- When are the Perseids? Stargazers, every August the Perseids peak, usually on the nights of August 11 through 13, so find a dark sky to watch out for meteors and fireballs. In 2022, the Perseids will peak the nights of August 11 and 12, but you can still see the meteor shower for a few days after.
- 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 or What We See in the Stars 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.