles per second, and those Perseid meteors are only the size of a grain of sand.
- What time should I watch? The best time to watch is late evening until before dawn, but you can see the meteor shower all night long. Give your eyes 20-30 minutes to adjust to darkness. Leave your telescope and binoculars at home because you'll see much more of the night sky with naked eyes!
- Why is it called the Perseids? The path of the meteors appear to originate from the constellation Perseus. Perseus was a Greek hero, slayer of monsters before Hercules (who just so happens to be his great grandson). Read Ancient Skies: Constellation Mythology of the Greeks or What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky, opens a new window to learn more.
- Request a STEAM Kit: Exploring the Night Sky, opens a new window
- Discover the night sky and constellations for kids, opens a new window and for adults, opens a new window
- Learn about astronauts for kids, opens a new window and adults, opens a new window
- Read up on the history of astronomy
Information from Space.com and earthsky.org.