The Perseid meteor shower will peak this weekend overnight on Saturday/Sunday, August 12/13, 2023 and sky-watchers across the northern hemisphere are making plans to see 50-75 “shooting stars” per hour (according to the American Meteor Society). What happens if there is bad weather?
Meteor showers are so simple to see and enjoy. You don’t need binoculars or a telescope—either will massively reduce your chances of seeing anying—and nor do you need any specialist knowledge. Naked eyes and enthusiasm are all you need, in fact. Well, almost.
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Even if you go to an area free from light pollution (which will hugely increase your chances of seeing lots of “shooting stars”) armed with a a reclining chair and a blanket, what you will also require—aside from patience—is a cloud-free night sky.
Since the Perseid meteor shower begins on July 14 through September 1 in 2023 you can watch on nights away from the peak. Just know that meteor activity drops by about 50% on the nights either side of the peak night, and by considerably more than that farther out from the peak.
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How, When and Where to Watch the Perseids Meteor Shower on YouTube
The Virtual Telescope Project is planning a livestream of the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. Scheduled to begin at 9.30 p.m. EST on Saturday, August 12, 2023 (1:30 a.m. UTC on Sunday, August 13), the feed will come from a facility in Manciano, one of Italy’s darkest regions. The broadcast will come from wide field cameras and all-sky camera.
However, there is another intriguing way to interact with the Perseids.
How, When and When to Listen to the Perseids Meteor Shower Online
When a meteor enters Earth’s atmosphere it leaves a trail of ionized gas behind it that can reflect radio waves.
Visit LiveMeteors.com this weekend during the peak and you will be able to listen for meteor radio wave reflections from the Perseid shower. You’ll hear the reflections as pings (echoes).
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Why 2023 is Perfect for the Perseids
Whether the clouds will play ball on the peak night remains to be seen, but otherwise the sky conditions are perfect. The chief reason why the Perseids are being hyped this year is because there is no moonlight during the peak hours. That’s very different to 2022 when the peak night of the Perseids was ruined by the presence of a bright full moon.
In fact, the moon will rise just after the peak, but not until about 4 a.m. on Sunday, August 13. Even then, it will only be about 9% crescent and will barely make any difference to the night sky. Besides, dawn will be about to break in any case and the Perseids peak will be over for another year.
The Perseid meteor shower will next peak on Monday/Tuesday, August 12/13, 2024.