Today is the day! The Perseid meteor shower will be peaking tonight, August 11, 2016 between 11pm-5am. This year’s shower is promised to be even more spectacular than ever, with a predicted meteor total of anywhere between 150-200 meteors per hour.
If you live somewhere with less than perfect weather today, no need to worry! The Slooh community observatory will be running a live webcast starting at 8pm EST (5pm PST). The broadcast will be 4 hours long, and will show you a view of the sky from the US, UK, Canada, and Canary Islands.
Not only will Slooh be showing the meteor shower, but they will also be discussing the history and science behind it, as well as giving tips on how to photograph the event effectively.
The Perseids are fragments left by the tail one of the most dangerous comets we know of, Swift-Tuttle. Swift-Tuttle comes close to earth about once every 133 years. This year however, earth will be crossing a particularly dense tail region, which is what leads to the meteor activity.
“With December’s Geminids spoiled by a full Moon, these Perseids will be the best shower of 2016,” said Slooh astronomer Bob Berman. “Add to that the juicy peril of its parent comet, Swift-Tuttle, the most hazardous object in the known universe, and you have all the ingredients for a 4-star spectacle.”